Friday, August 10, 2007


From the 4 p.m. ET hour of the August 8 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

CAROL COSTELLO (guest host): A big issue in the presidential race right now also has been a big concern on Capitol Hill. As we have reported, Democratic rivals are accusing Hillary Clinton of being too cozy with lobbyists. Congress has passed new lobbying reform legislation. Our congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin is here. Jessica, is this attempt at reform actually going to make a difference?

YELLIN: Well, Carol, reasonable people disagree. Democrats say it's intended to clean up the culture of corruption in Washington, but it's certainly not going to keep money out of politics.

[begin video clip]

YELLIN: Dave Hoppe is president of one of Washington's elite lobbying firms.

Are you part of the problem with American politics?

J. DAVID HOPPE (Quinn Gillespie and Associates president): I don't think so. What lobbyists do is provide information.

YELLIN: Hoppe worked for decades as a Republican aide on Capitol Hill. He says the ethics and lobbying bill is not going to send tremors through the halls of Congress.

HOPPE: The job we do is not going to change fundamentally because of this.

YELLIN: The bill was pushed by Democratic leadership in response to scandals involving Jack Abramoff and Congressmen Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney, and outrage over figures like this: $1 billion -- that's how much the health care industry spent lobbying the year of the Medicare debate.

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