About that culture of corruption…

This story from the New York Times is the kind of story that Democrats, pre-2006 midterms, would have used in campaign commercials if it were about Republicans. But now, after the election, the story is about Democrats for the most part, and it shows that the overblown Dem campaign rhetoric about a “culture of corruption” was just political talk:

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who is to become speaker of the House, has promised new lobbying and ethics rules to end “the culture of corruption” that she says has infected Congress under Republican control. But lobbyists attending fund-raisers this week said they did not expect radical changes.

“There will be some changes on the margins that will be relatively short-lived,” said Erick R. Gustafson, a vice president of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Of the effort to purge politics of special-interest money and influence, Mr. Gustafson said: “It’s like trying to keep water out of your basement. It’s a structural problem. You may find a temporary solution, but the water will find a way in. Influence is like water. Money is just a means of influence.”

Many lobbyists stopped by three or four events on Wednesday evening. At a fund-raiser for Democrats newly elected to the House, Portia Reddick White, a lobbyist for the Transport Workers Union, said: “There’s a mood of euphoria, of excitement here. We sense that change is coming, that Congress might actually do something on a bipartisan basis for the working people of America.”

Dan Glickman, formerly a Democratic congressman from Kansas and now chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, hobnobbed with Representative-elect Paul W. Hodes, Democrat of New Hampshire, who is an entertainment lawyer, songwriter and champion of the arts. Mr. Hodes said the event would help him retire his campaign debt, which he estimated at $100,000.

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