Fingers in the Pie

7/13/97 - Sam Brownback and his wife between them have over $120,000 in telecommunications stock, including AT&T, Bell Atlantic, SBC Communications, and Lucent Technologies.

Interestingly, Sam is a member of the Senate communications subcommittee, which launches legislation governing those companies. The subcommittee is still handling aspects of the so-called Telecommunications Deregulation Act.

After this detailed became popularly known, Sam's office announced that he would put all his assets into a blind trust -- somewhat resignedly, emphasizing that he's not required to do this. "It eliminates any questions," his spokesman said eagerly.

It's true that people in Congress don't have to play by the rules they set up for people working for the FCC and other agencies. Why should they? Congress writes the rules. Does anyone really believe Brownback and other hyperambitious career politicians intend to clean up the corruption in government?

Source: the Kansas City Star, "Politicians have stake in industry they regulate / Ashcroft, Brownback or wives have telecommunication stock," James Kuhnhenn, 07/13/97
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