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LameDuckHunt.org: Public Citizen Launches New Blog to Target Quackery planned for Post-Election Congressional Session

Oct. 27, 2006

LameDuckHunt.org: Public Citizen Launches New Blog to Target Quackery planned for Post-Election Congressional Session

Blog Aims to Warn Public That Members of Congress – Including the Fired and Retired – Will Be Called Back to Pass Legislation Deemed Too Harmful to Fly Before Election

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen today launched a new blog, www.LameDuckHunt.org, to generate a public debate about the GOP leadership’s plan to bring Congress, including any fired or retired members, back to Washington after the elections to dodge public accountability and pass harmful and unpopular legislation.

The blog is designed to be an online social network that creates a national discussion about the pending lame-duck session of Congress. It will feature a daily news roundup on the planned agenda and postings from people with information about the bills lawmakers may consider. By exposing lawmakers’ plans and providing an information clearinghouse, the blog will help people mobilize to block harmful bills now up for lame-duck consideration, such as those that will further damage the environment, pass bad trade deals, give more tax breaks to big corporations and more.

Categories covered will range from a Peru-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (PUFTA) and the approval of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the approval of mining in Rocky Mountain National Park and the granting of liability waivers.

“This election season is showing that voters want their elected officials to be accountable, so it is crucial for the public to have a go-to place to find up-to-the-minute information about what their members of Congress are doing, including during the peculiar period of a lame-duck session,” said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. “If outrageous bills or amendments are brought up during the lame-duck session, the public needs to know who is responsible – including the GOP congressional leadership and the retired and fired members who are leaving Congress.”

LameDuckHunt.org contains links to other blogs and organizations that track key issues. The blog got its name from the term “lame duck,” a phrase coined centuries ago at London’s Stock Exchange to refer to brokers who defaulted on debts. A lame-duck session is one convened after the November general elections (and before inauguration of the next Congress) to vote on various items of unfinished or long delayed business. Too often, in the rush to adjourn for the year, congressional leaders sneak special interest earmarks, tax breaks and subsidies into the large wrap-up, end-of-the-year bills, sometimes referred to as Christmas tree bills.

“It is hard to explain to friends overseas that under our democratic system, retired and fired lawmakers come back to vote even while seeking their next job. Maybe they are angling to be a corporate lobbyist or sit on a corporate board. Maybe they want a plum position in the Bush administration,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division, which designed and inaugurated the blog. “Regardless, many of these representatives are probably unhappy with the voters and would cast votes without caring much about the opinion of a public that just rejected them.”