By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
It's good money. Livingston brought in $350,000 in fees from up to 31 clients in the first six months he was in business. His clients include such names as Lockheed Martin, Global Communications, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and several Louisiana companies.
The only way to get nearly comparable lobby access is to hire a congressman's or senator's wife. In the case of someone like Tom Daschle, the Democratic Senate minority leader, whose wife, Linda, represents major airlines, this sort of entrée can't be beat.
Efforts to tighten rules governing former members who turn to lobbying have gotten nowhere. Legislation sponsored by New Jersey Democratic congressman Robert Andrews to increase the so-called "cooling off" period from one to five years never got even one cosponsor and, needless to say, never made it out of committee.
The Colorado River is America's greatest natural treasure and a symbol of what the environmental movement ought to be fighting for. It begins in the high Rockies and drops 14,000 feet in a wild 1700-mile torrent to the Pacific Ocean. There is simply nothing else like it. To have been on this river is to have experienced a hallowed moment.
In 1956, horrendous judgment by the government led to the building of the Glen Canyon dam at the Colorado's upper end. The dam created a 300-foot-deep artificial reservoir called Lake Powell, covering the ancient riverbed lands of the Anasazi Indians and their descendants in the Navajo and Ute tribes. The water inundated canyons and tributary streams leading into the main river. So today, instead of the beautiful Glen Canyon, all you see are flotillas of stinking motorboats.
The dam and reservoir have led to the deterioration of the whole river. The reservoirthe second largest in the United Statesand the downstream remnants of the Colorado are becoming a toxic sewer, transforming the river and its tributaries into a hazardous waste dump.
Since the dam went up, environmentalists have ranted against it. Edward Abbey dreamed of the day someone would blow it up. Wallace Stegner, the great western historian, fought it. Environmentalist David Brower at first fought the dam, then gave in as part of a deal to save other natural monuments. Now in his eighties and fighting cancer, he has returned to lead a last effort to dismantle it.
Last December, a group of environmentalists, calling themselves the Glen Canyon Action Network (www.drainit.org), set up headquarters in Moab, Utah. Their aim is to force the government to decommission the dam, drain Lake Powell, and restore the Colorado River. The group includes river rafters, small business owners, traditional Navajos, and a descendant of Brigham Young. In an era in which the federal government is having second thoughts about big damsseriously discussing decommissioning three on the Snake RiverBrower and his compatriots feel the time is right for a change in policy. For inspiration, there is Barry Goldwater. Shortly before he died, the right-wing Arizona senator was asked which vote he most regretted. "I wish I could take back the vote to put up the Glen Canyon dam," he replied, "and let that river run free."
Jeff Gates in the current Realist computes that the payment under discussion for former Nazi slave laborers is $7500 per survivorwhich comes down to $14.73 if it had been given in 1945 and invested in an S&P index fund.
Additional reporting: Kate Cortesi