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Books Speak Volumes About Congressional Reform

Tea partyers disheartened with the ways of Congress and those who believe Congress is broken and needs fixing have a few choices in new and updated books. 

Authors Joseph Gibson and Lloyd Lim, piggybacking on the Republican wave in the 2010 midterms, have presented their ideas on how to achieve that elusive change in government. Gibson, a former GOP Hill staffer, writes in “A Better Congress: Change the Rules, Change the Results” about the problems that led to the reforms and changes in Congress several decades ago, even as the procedures of the House and Senate (specifically the filibuster), as well as the influences from special interests, keep lawmakers repeating what they do as long as they keep getting re-elected.

Lim, a reform advocate based in Hawaii, takes a similar approach in “Reinventing Government: A Practitioner’s Guide,” by exploring procedures in Congress, the struggle to get elected and the role of lobbyists in the legislative process. 

Even Joseph DioGuardi, an enthusiastic accountant who served in the House in the mid-1980s, pumped out his manifesto again. 

Earlier this year, DioGuardi self-published an updated edition of his 1992 opus “Unaccountable Congress: It Doesn’t Add Up,” which was first released by Regnery Publishing. In this latest version, DioGuardi — the father of former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi — offers both astute and obvious observations about what led the country to a financial meltdown in 2008. 

He muses, “There’s a common thread here that I began to unwind in the original printing of this book and it’s still unraveling today.” This re-release, complete with a glossier cover, coincided with DioGuardi’s unsuccessful 2010 run for the U.S. Senate — a seat won by incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). 

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