Ethics Reform; Minnesota Bridge Collapse
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Last night's bridge collapse on a major commuter artery for Minneapolis
could be a wakeup call for America's infrastructure. Also, with one of
its senior members under investigation, will the Senate agree to ethics
reforms passed by the House? Is Washington really trying to clean up
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Tragedy in Minnesota When Bridge Collapses ()
At least four people were killed and 80 were injured in last night's rush-hour disaster when Minnesota's I-35W Bridge collapsed over the Mississippi River. Rescue workers say 20 to 30 more were pinned or trapped in the wreckage of falling steel, concrete and cars. In 2001, a report to the State of Minnesota said that while the bridge had not experienced "fatigue cracking," it did have poor "fatigue details" on the "floor truss system," described as the "primary load-carrying members" of the bridge's superstructure. Today, Mark Rosenker, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said it will take time to figure out what went wrong. We get an update from the scene of an accident that could be a wake-up call about America's infrastructure.
- Nick Coleman: Columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Tom Meersman: Environmental reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Rhoda Fukushima: Reporter for the St. Paul Pioneeer Press
- Stephen Cass: Senior Editor at Discover magazine
Will Ethics Reform Bill Clean Up Washington? ()
After a series of scandals led to fines and imprisonment of lobbyists and members of Congress last year, the new Democratic majority promised reform. This week, after closed-door debates and compromises, the House passed an ethics bill by a vote of 411 to 8. The Senate takes it up next. Provisions include bans on gifts and limitations on travel provided by lobbyists, disclosure of "earmarks" and reporting by lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more by "bundling" smaller donations from various people.
- Melanie Sloan: Executive Director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
- Jerry Kammer: Reporter for the Copley News Service, @wwwCISorg
- Ken Gross: former Enforcement Head at the Federal Election Commission
- Wright Andrews: former President of the American League of Lobbyists
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