http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20070118/a_lobbying18.art.htm Senate Democrats fight proposal to ban relatives lobbying Some back it only if family members are grandfathered By Fredreka Schouten USA TODAY WASHINGTON — As the Senate works on sweeping new ethics rules this week, Majority Leader Harry Reid and other leading Democrats are resisting changes that strike close to home. A proposal by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., that would ban senators' spouses from lobbying the chamber has triggered intense debate with key senators such as Reid and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., promising to oppose it if it affects senators already married to lobbyists. Reid, D-Nev., would support the ban "as along as it's not retroactive," his spokesman Jim Manley said Wednesday. Feinstein, who oversees the committee that governs Senate rules, also backs a provision that would exempt current senator-lobbyist couples. SNIP Vitter said that if Democrats move to more broadly exempt current lobbyists and senators from his proposal, it would send a "cynical" message: "Yeah, we're going to get serious about ethics as long as it doesn't affect our friends." SNIP The GOP proposals go further than the current ethics package proposed by Senate Democrats, which would require lawmakers to publicly disclose the projects they insert in bills, now often done in secret.