Democrats & Liberals Archives

More Government Corruption

Headlines involving government corrution are becoming all too commonplace. We have to begin weeding out members of the government who have traded their responsability to serve the public and instead serve only lobbyists, special interest groups and their wealthy friends and connections, who are more than willing to buy access to government.

From the Washington Post:

"The Bush administration's top federal procurement official resigned Friday and was arrested yesterday, accused of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with the federal government. It was the first criminal complaint filed against a government official in the ongoing corruption probe related to Abramoff's activities in Washington."

From The Post Standard:
Grant Reeher

A report from the Center for Public Integrity found that Lobbyists and Special Interests Groups who are best able to raise and spend large amounts of money were able to greatly influence the political system, either through the mass media or through questionable lobbying practices. Lobbyists represent those who have money to spare and they just happen to be the same people who receive concentrated benefits from the government. People who have little money end up incurring most of the concentrated costs.
He poses this situation:
Compare the motivation for policy making for a real estate developer who gives generously to a campaign facing a change in land-use laws with that of a medicaid recipient facing a three-dollar increase in prescrition drug co-payments.
Who do you think will be ignored?
This tilt has become more worrisome in recent years because economic inequality in the United States has grown considerably.According to the Center for Public Integrity 1/1000 of the population gave all of the maximum hard-money donations in the primaries leading up to the 2004 elections.
The divide between the haves and the have nots is now an indicator of where you will be regardless of your efforts, unlike the past when it could be used as a motivator for those who have not, to reach for the American dream and become a person who has.
The report shows that the system allows greater leverage and access to government for the wealthiest of our citizens and a disregard for the needs of the middle class and poor.
It also shows how corruption has become commonplace if we allow them to masquerade it as lobbying.
We need transparency in government.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at September 20, 2005 11:30 AM
Comments
Comment #81599

Andre:

Money in politics is a huge problem, and has been for a long time. Its endemic in both parties, and will be endemic in all parties that have any real political power.

I understand the concept of not limiting freedom of speech, which many claim is the reason that people should be able to put money where they wish. But its to the point that those with money speak with a megaphone, while those without can barely whisper.

I like the idea of limiting lobbyists, and certainly limiting ex govt officials from becoming lobbyists. But it seems there are many ways around that, so its ineffective. I also like the idea of full transparency of where money comes from….this might make politicians more careful.

Any ideas from you on how to solve this problem?>

Posted by: joebagodonuts at September 20, 2005 12:35 PM
Comment #81601

Ok Andre,
How do we deal with the problem for to ask Congress or the Whitehouse to change their pratice has not worked. Is the Democrats ready to bring charges against “The Free Speech” of this citizens? Probably not, yet it seems to me that ACLO should be all over this issue.

What needs to be done IMO is to organize a list of the corporations that benifit from these activities and write open letters to their Stockholders. Given the fate of Tyco’s Ex-excutives yesterday, the companies and shareholders would than have the right to bring charges against these few citizens that think that money can buy them everything. Talk about a chilling effect. Put a couple of them in jail for 25 years and see if the people don’t change the way they conduct business.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 20, 2005 12:43 PM
Comment #81604

Idea! A DC federal police force managed and directed by the State’s Governors whose primary mission and responsibility is to clean up federal government and enforce the laws passed by those who want to break them. What is good for the goose, should be good for the gander, eh?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 20, 2005 1:36 PM
Comment #81608

What’s new? And what’s the point of this article? It’s no big secret that the media is primarily liberal. I seldom defend Bush but look at what your saying. Bush and his admin could be completely blameless and there would still be mountains of rhetoric, accusations and fabrications from the left. The same thing went for right-wing adversaries against Clinton. It all comes down to this epidemic of political bigotry; the thinking that no matter what the “other” guys say or do, it’s wrong

….and it’s oh so old.

Posted by: brando at September 20, 2005 2:10 PM
Comment #81615

***WARNING, YOUNG IDEOLOGICAL IDIOT ABOUT TO SPEAK HIS MIND***

It was true in the time of the greeks and the romans after them, and its true now. MONEY TALKS. personally, i think that as an elected offical, one should be audited once per year, goes along nicely with the yearly checkup, and that the results of this audit should be publicly posted. same for all PACs and lobbyists too. I would love to see the wallmart PAC explain away a trip to tahiti for 10 congressmen and their wives for example. also, no more slush funds, no more 1000+ page bills, and everything should be posted to the public, hell if celebrites can manage their own blogs so can the congress of the united states of america.

Posted by: young GDI at September 20, 2005 2:44 PM
Comment #81616

and just to be perfectly clear, no i do not know if the wallmart PAC actually sent 10 congressmen and their wives on a tropical vacation. the above example is as far as i know, purely hypothetical.

Posted by: young GDI at September 20, 2005 3:04 PM
Comment #81624

These examples point more to a corrupt lobbyist organization.

There are a lot of laws on the books pertaining to lobbyists, but are they being enforced? I hate the idea of adding more laws if we are not enforcing the ones we have.

Posted by: Discerner at September 20, 2005 3:31 PM
Comment #81634

Did anyone watch C-Span2 yesterday? A Senate committee “invited” 3 top oil company execs to explain the hugh profits amassed in the past 3 months. None of them showed. No republican senators showed, either. This looks like nobody will be able to reign in this administration or their oil buddies. So, the question was asked, “what can be done?” It sure looks bad when people can ignore a Senate inquiry with impunity and the majority party doesn’t even send one representative to the hearing.

Posted by: Mike Fazzi at September 20, 2005 4:18 PM
Comment #81636

Say Mike,

That hearing you saw the other day was not authorized by the senate. Repubulicans are the majority. The dems have a withch hunt out there thats all. Dog and pony. talking to the choir. Kerry the war hero lost Bush won get over it.

Posted by: Thomas at September 20, 2005 4:46 PM
Comment #81637

To believe that politicians chose that avocation for any other reason than personal gain IMO is short sighted.

Members of Congress for example earn $158K per annum. This figure goes as high as $203K for majority/minority leaders, committee chairs, etc. The fringe benefit and retirement package is second to none.

The group typically votes on the timing and amount of it’s own pay increase. They are exposed to situations every day that invites various degrees of corruption and/or opportunities for personal gain and entertainment.

During their elected term they are compensated regardless of their performance.

Pleadings of the very constituants that they represent more often than not go unresolved or even acted upon.

I hesitate to refer to any politician, save any that might be serving voluntarilly at a low level, as a “public servant”. They are as self serving as the very CEO’s we continually criticize and condemn for their “astronomic” compensation packages.

To expect anything other than political and governmental corruption given the lattitude and operational guidelines in which we allow them to operate is, to say the least overly optimistic.

Posted by: steve smith at September 20, 2005 4:52 PM
Comment #81640

brando,

If you were to read my post, you might notice that Bush was never mentioned by me. I only quoted an article from the Washington Post.
The post is about government. Not a particular political party.
I see a need for transparency in government. I feel we need sweeping reform at every level of our government. I think that both parties need to be held accountable for their roles in corrupting our government and putting the power in the hands of a small fraction of our citizenry because they have money and then allow them to dictate policy to make more money and hold the power. Our government needs to be policed. Lobbying should be done in a more public forum or made illegal. Contracts should be awarded after publicized,open bidding has been completed. City, State and Federal governments should be required to open up the books twice a year and face audits based on tax payer needs being addressed Vs.pork spending and cronyism.
It should be illegal to mismanage tax payer money for the purpose of personal financial gain by those in office and their friends. We need to put as much distance between government officials and our money as we can.
I would like to see a seperate group of accountants and auditors of city,state and federal government that reads and translates bills to us so that we know what is being slipped into them. They can be voted into office by a majority vote and not be allowed to campaign. Just run based on their qualifications not their connections.
I know I rambling but brando I really don’t think we can allow this to happen any longer. We need change now.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 20, 2005 5:17 PM
Comment #81652

Andre,

Great idea, but the big question is how? Until we end this whole money = free speech thing, I don’t see how we can accomplish much change. If you see things differently, tell me why.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 6:01 PM
Comment #81658

Steve,

I don’t think that $158K constitutes “astronomic” pay. Most of these people could make more in the private sector if they choose. Politicians are not in it for the money.

SO, throw that argument out all together.

The best way to attract better people is to pay more, not less. If you pay less, then only rich people will be able to serve. (just to keep up with two places to live takes the bulk of your money…DC is not a cheap place). It is just about a rich man’s job now anyway.

Posted by: discerner at September 20, 2005 6:14 PM
Comment #81666

discerner,

Our “representatives” get kick-backs and benefits far beyond the $158K.

Besides “better people” don’t necessarily do it for the money, they would do it because they honestly want to be pulic servants. That is…if, you know, they could afford to get elected!

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 6:47 PM
Comment #81667
Whats new? And whats the point of this article? Its no big secret that the media is primarily liberal. I seldom defend Bush but look at what your saying. Bush and his admin could be completely blameless and there would still be mountains of rhetoric, accusations and fabrications from the left. The same thing went for right-wing adversaries against Clinton. It all comes down to this epidemic of political bigotry; the thinking that no matter what the other guys say or do, its wrong

.and its oh so old.

You Republicans never miss an opportunity to take a swipe at Clinton and the Democrats even though there isn’t a Democrat in sight.

Once again we have an example of a Republican pointing a finger at the other party when their candidate is the one appointing croonies and crooks.

After all the millions spent investigating the Clintons and their business dealings, whitewater, etc…, the only charge that stuck was lying about having sex with an intern.


Posted by: Pat at September 20, 2005 6:49 PM
Comment #81669

Steve
Why do they need two places to live? In my opinion, they should be spending 3 weeks of every month in their home state finding out what their constituents want, and ONE week in D.C. telling/ voting what their constituents told them they wanted. ( NOT what the congressperson thinks is best) They’re elected and paid to represent US.

Posted by: smitty at September 20, 2005 6:55 PM
Comment #81671

P.S. Steve
Maybe they are NOT in it for the money,but I believe, in SPITE of the deficit and state of the economy, they will vote themselves another “midnight” raise this year.

Posted by: smitty at September 20, 2005 7:01 PM
Comment #81691

The government is corrupt ?
Wow. Imagine that. How could that be ?
After all, the government is of/by/for the people. Right ?

Any ideas from you on how to solve this problem?

Here’s a few ideas: home.comcast.net/~d.a.n/ElectionReform.htm

The big money influence should be eliminated (but it won’t be). Evidently, we don’t all have an equal voice in government, despite what you’ve been programmed to believe….not that we’d care anyway about anything anyway. Duh !

5% of the U.S. population has 59% of all wealth.
So, the remaining 95% don’t have an equal voice in government. Especially, since government is for sale.
90% of the population only has 29.54% of all wealth.
80% of the population only has 17% of all wealth.
60% of the population only has 5.2% of all wealth.
40% of the population only has 0.8% of all wealth.

I don’t have anything against the wealthy, as long as they don’t abuse it to influence government.
_____________________________________
The federal government sucks.
Both main parties suck.
Neither party want election/campaign reform.
Pretty soon, the U.S. will suck too (if it doesn’t already).

OK. Bring it on. Tell me to go live in another country. You know what. I’m considering it, because this country sucks. Don’t think so ?
See what government ignores decade after decade:
home.comcast.net/~d.a.n/PressingProblemsFacingTheUS_NoBackLinks.htm

Before you get on you’re high horse, you’d better ask yourself what your life will be like in the next depression ? It’s not a matter of if. It’s now just a matter of when.

And, we all, scum bag politicians and selfish, apathetic, dependent voters brought it all on ourselves. I hope the rest of you are wealthy enough to avoid the inevitable storm that awaits you. Because, we all have ourselves to thank for it.

Actually, we all deserve each other.


Posted by: d.a.n at September 20, 2005 9:17 PM
Comment #81696

If a lot of polititians arent in it for the
money, I can’t understand why some are willing
to spend millions to get a job that pays “only”
158 grand a year. I too think that we are heading
for some dismal economic times, but you can be
sure that the nabobs and plutocrats will come out
o.k., even if they do have to take up residence
elsewhere.

It might be a good time to review the history of
the French revolution before most of us are
eating cake.


Posted by: Disgusted in GA at September 20, 2005 10:02 PM
Comment #81699

d.a.n.

You may go.
However, you probably won’t.

Posted by: Bob at September 20, 2005 10:32 PM
Comment #81702

Bob,
Thank you for your permission do to so.
I knew some one wouldn’t be able to resist.
We’ll see.
Like American Pundit, and 7 million other Americans, my wife and I (both engineers) may soon be moving to Europe, Austrailia, or elsewhere.
I was born in the U.S. in 1957, and the U.S. has steadily declined ever since, because of rampant laziness and greed (politicians and voters alike). Those that like, should stay and wallow in it to the bitter end.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 20, 2005 10:50 PM
Comment #81703

Discerner…. you said that I said….

“I dont think that $158K constitutes astronomic pay. Most of these people could make more in the private sector if they choose. Politicians are not in it for the money.

SO, throw that argument out all together.”

I did not say that $158K was astronomic pay. What I said was that
“I hesitate to refer to any politician, save any that might be serving voluntarilly at a low level, as a public servant. They are as self serving as the very CEOs we continually criticize and condemn for their astronomic compensation packages.”

Also, the expense account priveleges and tax writ-offs for second residences, etc. make the actual value of their compensation much, much higher than the way above average camper.


Posted by: steve smith at September 20, 2005 11:13 PM
Comment #81707

I have been doing business within Europe and the Pacific Rim for the last 10 years, and you can have it…

You’ll enjoy Europe because everyone relies on the government to take care of them. You don’t have to work hard because company’s can’t fire you. If your average or below average in your skill set, you’ll love it. If not, you’ll be back. I’ve seen it happen a lot.

Now the Pacific Rim is different, If your not good and if you don’t want to work that hard, you’ll be back because you won’t have a job.

Good Luck to the both of you…

Posted by: Bob at September 20, 2005 11:54 PM
Comment #81720

d.a.n. raises a great point. Our international stock funds have outperformed American stocks 2 to 1, this year. WSJ reports international stock funds are the fastest growing stock funds sector in American portfolios. 40+ % of our 8 Trillion dollar national debt is owed to foreign investors and the US is having to steadily increase interest rates in order to continue to attract ever more reluctant foreign investors. And with 2.3% of the American population already having taken up permanent foreign residence, it would appear there is a message here that American voters and patriots alike should be paying attention to.

But, alas, such data is meaningless to most Americans and d.a.n may be right, we may be witnessing the smart rats jumping ship, the rich rats remaining because they can afford to live anywhere, why not under the protection of the greatest military in the world, and the rest of the rats perceiving they have no choice but to remain on board with only the comfort of a little flag waving as a balm upon the hurts and insults which an unequal, unfair, unjust, and relatively unintelligent government and society avails to them.

America is rapidly changing from the land of opportunity to the land of the opportunists. And the evidence of that is everywhere to be seen.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2005 3:07 AM
Comment #81723

d.a.n, I’m only here until my wife trains a Singaporean to do her job for about one third the pay (we’re both engineers too, BTW). On the other hand, Australia seems to be a land of opportunity… ;)

As for money and politics, the problem is the constant solicitation of campaign funds. My favorite solution is James Carville’s system:

Believe it or not, there is a way, a constitutional way, to fix our campaign finance system…. Forget all the spending caps and loopholes and assorted gobbledygook ? here’s how it works. We make a law that says, “No member of Congress can take or solicit anything of value from any person.” It’s that simple.

The problem, of course, is convincing our representatives that money and politics are a bad mix. I email my reps about every six months, but they’re not interested: “If another campaign finance bill is introduced, I’ll certainly consider supporting it.” Thanks… For nothing. :(

Posted by: American Pundit at September 21, 2005 7:37 AM
Comment #81736

AP said:
“‘If another campaign finance bill is introduced, Ill certainly consider supporting it.’ Thank… For nothing. :(“

Well, I’m kind of glad I’m not the only one getting those letters. Not that it’s a good thing that we’re being ignored by our “representatives,” but it is kind of reassuring to know I’m not the ONLY one being ignored by my representatives.

Now, at this point, I don’t see how we can get effective campaign reform by going through Congress. There’s just something that doesn’t make sense about that, considering they’re the ones basking in the corruption. Is there a way for us to take this to another government body to get effective change? Like say, the Supreme Court?

Could concerned citizens file a class-action lawsuit, push it up to the Supreme Court somehow, and force the money out of our elections?

I honestly don’t know if that’s possible, but if it is, why haven’t we done it? If it isn’t, is there something we can do to change that? Or is it simply we (or the lawyers who might represent us) just don’t believe we could win this in court?

Posted by: Stephanie at September 21, 2005 10:14 AM
Comment #81744

Stephanie,

Let’s give it a shot.
We have nothing to lose.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 21, 2005 11:35 AM
Comment #81774

Pat,

||You Republicans never miss an opportunity to take a swipe at Clinton and the Democrats even though there isn�t a Democrat in sight.||

huh? If anything, I’m siding with Clinton here. Did you even read what you quoted? I was saying that during Clinton’s term as president there were all sorts of bigoted headhunters waiting for an ill story regardless of merit and just like then we have the same thing, only now it’s against Bush. Point being, ideals tend to take a back seat to party allegience. And for the record, I am not a republican. Don’t be so quick to judge; you’re making yourself the statistic here.

Andre: in response, I agree with you 100%. Thank you.

Posted by: brando at September 21, 2005 2:10 PM
Comment #81781

An Optimistic Progressive Speaking His Mind!

Quotes from Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
American 32nd US President (1933-45), cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President. (1901-09)

?The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group?

?No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.?

?The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.?

?The hopes of the Republic cannot forever tolerate either undeserved poverty or self-serving wealth.?

?An election cannot give a country a firm sense of direction if it has two or more national parties which merely have different names but are as alike in their principles and aims as two peas in the same pod?

Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.?

?The moment a mere numerical superiority by either states or voters in this country proceeds to ignore the needs and desires of the minority, and for their own selfish purpose or advancement, hamper or oppress that minority, or debar them in any way from equal privileges and equal rights — that moment will mark the failure of our constitutional system.?

?I consider it a public duty to answer falsifications with facts. I will not pretend that I find this an unpleasant duty. I am an old campaigner, and I love a good fight.?

?We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace; business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hatred for me - and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second administration that in it these forces met their master.?

To show you the stark difference between FDR and the Bush Dynasty all I have to do is give you two telling quotes. One is from the lying and unethical George W. Bush and the other is from the Empress Dowager herself, Barbara Bush (showing that the apple doesn?t fall far from the tree).

A quote from George W. Bush
American 43rd US president since 2001. b.1946

“You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”

The Barbara Bush outrage:

?Barbara Bush? laughed at them. She told National Public Radio with a chuckle that “because so many of the people [harmed]were underprivileged anyway” the disaster “is working very well for them.”

I don?t think that is much difference today in the threat to our democracy than the threat at from the time that FDR took office. He came in to solve the hopeless disaster that the corporate owned Hoover Administration had wrought on this country and now we need another FDR to save us from the almost hopeless disaster that the corporate owned Congress and the Bush dynasty have visited upon us! Where can we find a leader with ?true moral values? and a fighter like FDR willing to stand up to the same ?old enemies of peace; business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism and war profiteering??

I don?t think we?ll be able to find one if you can’t tell the difference between him (or her) and the Bush profiteers. I wonder and I hope that someone will come along and ?pull the sword out of the stone.?

Shayne Munger
A Still Optimistic Progressive
5184 Merrill Ave.
Riverside, CA 92504

Maybe we can find a leader from one of the following mentioned in this article. I’m encouraged that someone is finally speaking up and someone may offer a Democratic solution to this Republican mess!

From the WashingtonPost.com:

Democrats On Offense
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 21, 2005; 8:57 AM

John Kerry and John Edwards rip Bush over Katrina. Bill Clinton blasts the tax cuts. Harry Reid says he’ll vote against Roberts.
Do you detect something of a pattern here?

A more aggressive Democratic opposition, washed in by the hurricane, appears to be finding its voice.

Whether it’s a winning message or not remains to be seen. But liberals who feel the Beltway Dems have been way too timid for the last four years must be pouring the champagne

In the case of Kerry and Edwards, the ‘08 positioning by the ‘04 boys couldn’t be more obvious.

With Bush’s poll ratings at record lows, the thought crossed my mind: What if Katrina had struck a year ago? Could it have changed the outcome of the election?
In my humble opinion, the Democrats need to do more than just criticize the bungling of the past. They need to lay out a compelling vision for the reconstruction of New Orleans. There’s an important debate to be had here, but my sense is that voters don’t have much patience for the usual partisan bickering.

It’s similar, in a way, to the Democratic dilemma over Iraq: Yes, we know it’s a mess, but what would you do differently in the future?

The disparate paths taken by the two Johns speak volumes about their approaches. Kerry, sounding very much in 2004 form, unleashed a litany that attempted to tie the hurricane debacle to other perceived Bush failures:

“Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq, what George Tenet is to slam-dunk intelligence, what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad, what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy, what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning, what Tom DeLay is to ethics and what George Bush is to ‘Mission Accomplished’ and ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’ “

Edwards, one of the few politicians who talks frequently about poverty—as in his signature “Two Americas” speech last year—offered policy prescriptions while hitting the White House for suspending prevailing (read: union) wages on Katrina projects:
“I might have missed something, but I don’t think the president ever talked about putting a cap on the salaries of the CEOs of Halliburton and the other companies … who are getting all these contracts. This president, who never met an earmark he wouldn’t approve or a millionaire’s tax cut he wouldn’t promote, decided to slash wages for the least of us and the most vulnerable.”

Link to the rest of the article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/blog/2005/09/21/BL2005092100556.html?referrer=email

Posted by: Shayne Munger at September 21, 2005 2:46 PM
Comment #81782

Stephanie,

||Could concerned citizens file a class-action lawsuit, push it up to the Supreme Court somehow, and force the money out of our elections?||

Interesting idea, but if money is no longer a motivator, won’t acquisition and amassment of power itself replace it? - how do we keep politicians from becoming/staying politicians for this reason? How does a government genuinely encourage politicians to run soley for the good of their constituency, the people? Doesn’t the answer lie in more frequent rollover of politicians and extreme limitations to what one politician can do alone? The human heart is inherently dark, you know…

Posted by: brando at September 21, 2005 2:50 PM
Comment #81791
Could concerned citizens file a class-action lawsuit, push it up to the Supreme Court somehow, and force the money out of our elections?

If so, sign me up! I’m all for it…

Posted by: BradM at September 21, 2005 3:16 PM
Comment #81793
Interesting idea, but if money is no longer a motivator, wont acquisition and amassment of power itself replace it?

Probably for some… Which is why I agree with you that frequent rollover and strict term limits are a good part of this as well… However, it’s not so much the dollars that the politicians make in their paychecks as it is the amount of dollars that they receive in exchange for “favors” from big businesses and wealthy contributors… If you take that away then the playing field gets a lot more even for the normal folks to be able to run for office against them. More and more people (like me) are growing tired beyond words with the “party before country” approach that our government has become. I’ll support just about anything that would weaken the politicians reasons to operate that way.

Posted by: BradM at September 21, 2005 3:27 PM
Comment #81797

Andre & BradM,

Thank you. I appreciate that I’m not alone in my concern.

brando,

Right now spending money on political campaigns is considered an act of free speech. That means, those with more money have more political free speech than those with less. I personally do not think this is appropriate for a democracy, or even a beauracracy or representative democracy, whatever it is you’d prefer to call us.

Match that with high-level compensation for our representatives (which isn’t, IMO, totally inappropriate) paired with fringe benefits like the favor of lobbyists (which, IMO, IS totally inappropriate), along with very lucrative post-government positions (often as lobbyists) and it is my opinion that the money that drives our politics is a major influence that is corrupting our nation. When I can write my representatives, and AP can write his representatives, and we’re both ignored, but Halliburton can have the physical ear of Pres. Bush pressed right up against his mouth (and, yes, the Dems do this too!), then it becomes obvious that money has an inappropriate influence on American politics.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 21, 2005 4:40 PM
Comment #81839

I say use the system against itself.

But we all know term limits will never pass.

senators no more than two terms and congressman know more than 4 terms.NO MORE CAREER POLITICIANS! change the face of this government at the pollong station no more incumbents!

Posted by: Chris Davis at September 21, 2005 8:43 PM
Comment #81840

I agree with the title of the article. More government corruption. Less transparency. Dollars should equal votes. Power should be measured by force of arms. Logic should only be used to count the bodies. No point in denying ourselves. It is our destiny. We should embrace it. Denial is unhealthy.

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at September 21, 2005 8:51 PM
Comment #81908

Joseph Briggs,

Yikes!
Please tell me you’re joking.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 22, 2005 7:34 AM
Comment #82147

There may be a way to resolve this.
Vote only for non-incumbents,
repeatedly, every election, until
government adequately addresses the nation’s
top 10 most important, no-brainer, least contentious problems.
Also, start some recalls to get rid of the
truly greedy, irresponsible politicians.
Otherwise, we will repeat our historical cycle.
We are on the path to worse times, and
politicians won’t tackle tough issues for fear
of risking re-election. The system is broken.
Since government won’t reform itself, it is
now up to voters to change it, or suffer the
consequences of their inaction, complacency, apathy, and laziness.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 27, 2005 10:00 AM
Comment #82156

d.a.n, I like the job one of my incumbent Senators is doing. Why would I vote her out of office?

Posted by: American Pundit at September 27, 2005 10:41 AM
Comment #82197

Is she discouraging pork-barrel ?
Is she guilty of pork-barrel ? Almost all are.
Is she really for election reform ?
Is she really for campaign finance reform ?
Is she fighting to lower the National Debt ?
Did she vote yes to give herself a raise ?
Is she fighting to secure our borders ?
Is she really dedicated to stopping illegal immigration ?
Did she vote to invade Iraq ?
Do politicians police their own ranks to be responsible and accountable ?
Is she doing anything to shore up Medicare and Social Security.
With so much pork-barrel in bills, how do you know why she voted for/against a bill ?
Is she doing anything about our energy vulnerability ?
Is she doing anything about the increasingly expensive and unreliable health care ?
Does she really think it’s possible to pay down an $8 trillion National Debt (that will soon be $10 trillion) ?
Did she do anthing to reduce election fraud ?
Did she turn down big money finacing for her [re]eleciton ?
Is she for corporatism and corpocrisy ?
Is she for sale like most politicians ?
Is she for a fair tax system, or like it the way it has been perverted ?
Is she doing anything to resolve these pressing problems? : http://home.comcast.net/~d.a.n/PressingProblemsFacingTheUS_NoBackLinks.htm

The problem is just that.
You think she’s doing a good job.
What’s her name?
I seriously doubt it, because politicians
avoid tough issues for fear of risking re-election.
Therefore, the fact is, they do very little that is actually any net benefit to society, while they run all about looking very busy and important.
The system is broken.

The system is one entity.
The entire system must be over-hauled.
One way to peacefully force that to happen is
to restore a balance of power (not simply shift it) by voting only for non-incumbents, repeatedly, until they
realize doing little to nothing is no
longer acceptable. Voters should keep doing it
until the nation’s top 10 worst, no-brainer,
least contentious problems are adequately addressed. And, when more transparency is achieved by a few new rules, that will let the
people easily see exactly who is cheating, and
who isn’t, so they’ll then know who to re-elect,
and who to vote out. That would be better than what we’re currently doing … actually empowering government to be irresponsible and unaccountable. And, government will not reform itself.

But, AP, don’t worry about it too much.
It’s doubtful Americans will ever do that.
We are doomed to do it the hard way.
The cycle is probably inescapable, because of
the nature of each phase. We’re in the phase
of selfishness, apathy, complacency, fiscal & moral bankruptcy.
So, we’ll most likely do it the hard way.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 27, 2005 1:43 PM
Comment #85010

we need to vote in common class people,like us.Where we remember our friends like us theones hurting……..

Posted by: common joe at October 11, 2005 10:57 PM
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