Of Corruption, Influence and "Special Interests"

In the wake of the Duke Cunningham resignation and guilty plea, the ethics problems surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the multitude of ethics investigations of Senators and Congressmen, there has come growing call for more restrictions on the corrosive effects of special interests on the political process. But in all the scandal mongering by the press, the issues of curruption, influence and special interests have become so intermingled that one cannot separate the legal from the illegal. However, there exists a massive functional and legal difference between corruption and influence. Similarly, the term “special interest” is a nullity, having no meaning due to its subjective nature.

Let's be clear, the kind of activity for which Duke Cunningham was convicted is corruption, the improper use of one's position for personal gain. He should and will be punished, as well I hope, those who paid the bribes. Corruption, graft, and bribery erode the faith in government people have a right to expect. Government service is a privilege and needs to be treated as a sacred duty to those who elect you to office. To use your office for private gain betrays not only the office, but your constituents, and the Republic as well.

But corruption is far different than influence. The latter represents the core interaction in a representative democracy, the former is illegal. Influence and the exercise of influence demonstrates the give and take, the compromise and competition of ideas in the political arena. Do some groups have more influence than others? Yes, and that is okay. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech and the right of the people to peaceably assembly to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It does not say that there shall be equal speech, or even equal access, merely that access cannot be abridged by Congress.

Which brings us to the concept of special interest. A "special interest," as the pejorative meaning it is commonly given, is any interest opposing your own. Thus if you are a pro-union Democrat, a special interest is any big business group that does not welcome or outright opposes unions, say Wal-Mart. On the other side of the same coin, if you are Wal-Mart, a labor union is a special interest. So who is correct? The answer is neither and both.

Neither is right because the pejorative term "special interest" is a nullity--it has no meaning until the context of a speaker is attached. Thus a disinterested outsider has no ability to distinguish a "normal interest" from a "special interest." Indeed, in the current atmosphere, no such thing as a normal interest exists; a disinterested observer would be confused as to the defnition of "special" in the political context.

Yet, both are right in that the opposing interest is special, by definition, to that interest. Every interest, outside of the improperly constucted pejorative, is a special interest. Each interest competing in the political and policy arena is special--to those who are members of the group interest. These individuals and entities share a common political goal and thus compete against the thousands of other interests for attention in the policy arena.

The competition of ideas inseparably adheres to the representative democractic system. Each interest espouses certain ideas regarding issues important to them, yet policymakers can direct their attention to a finite number of issues. It behooves each group to expend resources, human, financial, and/or otherwise, to be included on that list of issues. It is the expenditure of resources that can be called influence

To win in the competition of ideas, most interests cannot sit on the sidelines, waiting to be championed. The number of passive interests championed in our government is extremely limited. Politics is not a spectator sport, thus people get involved in interest groups. The relative influence of a group and the amount of that influence weilded by a group is related both to the size of the interest group and the value of its ideas. Those ideas and weight compete, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, in the political arena. But make no mistake, without that contest of ideas and interests, there would be no representative democracy. Rather we would have a dead Congress--boring and largely useless.

Indeed influence, or lobbying if you will, is necessary for the functional operation of our government. Given the vast areas of knowledge and legislation to which we have given Congress, it lies beyond the ability of even the most intellectually talented of humans to comprehend and judiciously legislate on that wide variety of topics. Thus, interest groups become the source of information. For every interest A trying to influence Congress or the state legislature on one issue, comes Issue B with a competing version. Thus, by the interaction of the competing interests before the legislatures comes that imperfect beast--legislation. While imperfect, no better governmental solution exists to deal with competing faction.

Interests, and again, all interests are special, seek to inlfuence Congressional action. Weilding influence is the legal result of the desire to win in the policy area. Corrpution on the other hand seeks to take the competition out of the arena by directing funds and energy into short-circiuting the normal policy making process.

James Madison wrote in Federalist #10:

There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.


We cannot cure the problems of interest groups by removing them all together from the political arena. We can controll its effects and a number of rational proposals are being offered, such as requiring prior notification as to the payor of Congressional travel. But to wholesale limit "special interests" will do more harm than good. We need those interests if we are to make our government work.

Posted by Matt Johnston at December 5, 2005 4:42 PM
Comments
Comment #99024

Matt,
An interest or corporation should not have the same rights as a person. This was true for the first century of our nation’s history. It was overruled by the Supreme Court in the 1870’s, when the 14th amendment- an amendment intended to address issues involving freed slaves- was extended to interests/corporations. This extension took years of effort by the Robber Barons.

There is no reason campaign contributions cannot be restricted to individual persons, in a limited amount. This renders the concerns about interests a moot point.

Posted by: phx8 at December 5, 2005 4:54 PM
Comment #99031

Phx8,

Campaign contributions are but the smallest drop in the bucket of how we control interests, aren’t they? What say you on the issues of lobbying, supporting third party think tanks, and the like? Aren’t these where the real impact of interest groups are made? Should corporations be exiled from these places as well?

Posted by: Rob at December 5, 2005 5:20 PM
Comment #99039

PHX8 hit it right on the head. No company should have the same rights as living breathing citzens. Todays congress run by the Hammer has hit the nails wrong and now too many are crooked. While money is not the root of all evil its evil power hungry people that use it to corrupt government. Yes Duke Cunningham along with all ivolved should face Treason charges. We are at war!! The Hammer, Duncan Hunter, one of the few gop leaders I respected, and Jerry Lewis should be forced out of their positons until a complete investigation is done. In years past its been the top brass and former members of congress who went to work for defense contractors. Since the GOP has won control of two thirds of our government and wants to control the courts they now take money right out in the open and dare anyone to stop them. I am speaking of no-bid contracts in Iraq and along the Gulf Coast. Congressman Hunter must face his son and explain why body armor and armored Humvees were not in Iraq. Why if the money was not there could his father be pushing for systems the DOD did not want. He and his crooked pals must face the dead soldiers families and answer that question…….

Posted by: jack bishop at December 5, 2005 5:36 PM
Comment #99040

Special interests are fine, lobbyists are fine, campaign donations are fine. Nothing inherently evil about any of these institutions of our Republic.

What turns them evil to our democracy is twofold. First, it is their veiled threat of withdrawal if elected officials don’t legislate according to the needs of those donors, lobbyists, and special interests. This gives them a megaphone in the ear of the elected officials that drowns out the concerns and agenda of the voters who elected them. And second, it is their power to force elected officials to consider the needs of the few over and above the needs of the nation and the voters en masse, when policy making and legislation are hammered out, using the age old argument that a politician can’t work for the people if they can’t get reelected, ergo do what the special interests want or lose your ability to serve.

Of course, there is no service to the public when special interests usurp the public’s agenda. It is a rationalization that most officials don’t realize they have succumbed to, or having realized it, accept it as the way things are. (I define special interests as those interests of a few Americans whose views and agenda are not shared by the majority of Americans.

For example, the majority of Americans want the pork spending halted. Despite this, the Senator from Alaska struck a deal to keep his millions for the bridge to nowhere under the condition that he not actually build the bridge. Now that is special interests that run counter to the will of the American people as a majority, and that is why America is heading down a road toward disaster, its democracy is broken, and the will of the people is repeatedly being ignored or contravened.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2005 5:39 PM
Comment #99053

There is one answer to the problems of corrupt and venal politicians, albeit an imperfect one.

Go back to the beginning of the Republic and look at the philosophy of the politicians of the time. Public service was a duty and would be for a limited time. It was only when we developed a professional politician mentality that the problems began to multiply. In today’s political arena, the major objective is reelection. Not much else matters. To get reelected requires large sums of money. This opens the door to all sorts of abuses, many of which we have seen in the past decade or so.

There is an answer, but it would require a Constitutional amendment that no politician would dare propose: Term limits on the national level. Limit each senator to one 12 year term and each representative to 2 4 year terms. Make these limits lifetime. Part two of the amendment would set an absolute limit on the amount that each candidate could spend getting elected and would ban contributions in excess of 10,000 dollars from any one entity, corporate or human. The amendment would ban so-called “soft money” and would require all funds collected to be used directly for the election of the candidate.

Enabling legislation would set punishment for violations at 5-10 years in prison and fines of 10 times the amount of the illegal donations. Betrayal of trust by a politician is worse than robbing a bank, in one money is lost, in the other confidence in the government is compromised. Let the punishment fit the crime.

An imperfect suggestion, probably. Does anyone have a better one?

Posted by: jback814 at December 5, 2005 6:46 PM
Comment #99059

I heard the Abramoff “ethics problems” referred to as an octopus yesterday on McLauglin’s “One on One” (although yesterday’s show was actually one on two since he had two guests) by Larry Sabato. He believes it’s going to continue to reach everywhere and be a scandal of massive proportions — as if this administration needed any more than they’ve already got!

Posted by: Adrienne at December 5, 2005 7:01 PM
Comment #99068

This from a Party who introduced the K-Street Project, a corrupt practice if there ever was one.

You reap what you sow.

Democrats get sex scandals and Republicans get money/abuse of power scandals.

Tells a lot about the character of both parties, eh?

Posted by: Aldous at December 5, 2005 7:37 PM
Comment #99069

jback814

“An imperfect suggestion, probably. Does anyone have a better one?”

nothing is perfect, and our government is far from it. i would disagree that there is only one solution, ever, to anything; however, your suggestion (though it most-assuredly needs some fine tuning), sounds like a very good start. bring that one up in congress and watch them squirm.

i second it.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2005 7:39 PM
Comment #99070

Read about our elected officials at work. This shit is crazy!

“The Alexander lobbyists’ sales pitch was, ‘Either you hire me or DeLay is going to screw you,’ ” an anonymous source identified as a top Republican lobbyist told the Congressional Quarterly weekly last month. “It was not really a soft sell.”

These are the people we elected to represent us?

Democrats get sex scandals and Republicans get money/abuse of power scandals.

Aldous,

I wouldn’t be too sure about that. The Republicans may have their own sex scandal on their hands soon.

Wilkes befriended other legislators, too. He ran a hospitality suite, with several bedrooms, in Washington – first in the Watergate Hotel and then in the Westin Grand near Capitol Hill.

Say what? A “hospitality suite with several bedrooms”? Who uses those bedrooms and for what?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 5, 2005 7:50 PM
Comment #99073

To me there are other corruption angles that has been missed in the post, but are equally poisionious to our society. It is simply the way in which the Congress deals in leglislation, especially the tax code. A few campaign contributions here and there will buy major exemptions. Is there any doubt why the tax code is so complicated? the same applies to all sorts of environmental, tort and liability legislation.

I do agree that part of the solution is Constitutionally solved, but in a different direction. Abolish the 17th Ammendment. Return the power to elect Senators to the State legislators. Currently, Senators and “want-to-be’s” must Constantly raise money for their quest for power. The NATIONAL political parties are more than happy to give money to state canidates that will tow their lines. So are the other “special intrests”. The end product is Senators that represent a PARTY and “special intrests”, rather than the people in their State. Incumbants have all of the advantages in elections, because they make the rules; therefore the problem feeds off of itself.

The other solutions are simple, but harder to achive. First, with voter turnout needs to increase to 75-85%. With about half of all elligible voters going to the polls, and about 60% of all voters voting for a Party no matter what, Officials are never held in check. They just have to pander to get about 20% of the electorate.

The other solution to political corruption is to adopt a fair and simple tax plan. I personally have read the Fair Tax Plan and encourage everyone to. Check it out at a library if you dont want to buy it. I believe most influence peddaling would be avoided and most lobby organizations would be out of buisness over night.

You asked for opinions, and without singling out either the Dems or the Repubs one over the other, I give you mine. Please critique.

Posted by: submariner at December 5, 2005 7:56 PM
Comment #99075

Corporate contributions should be banned, and contribution limits placed on individuals. The Constitution says “We the People” not “We Corporate America”.

We vote as individuals, corporations don’t get a vote, therefore I think if the heads of corporations want to make contributions they should have to make them as individuals using private money.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 5, 2005 8:01 PM
Comment #99082
“hospitality suite with several bedrooms”

I wonder if this has anything to do with
Guckert/Gannon

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 5, 2005 8:24 PM
Comment #99084

You might find this interesting.

Of the top ten organizations which made political contributions in 2004, only ONE leans Republican.

Then take a look at this list.

Of the top FIFTY individual donors, on the other hand, only three lean Democrat.

I say get that corporate money the heck out of politics and only allow people to donate their own money!


Posted by: sanger at December 5, 2005 8:29 PM
Comment #99086

Sanger actually advocates government to the highest bidder and the rest of Americans be damned. Thank you for your candor, Sanger.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2005 8:41 PM
Comment #99156

Government shouldn’t be FOR SALE.
That’s what we have.
Since the constitution prevents a ban on political contributions, but allows regulation, we should set limits, so that no group can have an unfair advantage. Since 5% of the population have 60% of all wealth, and 60% of the population has only 5% of all wealth, it is completely unfair for some people and corporations that abuse vast wealth and power to have a larger voice and control of government.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2005 12:01 AM
Comment #99158

As for politicians getting wined-and-dined by corporations and special interests, that clearly presents numerous conflicts of interest, and raises numerous ethical questions.
Again, government should not be FOR SALE.
This type of bribery and influence peddling should be illegal, and isn’t necessary at all for government to function properly.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2005 12:06 AM
Comment #99169

phx8,
What if a corporation is publicaly owned? Lots of you talk of corporations as if it they were some sort of monolithic form of life unto themselves. Is not a corporation a group of people organized to basically take advaantage of favorable tax status and a limit to some forms of legal liability as applies to personal assets? Cannot any two or more people in this country open their own business together and form a corporation? Are there any annual income requirements for a corporation? Ten thousand a year or ten billion a year? No difference. Same corporate laws apply. If two hundred thousand people pony up the cash to invest in a corporation should they be limited in protecting their financial interests more than a union or an individual? The United States is capitalistic society with a government that reflects the will of the people who live here. Always has been, always will be, like it or not. Our recourse is to either do our homework and not elect crooked representatives or if fooled, vote them out. The difference in our form of government is that we get the right to do that, unlike many other forms of government. I’m really not being idealisticaly naive about the realities or inherent flaws in our system, but the hard fact here is that the side with the most votes wins, money or not, influence or not.

Posted by: scolex at December 6, 2005 12:58 AM
Comment #99172

sanger,
Very interesting that lawyers and lobbyists pay out so much more to the dems.

Posted by: scolex at December 6, 2005 1:05 AM
Comment #99173

Adrienne,
Look into all the names that are comming up in regard to this investigation and you’ll see that the administration ain’t the only group that has cause for concern.

Posted by: scolex at December 6, 2005 1:12 AM
Comment #99198

Matt,
Excellent timing on the article; however, Duke Cunningham and Tom Delay does leave Americans with a very serious reason to go to the polls next year. Or we could take Mr. Sanger’s stance and allow the “Sliver Spoons of America” play King and Queens. Others on this post want to blame it on the political game while still others offer solutions to stop this evil behavior. Yes, special interest has; is; and will allows be political voices that Congress and “We the People” will have to deal with. Nevertheless, the rules and regulations that govern how they can play the game of politics rest in the Common Sense of the Average American Layman and our ability to understand what is unalienable right regardless.

Hence, special interest groups work for and against the inherent best interest of “We the Consumer.” This fundamental thinking and principle behavior in our society has been lost in the last 100 or so years. Therefore, we should look at how our society has viewed Rules of Power and if need be take some of these traits on as voters. If those running for elected office want to place their special interest groups wants and needs above that of “We the People” than VOID.org is right and our society should not vote for them regardless of which political party they stand for. In this manner, the voters can directly effect how our Senate Rules and House Rules since in their current form they permit a lot of the problems and temptations to exist.

However, to only change the rules would be meaningless. Consequently the way and manner we use special groups and the money they are able to accumulate needs to be reworked as well. Pork Barrel Spending and the almost famous “D.A.N.’s List” of out of controlled spending of tax dollars could easily be replaced with a program that made it so Congress could make available the sell of X amount of U.S. Federal Reserve Special Treasury Notes per year and than the special interest groups could bid on the purchase of them to help fund their pet project. By adopting this style of governing, the Incumbents could prove their worth to their political party and the Americans they represent by how well they sold the idea of “Invest in America, First.” “We the People” win because it will not only lower our taxes, but strengthen the Dollar as well. Yet, the “Hat Trick” comes as this special interest groups will see their money grow and mature over the years as well as make their endeavor a reality in their lifetime.

For example, could you imagine how much of the environmental issues could have been solved by now if the Environmentalists Special Interest Groups would of invested in real projects instead of donating billions of dollars to both political parties over the last 40 years? How has their actions helped any American? Are our Elected Officials any Wiser on the Subjects? Don’t take me wrong for the SIG’s do have their place in our society. Homelessness, Low-Income Housing, Small Businesses, and even multi-national corporations concerns should be front and center in every public debate. They should even be given a chance to air their “Dirty Laundry” in public. Nevertheless, it is our duty and responsibility as a citizen to stop them at that point. Give us a single issue and the facts that are to be presented from both sides of the Coin of Life than allow “We the People” to debate so that “We” can tell our elected representatives on how “I” think he should vote regardless of political party. SIG’s can not be permitted to rule the lives of our children or we will of failed in our duty to uphold the freedom that has made America who We are as a Society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 6, 2005 2:40 AM
Comment #99240

Henry,
“For example, could you imagine how much of the environmental issues could have been solved by now if the Environmentalists Special Interest Groups would of invested in real projects instead of donating billions of dollars to both political parties over the last 40 years? How has their actions helped any American?”

Good point. The enviornmentalist (and Congress) have been messing up our oil companies for decades. You can’t drill in the Gulf, or in California, or in ANWAR. Then, when we need more refineries, they say no to that. And, Congress had the audacity to haul those oil execs up in front of congress and question them as to why they’ve made record profits. Heck, with few sections to drill and with little refinery capacity, not to mention 2 hurricanes wiping out 30% of our gas supply for months, why would anybody (including the smarties in Congress) be surprised that gas prices are high and so are Oil Companies’ profits?!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 6, 2005 7:17 AM
Comment #99250

Rahdigly,
Still living in the 20th Century I see. Energy Independency is not just the way to the future, but a reality that is coming to our world sooner more than later. For when I was flipping through the Internet on the subject, I ran across Executive Order 13123 that plainly gives “We the People” the precedence required to save over $200 Billion dollars a year. Currently, the Federal Energy Management Program is purchasing Energy-Efficient Products at about $10 billion dollars per year. Thus, our government should become 25% less dependent on energy in the year 2010. Even President Bush gave a direct order to Save Energy through this same program.

No, I would say that the Oil Companies and those Electric Corporations that do not start going Green in the next few years will lose out on the money that is to be made. Environmentalists today are beginning to take center stage in an attack by demanding Renewable Energy as a Human Right and the Market is gearing up to take advantage of this new found wealth. Given the limited supply of oil and the need for nations in the Middle East to make money in the near future. To be frank, America and the other Nations of Humanity can avoid the problems of our Elders by forcing our society to stop using fossil fuel except natural gas ( a renewable source) just in cars would give a great boost to the sale of material made by petroleum. Thus, the ability to recycle and maintain a long term supply is maintained. The flip of the coin means that in X amount of years the nations run out of oil, run out of money, and have to resort to war in order to survive.

Oh yea, btw can you link me one state that ran out of gas through Katrina and Rita. I remember Huston having problems with delivers being made, but they had plenty of fuel. Besides, I think the CEO’s had the right idea of protecting the supply giving the way the Market and Media played upon our fears. It’s just a shame that they can’t explain who made the money, but their profits were high. No, these same CEO’s should be called back in front of Congress and be made to explain to the American People how they are going to stop “Smoking.” Given our society’s actions against cig. Smoke (i.e. carbon monoxide) and the pollution they cause in water, I say that the day of the oil companies are limited to the need for their energy, not the general welfare and common defense of “We the People.” Want to bet on which will win in the end?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 6, 2005 8:19 AM
Comment #99252

Henry,
“can you link me one state that ran out of gas through Katrina and Rita…No, these same CEO’s should be called back in front of Congress and be made to explain to the American People how they are going to stop “Smoking.” Given our society’s actions against cig. Smoke (i.e. carbon monoxide) and the pollution they cause in water, I say that the day of the oil companies are limited to the need for their energy, not the general welfare and common defense of “We the People.” Want to bet on which will win in the end?”


First of all, I said 30% gas supply shortages for months; not that we ran out. Here in Georgia, Katrina took out our direct gas line from Louisianna. Secondly, here are some sources to back up what I said again:

http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/archives/2005/10/katrina_and_rit.html?WT.mc_t=imt&WT.mc_n=site_entry

“Gulf Coast refinery damage reports seem ominous, with a story in the Washington Post, for example, Rita’s Damage to Refineries Limited, quoting one expert as saying, “We didn’t dodge a bullet with Rita, we took a couple bullets in the legs with Katrina and Rita,” said Tom Kloza, an analyst with the Oil Price Information Service of Wall, N.J. “It’s still a significant loss, and it’s going to create some supply problems through at least mid-October.”

“A Reuters piece, Storms Destroyed 108 Offshore Platforms, leads with, “A total of 108 low producing oil and natural gas offshore platforms were destroyed by hurricanes Rita and Katrina and some of the other 53 heavily damaged platforms could be offline until next year, the U.S. Interior Department said on Tuesday.”

“Best case, the platforms with minor damage will take weeks to repair, with others requiring years of work. According to the Washington Post article, ‘Early estimates were that Hurricane Rita will cost U.S. refiners about 800,000 barrels a day in oil refining capacity, on top of about 900,000 barrels a day still down due to Katrina.”

And, Henry, I agree we need to get our dependence away from oil; however, it’s not likely to happen for a while. Until then, I would suggest drilling in our own country; rather than dependence on foreign oil.

Now, how you went from big oil companies to tobacco companies, I have no idea. I’m definitely not in favor of big tobacco. And that’s a fact! I only favor big oil companies b/c I felt that congress and the enviornmentalist have tied their hands behind their backs with all these regulations and stipulations. If you disagree, that’s fine; however, don’t throw in big tobacco companies as if I would advocate them as well.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 6, 2005 8:53 AM
Comment #99260

All of you who have posted which of these organizations are “Special” Interest Groups and should be banned from contributing to campaigns and why?


Goldman Sachs
National Assn of Realtors
Microsoft Corp
Time Warner
Morgan Stanley
EMILY’s List
JP Morgan Chase & Co
Citigroup Inc
Laborers Union
Bank of America


Should they be banned from contributing to all forms of election funds (campaigns, parties, and doing independent advertising)?

Should the individuals that lead these groups be prohibited similarly?

Posted by: Rob at December 6, 2005 9:53 AM
Comment #99272

JayJay,

The Republicans may have their own sex scandal on their hands soon.

Hey, masturbation is still legal, right?
:-)

Your frenchly

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 6, 2005 10:48 AM
Comment #99282
Should they be banned from contributing to all forms of election funds (campaigns, parties, and doing independent advertising)?

Rob,

All of them +,

Morgan Stanley
National Auto Dealers Assn
UBS Americas
SBC Communications
United Parcel Service
Merrill Lynch
National Beer Wholesalers Assn
and all the rest regardless of party contribution or type.

Should the individuals that lead these groups be prohibited similarly?

Absolutely not.

frenchly,

Not that I’m aware of. I don’t think getting a block of bedrooms for masterbation would be much of a bribe. But then again this is congress we’re talking about, and I don’t put anything past them.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 6, 2005 11:46 AM
Comment #99296

Rob,

Why? Because individuals elect our leaders to work for us, not corportations. If individuals in the corporation want to contribute then that’s great. But, a corportation doesn’t get a vote, the individuals within the corp do, so why should the corp as a whole be able to influence elections?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 6, 2005 12:32 PM
Comment #99297

Hey, masturbation is still legal, right? :-)
Your frenchly
Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 6, 2005 10:48 AM
============================================
I think it’s a misdemeanor in Kansas and Texas.
Remember: For every sperm that’s wasted, God is quite irate!

Posted by: Dave at December 6, 2005 12:33 PM
Comment #99309

What does masturbation have to do with any of this?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 6, 2005 12:50 PM
Comment #99311

I never dreamed I’d be posting the same information on both the Republican and Democrat sites, let alone post them at the same time!

I honestly believe that many, not all, but many of our represenatives/Senators are in the government because they believe they will be able to help our country. Unfortunately once they get elected and get the power of the government behind them they become somehow twisted. Especially those elected by special interests groups.

Absolute power breeds absolute corruption. Maybe term limits are the way to go - or maybe trying to force our politicans to practice a single purpose bill voting, or maybe tossing them out if the break the law, or show incompendence in handing money.

D.A.N.
I hope you don’t mind me quoting you from another site. I also hope your infomation is correct.

I can’t help but wonder why any of these people are involved in our government. They apparently can not handle their own money, or obey the law. Why would anyone vote for them?

While I do not advocate tossing out all of the incumbants, these people really should go. I just wish I knew who they were by name. Then I could check them out myself.

__________OUR U.$. CONGRESS_________________ 7 that have been arrested for fraud; 19 have been accused of writing bad checks; 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses; 3 have done time for assault; 71, repeat 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit; 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges; 8 have been arrested for shoplifting; 21 currently are defendants in lawsuits; 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year;

Something to think about.
Linda H.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 6, 2005 12:57 PM
Comment #99314

There is corruption in every sector such as in most states prostitution is illegal so you think, but the late night asian spas and massage establishments are nothing more than prostitution houses(there is proof) and yet in my state even the fraternal order of police endorse their company and the newspapers run their advertisements and yet the poor prostitutes are arrested. It’s all about money. With the so called spas their is taxes being paid. Of course every now and then someone is arrested to make it seem like their is an effort to clean up prostitution, but that is only when someone is running for election.
And what about the drug comapnies, and the FDA. Endless numbers of drugs with toxic, and deadly side effects are allowed to be on the market as long as their is a warning label, yet any herbal medicines are not recommeneded by the FDA and they are given strict guidelines and warnings even if they really are proven to benefit people. The reason is herbs are natural and can’t be regulated by government for major profits. What a scam by our government.

Posted by: Clay Campbell at December 6, 2005 12:59 PM
Comment #99318

Another scam is the governments and not just ours efforts to help prevent aids, and other sexually transmitted diseases. We spend billions each year to find a cure, but are scared to tell people how to lower there chances of getting these diseases. Whether you are for or against the homomsexual lifesyle(which has not been proven to be nothing more than a choice) it’s behavior is destructive for society and for others. Their is greater chance for aids and that is a fact even the gays will admit. Why would you participate in this lifestyle if you knew the risks, and yet it is being promoted as a acceptable lifestyle. I aggree not to hate anyone but why encourage a destructive lifesyle. What a joke. It even is against nature even if you don’t believe in God. Look at the physical attributes. A man and a woaman fit together? Get a clue people. Wake up.

Posted by: Clay Campbell at December 6, 2005 1:08 PM
Comment #99319

Snowman

NEA
PETA
SAG
NAACP
UAW

Where would these groups fall?

Posted by: kctim at December 6, 2005 1:17 PM
Comment #99321

This thread exemplifies the problem with government FOR SALE.

Now, we are all running around in circles, monitoring and scrutinizing vast lists of contributors, the vast amounts of money, and wasting vast amounts of time trying to see where the money is coming from, and who is more Democratic or Republican, and theorizing about the many reasons.

This epitomizes the clever, circular pattern of thought and behavoir incumbent politicians use to distract the voters from more substantive issues. Money in government makes it rotten. The constitution allows it to be limited, and it should be limited. There’s a very simple solution, but naturally, incumbents won’t consider it.

Before we all work ourselves silly trying to solve these many symptoms of a much larger problem, we should first examine and solve the root problem.

All else is futile until the root cause is identified and solved first.

THE PROBLEM:
Corrupt, irresponsible and unaccountable government. When voters ingore government, it always grows corrupt. The longer it does, the harder and more painful it will be to reform.

THE SOLUTION:
Eliminate the incumbents. Vote them all out. This will restore a balance of power between government and The People without stripping government of all authority to accomplish anything.

Hence, a lot of issues will become insignificant after the core problem is addressed first. Obviously, no amount of concern or bitching is making a bit of difference (i.e. about Campaign Finance, Election Reform, Pork-Barrel, corruption, graft, FOR SALE government, etc. ). The second step is for voters to follow through and demand transparency, which will yield accountability, which will yield responsibility.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2005 1:21 PM
Comment #99324

Clay, Clay, Clay,

I take it you are heterosexual, so what makes you such an expert on homosexuality? Maybe you need to look a little further than Focus on the Family. What is the “homosexual lifestyle”? I’ve never been able to figure that one out. Is there a “heterosexual lifestyle”? Do all heterosexuals fit into it?

Yes, there is a greater chance of getting AIDS practicing unprotected homosexual sex. There is also a greater chance of getting AIDS through heterosexual unprotected sex, or if you shoot up illegal drugs, or being born to a HIV+ parent. So what?

You ask why encourage a destructive “lifestyle”? But that is exactly what you are doing by denying same-sex couples the right to form strong monogamous family units. If you want to decrease the AIDS rate among gays, then give them the tools to live a more stable lifestyle.

Gays and Lesbians are looking for the same thing straights are. Love, commitment, the opportunity to settle down and start a family, financial stability, growing old and seeing our children grow up to become wonderful people. The “homosexual lifestyle” is more than just sex. In fact it is a very small part of the equation. People who see them as just sex are promoting that destructive “lifestyle” that you are so against.

It even is against nature even if you don’t believe in God.

Homosexuality occurs throughout nature.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 6, 2005 1:37 PM
Comment #99326

kctim,

These are corportations.

NEA
PETA
SAG
NAACP
UAW

Only individuals should be allowed to contribute to political campaigns. However, these are also interest groups that represent individuals, and as such should run independent campaigns within their organization, with the individual deciding whether to contribute or not.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 6, 2005 1:43 PM
Comment #99327

JayJay,
Thank you for your response to Clay.
I couldn’t have said it better.
Linda H.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 6, 2005 1:44 PM
Comment #99337

Thanks Linda.

It even is against nature even if you don’t believe in God. Look at the physical attributes. A man and a woaman fit together? Get a clue people. Wake up.

Clay,

By the way, what is the leading theory of nature outside of God? Darwinism. Does homosexuality fit into this theory. I think it does.

Darwin and Homosexuality

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 6, 2005 2:17 PM
Comment #99338

Linda H,

Anytime. Yes, it is true. I researched it a long time ago before posting it. Some of the details are missing. There was originally a list of names to go with it. But, in the many years I’ve been posting it, no one has ever challenged it. Probably, because it is true. The information was originally taken from a series of articles that appeared in an on-line publication called Capitol Hill Blue (whose motto is “Because nobody’s life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session …”) in August 1999. It has since gained widespread currency (understandably).

Actually, the list should be updated, because it
would probably be even more outrageous than in 1999, given all the corruption, and arrests lately. And it doesn’t even mention Janklow who had a bad habit of speeding, and had a lot of tickets to prove it, and was convicted of manslaughter for speeding and running a stop sign, and killing a man (a 55 year old Army veteran) on a motor cycle in Dec-2003. Janklow (R-SD) also tried to weasle out with a really, disgusting, lame diabetes defense. The jury wasn’t buying it. But, that’s a first (i.e. blame diabetes for driving over the speed limit and running a stop sign).

The evidence of just the corruption we know about is staggering. Just think of all the corruption, back-room deals, and graft that go on that we don’t know about.

At any rate, here’s ample evidence of the corruption, greed, irresponsibility, and unaccountability of Congress. Just consider some of these examples of the difficult decisions Congress makes daily:
___________________
[] Vote for $107,000 to study the sex life of the Japanese quail or Vote for body armor for troops with armor ?
[] Vote for $1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck or more funding for disabled veterans ?
[] Vote for $150,000 to study the Hatfield-McCoy feud or more armor for humvees and military vehicles ?

see more here … or …here.

[] Vote for $1 million for a Seafood Consumer Center or reform our ridiculous tax system ?
[] $57,000 spent by the Executive Branch for gold-embossed playing cards on Air Force Two or more and better weapons and armor for active duty troops.
____________________________________
None of that (above) even remotely strikes me as responsible and accountable.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2005 2:18 PM
Comment #99348

If none of that (above) ticks you off, then you might want to check your pulse.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2005 2:45 PM
Comment #99351

Thanks Snowman and thanks for being consistent.

Posted by: kctim at December 6, 2005 2:51 PM
Comment #99420

Snowman,

Can we extend your assumption to all voluntary fund raising drives within corporations? Could Morgan Stanley voluntarily request donations from their employees and channel those donations into campaigns in the same way that the UAW does?

D.A.N.

Not sure of the source for the “Simple Solution,” but I thought one assertion there was pretty far of the mark. It says “Only allow contributions by American citizens or corporations or organizations owned 100% by American citizens. Since few corporations are 100% owned by American citizens, few corporations will be allowed to contribute to a specific candidate.”

Since there are far more privately held corporations than publically held ones, I would think that the assertion that few corporations are 100% owned by Americans is nowhere near right.

Posted by: Rob at December 6, 2005 5:52 PM
Comment #99429

Rob,

The solution is my web-page.

Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps I should say many instead of most.
But, under the plan the limit is still 10% of the Average American’s annual income. Thus, any corporation only has the voice of a single person (i.e. via their contribution).

Personally, I’d like to remove all political contributions, but that would require a constitutional amendment. Hence, limits are sufficient, if they are not too high.

I think a limit of 10% of the average American’s annual income will limit the unfair influence of some that abuse vast wealth and power to control bought-and-paid-for politicians, but still allow the average American to have a voice.

As it is now, 5% of the population has 60% of all wealth in the U.S., and 60% of the population only has 5% of all wealth.

Thus, a 10% limit based on the average American’s annual income will be more fair. True, many average Americans can’t afford to spend 10% of their income on a political contribution, but there are a lot more average-income-level Americans.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2005 6:28 PM
Comment #99453

Rob,

Can we extend your assumption to all voluntary fund raising drives within corporations? Could Morgan Stanley voluntarily request donations from their employees and channel those donations into campaigns in the same way that the UAW does?

I would not want to see a company being the go between for campaign contributions. This would open up a whole new can of worms. It would open up the potential for coercion between the employer and the employee. If the company wants to campaign or endorse or suggest a political party for employees to contribute to, then I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, as long as the funds are not filtered through the organization.

The way I see it, and this is just my opinion, is that individual people elect our governance. Therefore only the people as individuals should be allowed to contribute to a political party. However, under the first amendment of free speech, any company or organization should be able to endorse or campaign any issue or candidate they wish. I would much rather see the large sums of money being handed over to the hands of politicians, instead go into private campaigns aimed at the voters who will ultimately decide.

In our current system the highest bidder wins. What do these bidders win? Well, some we may never know, because it’s done between the bidder and politicians, leaving the voters out of the equation. If companies had to convince voters, themselves, to support a candidate then that removes the veil of secrecy and the potential for corruption.

The only other way I can see to remove the corruption and influence of large donors is to impose strict campaign contributions for companies. This would need to put them on equal footing with what an individual could contribute. That would be easy to figure out. The limit should be what the median or average contribution of an individual is. No higher.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 6, 2005 8:11 PM
Comment #99466

Rahdigly,
The jump from tobacco to oil companies actually is not that far. Most people who are worried about the second hand smoke they inhale can easily be convinced that the same carbon monixcide they breath from cars, trucks, etc. is just as bad. Hence, if the second hand smoke from a cig is bad for you, how can the fumes you inhale from a car be any better? It is the same pollutant flowing in and out of your lungs is it not? The problem is that there are many more cars than cigs producing second hand smoke.

On oil supply, yes crude oil production may of been hurt by Katrina; however, the price of gas depends on supply not production. Therefore, even if our oil companys lost a 100% oil production capacity in Katrina, the price of gas should on remained flat or slightly higher as other sources of supply moved in to take up the slack. Or are “We the Consumers” suppose to pay for the lose revenue of our oil companies as well as pay them to rebuild their capacity to produce back up?

As I have stated earlier in a few blogs, the Regulators should of stepped in as the Market went crazy over misinformation. This departments failure to govern forced the Oil companies to make their move which lead to high fuel prices. What else could the CEO’s do?

As far as Big Oil vs Renewable Energy in the near future, the environmentailists and the market will force the hand of the big oil companies to rethink how they use their product. While the oil companies can only produce so much supply, the pace of consumption in America and other Nations will force the market outside the box. Besides how many new jobs can be created and markets opened with the building of solar panels, wind mills, and sea turbines? This factor above all will force the market to look at oil differently over the next few years and by 2008 the issue should be about ripe to make for a good political debate. Check out the Whaling Industry in the late 1800’s to see how much their special interest groups spent just to be moved aside for a lower costing supply that accomplished the same thing.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 6, 2005 8:49 PM
Comment #99502
JayJay Snowman wrote: The only other way I can see to remove the corruption and influence of large donors is to impose strict campaign contributions for companies. This would need to put them on equal footing with what an individual could contribute. That would be easy to figure out. The limit should be what the median or average contribution of an individual is. No higher.

Yes, I agree with that. Corporations should be limited to a contribution equal to one person. And limit each persons’ political contribution to a maximum of 10% of the average annual income of the preceding year. That way it will self adjust for inflation, and it keep the extrememly wealthy from abusing their wealth to control government (as some with vast wealth now do).
__________________________________________
ELECTION/CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM:
The ideological basis of our democratic republic is to provide for an orderly change of government allowing the people to choose those that will best represent them. That’s the theory, but it is far different in reality. Some simple changes are needed to level the playing field for all candidates, and end unfair and dangerous influences by only a few people that abuse their vast wealth and power.
[1] Limit political contributions from any entity (e.g. person, corporation, organization, etc.), per year, to 10% of the average American annual income. Regulation of political contributions is allowed by the Constitution. Unfortunately, the courts have decided that political contributions can not banned entirely, but can be regulated. Therefore, contribution limits should not be so large that the wealthy and corporations carry more influence than the individual voter (as it is now, and is obviously unfair to the average voter).
[2] Only allow contributions by American citizens or corporations or organizations owned 100% by American citizens. And, the contribution is limited to the same single 10% limit of the average American annual income. True, not all Americans can afford to spend 10% of their annual income on a political contribution, but there are a lot more average-income-level Americans. Hence, no small group can control government. Government should not be FOR SALE.
[3] No candidate may spend their own money in excess of 10 times the average American annual income; otherwise, a very wealthy person could conceivably buy an election, and control the media, news, propaganda, etc.
[4] All donations must be deposited into a single fund managed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that:
(a) disperses donations to the intended recipients.
(b) enforces donation laws and restrictions (e.g. enforce annual donation limits, enforce restrictions of donations only originating from American citizens or 100% owned corporations, and enforce other laws governing elections, etc.)
(c) disperses donations above the permitted limits (if any), equally, between all registered candidates; there is no need to disclose the identity or source of donations, since only American citizens and 100% American owned corporations or organizations can make political donations, and everyone is limited to the same annual maximum of 10% of the average American annual income;
NOTE: The FEC must disclose to all contributors that all amounts above the established 10% limit of the average American annual income is dispersed equally to all registered candidates.
[5] Make it illegal for candidates to public office or government employees to solicit or accept money, gifts, favors, or future promises of any kind (above and beyond the allowed limit)
[6] Also, make it illegal for any family member, group or organization to solicit or accept money or gifts, or spend funds on the behalf of a candidate for office or government employee.
[7] Government should not be for sale. When money enters the election process, it is rotten. Peddling influence represents a flagrant conflict of interest, and must be eliminated. Violation and conviction of this law would also forfeit the employee’s government pension (if any).
[8] Make it illegal for government office holders or employees to accept outside employment during their employment by the government.
[9] Prohibit all government employees or office holders, for two years after leaving government employment, from accepting employment with any government contractor or sub-contractor, government consultant, lobbyist position, etc.
[10] All candidates for office will be provided some free and equal media time during the election campaign (including print, radio, television, etc.). Remove the big money that allows only some to control the newspapers, radio stations and TV stations. Election statistics show that in over 90% of elections, the candidate that spends the most money wins !
[11] Hold elections on a week-end and/or declare important election days a national holiday.
[12] End voter-registration. Instead, all eligible voters should use a secure form of identification, such as biometrics.
[13] When each voter submits their vote(s), they will receive a computer printed slip of paper with a randomly generated number that can be used to find a record of their vote in a publicly listed record of all votes (e.g. on the internet, telephone, news paper, etc.). This will preserve anonymity, reduce election fraud, and provide a public record of each election.
[14] Make it illegal to start campaigning before a certain date prior to an election, so that all candidates have equal campaign time, so that campaigns will be less time consuming, and less costly to the tax payers.
[15] Remove the straight-ticket voting lever (or button) in all voting machines. Voting machines should not be promoting party-only voting.
[16] Remove and prohibit the party affiliation via names and symbols (e.g. Democrat, Independent, Republican, etc.) next to the names of all candidates.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2005 10:25 PM
Comment #99530

DAN,
I realize that our political system is messed up, but are you sure that you want to push all the money beck into the closet? Transparency and the idea of the ability of one person/group that can control it all use to be a myth here in America. However, today and the actions of some smart politically active citizens have attempted to accomplish what the “Know Nothing Party” recognized about are government.

Unwise or unatteneded, if the average American wants to win the battle for control of our government than “We the People” must start using our collective Common Sense. So don’t get mad, but I’m going to play with the devil for a moment and ask you how your ideas would move the top 200 political contributors to change the way they do business? What common goal do they heve with the average American that they would be willing to give up their idea of power and money? And for the Hat Trick, how will your ideas benefit them?

Remember, this is America and the line that we must tow is what is right for “We the People” not “I the Idiot.”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 7, 2005 1:27 AM
Comment #100053

Good questions Henry,

Thank you so much for asking.

DAN, I realize that our political system is messed up, but are you sure that you want to push all the money beck into the closet? Transparency and the idea of the ability of one person/group that can control it all use to be a myth here in America. However, today and the actions of some smart politically active citizens have attempted to accomplish what the “Know Nothing Party” recognized about are government.

That is where, as you state below, common sense is needed. Transparency is not the job of any one person or group. It should become a common goal, and if successful, members of Congress may even have some peer pressure to police their own ranks. Voters must insist on it, and must wield their power to vote out incumbents until politicians comply. There are many obvious, common sense, no-brainer, logical, un-contentious, and practical tasks to accomplish this goal. It is quite simply a task that we all do together (voters and politicians). Voters first get the attention of irresponsible government and newcomers that replace them, by starting now to vote out all incumbents, every election, repeatedly, until the newcomers comply, and instill transparency so we can see what’s going on. The voters must also follow through and provide a To-Do-List of these simple, common-sense, no-brainer tasks will be.

Unwise or unatteneded, if the average American wants to win the battle for control of our government than “We the People” must start using our collective Common Sense. So don’t get mad, but I’m going to play with the devil for a moment and ask you how your ideas would move the top 200 political contributors to change the way they do business?
Henry, peaceful force is required to end GOVERNMENT FOR SALE. Also, it is futile to ask or expect any change or reform until voters first get the attention of government. How would VOID change this corruption. Here’s is how. Voters will vote out that person who is FOR SALE. In fact, it would be wise to start an immediate recall too. Why wait for the next election ? The voters will create this new environment of honesty by peaceful force, with nothing more than their vote (not to trivialize that right, since many suffered and died to ensure we have that right).
What common goal do they have with the average American that they would be willing to give up their idea of power and money? And for the Hat Trick, how will your ideas benefit them?
Henry, People all have a common goal to seek security and prosperity with the least effort and pain. Some people, when the opportunity and power exists, will abuse others by plundering their property and money. The pervert the law to commit legal plunder. Eminent domain is a good example of it. So is unfair taxation and the pilfering, graft, and theft of tax money. Why would a politician give up the status quo, and quit being FOR SALE? Because voters will oust him. They will vote him out, or start an immediate recall to replace him. By the way, one of the first no-brainer, common sense tasks voters should put on the Congress’ To-Do-List is to reform Campaign Finance.
And for the Hat Trick, how will your ideas benefit them?
See the Benefits and Reasons section (via menu on first page) of my web-site, and see the VOIDnow.org web-site’s mission statement.
Remember, this is America and the line that we must tow is what is right for “We the People” not “I the Idiot.”

Well, it’s worth pointing out that some small degree of cooperation, some small degree to working together, and some common sense must exist to bring it all together. We have to assume there is at least a sufficient desire to want things to be better. And, I thing, history, over the last 2000 years has shown some promise. But, it can be better, and we all have a duty to strive to make it better. We have to assume we’re not so stupid as to continually repeat history for all time, without ever learning from it. Otherwise, we are doomed and we will eventually destroy ourselves by the most unforgivalbe neglect.

How did they catch Randy Cunningham?
How did they catch Dan Rostenkowski?
How did they catch Nixon?
So, we have to assume there are enough with morals to keep us all from totally surrendering to greed, corruption, and thirst for power.

I’m well aware that the task seems hard, but it is really the most simple, honest, safe, peaceful, non-partisan, inexpensive, and responsible thing to do that voters should have been doing all along. It’s simply the right thing to do. Maybe it won’t work. Does it matter? Does it warrant despair and resignation to futility? Why not try? Why do some oppose it? Even if I opposed it, or thought it would never work, I wouldn’t discourage others from trying. That’s something I don’t understand about some people. Then, perhaps they should be ignored. If inventors listened to everyone who told them it would never work, we would have never learned to fly, cure disease, or explore our universe, from the very small to the very large.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 8, 2005 12:13 AM
Comment #100098

DAN,
“It’s the right thing to do” EXCELLENT SOLGAN for VOID,org! Yes, I agree with your last statement and only proposed the question in order to show others that there are more talking points on the issues than exposed by our incumbents in Washington and Local Govrnment. As one who is said to think outside the box, I am amazed at how easy it it to defeat both the Left and the Rght on their talking points just by stating what is known to be Right & True about being an American.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 8, 2005 3:51 AM
Comment #100264

Henry Schlatman,
Thanks!
Yes, someone said the best way to win an argument is to be right.

I’m confident that it is the right thing.

And, I’m hopeful that it the people will do their part, because government won’t do it themselves. And there is historical precedent to show that voters do get fed-up from time-to-time and start voting out incumbents. This time, however, voters must learn to follow through, and demand transparency and simplifications, otherwise, government will revert to immediately start to grow corrupt again.

Also, a French economist around 1850 said:

“The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended” — Frederick Bastiat

That in itself is an interesting topic (i.e. how to win an argument). But, I’m not sure about all of those tactics.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 8, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #100341

Dan,
Yes, the title of the article alone does put one at a clear disadvantage in supporting even their own idea. As someone who has studied how to use Common Sense to apply them to the Laws of Nature, the Intent of the Laws of the Land, and the natural course of Human Events, I have found that the line in the sand which society forces me to follow is that of the Spirit of the Heart of Man.

If it is wrong for one it must be wrong for all. If it is right for one it must be right for all. This is not to say the Dem’s and Reps are outside the box; however, why does their stance only help a single group or deny a group the same standard that they themselve want? A weakness on both sides of the coin and one that clearly gives a third party candidate from the center an advantage.

Perhaps the best thing that VOID.org can do to win the hearts and minds of all Americans is to point out where and why this center ideology of our Founding Fathers stand on the issue. Thus, the argument of “Special Interests” should and can be turned into an issue of just how do these groups better our Nation’s ability to meet the Equality claus of Commerce found in all Charters and Constitutions of our 50 States.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 8, 2005 8:20 PM
Comment #100407
Thus, the argument of “Special Interests” should and can be turned into an issue of just how do these groups better our Nation’s ability to meet the Equality claus of Commerce found in all Charters and Constitutions of our 50 States.

Henry,

That’s a thought. I wish there was some constitutional amendment that limits or eliminates the problem of FOR SALE government, influence peddling, and big-money-donor-puppeteers and their bought-and-paid-for puppet incumbents.

Without a law to prevent it, only voters can stop it, and only by a disruptive non-incumbent voting. Government will never pass such an amendment voluntarily.

That is why voters should peacefully force government to do it. Election/Campaign Finance Reform is #2 on my To-Do-List of common sense, no-brainer, responsible things voters should demand government do.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 9, 2005 12:47 AM
Comment #100409

DAN,
While Election/Campaign Finance Reform is a necessary step in changing the way our government works, we need to prove and push the point to the Powers-to-Be in America and the World that “We the People” have a better way for them to make the money that they seek. Greed while a formal opponent is truely blind and only seeks to do things that allows it to consume more.

Thus, the money being directed toward politic elections are like taxes and must be considered wasted money. Why? Because how many Special Groups get everything they want and pay for? So realy how smart is it of the Boards of these SIG’s to be supporting the very political parties that want to keep them oppressed. Thus, any reform in our government must address how we as a society build the global economy of the 21st Century. Tax me and I vote you out; however, allow me to Invest in our Future and I may let you stay in power.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 9, 2005 1:36 AM
Comment #100726

Henry Schlatman,
I agree with something you said ealier.
We need to get some of this in writing.
Such as ONE PURPOSE PER BILL, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, BALANCED BUDGET amendment, TAX REFORM, elimination and prosecution of peddling influence, elimination and prosecution of bougt-and-paid-for politicians, etc., (i.e. a number of common sense, no-brainer simplifications to increase transparency so that the people can see who to re-elect and who to vote out or recall), so that there is
a legal way to force government to be
responsible and accountable. We have to accept the fact of human nature, and learn to not ignore it, or corruption grows and spreads, and makes reform harder the longer it exists.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 9, 2005 8:29 PM
Comment #231707

Lou Dobbs had a website that gave a list of all congressmen with the contributions from special interests.

Does anyone have it? If so, I’m at ritainthelibrary@yahoo.com

Please send it to me. Thank you.

Posted by: marie at September 4, 2007 12:44 PM
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