It’s not news to anyone that lobbyists and special interest, PAC’s etc. are corrupting our electoral system. The are several blogs or commentary on this site and many others. Now however, I believe an additional effort is needed to truly bring the PAC’s and special interest under control.
We’ve discussed how your votes are basically being bought by these special interest groups and unfortunately, most of us don’t even know when it happens. It happens behind closed doors of the legislators offices. We know how the campaign contributions provide the guarantee of a favorable vote from the incumbent legislators. We know that this undermines the principal of an election by constituents. We know the incumbent politician cares very little, if at all, that it is a form of corruption and that it is a complete sell out of the constituents that elected him or her into the office.
We know that in the past there have been attempted controls on the lobbyists and their special interests, however, as we can easily recognize all these efforts have fallen far short of their goal, mostly due to the very legislators whom we are trying to deter from corruption, are preventing the meaningful reform from happening. In other words the money really pours in from the lobbyists when there is legislation concerning controls on lobbyists and lobbying.
The Institute has established a prioritized list of government reform objectives beginning with 1) term limits, 2) campaign finance reform, 3) controls on earmarks, 4) elimination of congressional pension, 5) elimination of congressional exemption from laws, 6) elimination of voting their own raises, 7) fixing the U.S. voting system.
It may be appropriate to add a new objective – Lobbyist Control Legislation. A law that would require legislators to divulge all contacts, meetings, and contributions from special interest. Making this public would require notifying their constituents directly in a specific mailing with all campaign contributions made public and if there was a vote taken on the legislation of interest to the special group.
Well, you get the idea. I’ll have to make a note to bring a suggestion to the Institute Board and let the real think-tankers take over to get the details worked out. We live in a great country that can be even greater provided we root out the corruption. Let’s get started…!