24 Jan 2006
The case of Jack Abramoff not only raises many questions, it demands more and creative measures to address the corruptions that have become the norm in a Republican led Congress.
It should not come as a surprise for us citizens to know that our Congress is up for sale. It has been the case for many years under both parties. However Republicans took corruption on the Hill to its highest levels ever. Democrats should not act as holier than though when they themselves benefited for a culture of corruption. All are guilty as charged.
I could never understand and I don’t want to understand the need for a member of Congress to engage on a daily basis to raise money for elections. It seems that members of Congress spend more time on raising money than on the people’s business and it shows in the quality of legislations coming out of our Congress.
I also could never understand and I don’t want to understand why it takes senators tens of millions of dollars to run for election. If they need to raise that kind of money, it goes without saying that they have to pay it back.
In our electoral system as it evolved over time, we have entrenched members of congress who with time become more and more powerful, with power comes more money and poor those who dare to challenge a sitting member of Congress. They hardly have any chance of winning let alone raising money. We are sitting a prime example of corruption to the world and since the world copy the US, I will not be surprised if the electoral system in France, Germany, England will evolves around the US system.
How could any one imagine that it costs more than $24 million for someone like Jesse Helms to run for Senate from North Carolina or for someone like Oliver North to raise more than $ 22 million to run for the Senate seat from Virginia.
I do have a suggestion and it may be far fetched but it does address the issue of both money and corruption. My idea is for us to divide the US House into two chambers, one chambers with 2/3 majority is for representatives to be elected by the people and for a limited tenure of some 6 years and the other 1/3 is for representatives to be appointed by US corporations and lobbyist. It is a fair and equitable distribution of powers. Those elected by the people will not need to raise lots of money to win and the maximum that any one single candidate can raise is $one dollar (yes one single dollar) for every registered voter in the congressional district. This way the field will be even for both present members of Congress and potential candidates. The same will be true for members of the US Senate.
However when it comes to taxes and our rights to be protected from big time corporations, it is the people representatives that has to make the decisions and if there is a conflict the issue goes to a conference committee for resolutions. Representative of corporation can vote on issues of war provided that such wars are entirely funded by corporations and entirely manpowered by corporate executives and lobbyist. Leaving us people to take care of our business, such as education, healthcare, housing, transportations, crimes, social justice among other issues of concerns to all of us. We leave those appointed by corporations and lobbyist to fight it out among themselves, and of course fighting wars they want and fund. It is only fair.
I also suggest that we establish a Congressional Bourse where members of Congress are traded publicly and openly on the market. This way we all can buy into the action.