When Congress can add hundreds of pages to a bill in the middle of the night and pass it the next morning…when Congress can bundle bills the way investment firms bundle securities...
When self-serving special interests are allowed to hijack the political process and have an exorbitant amount of influence over the laws that are passed, it is time to do something about it.
It’s not like we all woke up on the same morning in 2007 and thought to ourselves “Gee, I think I will work half as hard and be twice as lazy”. That didn’t happen. We didn’t stop working.
Congress unthinkingly passed, revised and repealed a series of laws that caused our great recession.
Congress is wildly out of control, and it is time we did something about it.
We need common sense reforms in the political process. It should include:
- No more adding hundreds of pages to a bill and passing it hours later. The American people need to have enough time to mobilize to protect themselves from self-serving interests and poorly thought out laws.
- No more bundling of bills the way investment firms bundle securities - one subject per bill. A bill should stand on its merit alone and not be lumped into other bills forcing members of Congress to vote for things they don’t really support.
- Members shouldn’t be able to vote on bills where they and their friends stand to profit.
- No more sweetheart deals or any other sly way of paying off friends and contributors with taxpayer money. This is theft and embezzlement.
- No more insider trading or other comparable misconduct. No member of Congress should be profiting because of their position in Congress in any way, shape or form. When this is permitted, it inevitably results in compromising and corrupting members of Congress, as well as the political process.
Congress should not be exempt from any laws we have to follow. If anything, there should be more laws against members of Congress in order to protect citizens from abuse.
If our members of Congress were to step out of the fray and just stand back and look at the political process with a completely fresh pair of eyes, they would be sickened by the behavior that passes for the norm in the halls of Congress.
Since Congress won’t do anything about it, it is time we did.
For more information go to: www.demandcongressionalreform.com
Mary Eberle of Coloradans For Voting Integrity was there but not by invitation. She decided to investigate the Capitol after we heard a rumor that the bill would be signed. She and other citizen election integrity activists with years of experience participated in a massive but fruitless effort to obtain a veto.
We feel used as tokens of evidence of good legislative process that was anything but. We were invited to the Capitol twice in December and January to join with clerks in designing what could have be a constructive and agreeable bill. That was welcome and unprecedented openness. But we have not been invited back since the January 13th meeting when we learned that the bill was going to harm the Colorado Open Records Act instead of improving the anonymity of tabulated ballots. We have been fighting for a foot in the door of almost inaccessible legislative process ever since.
The legislation was adopted about an hour before the midnight end of this years’ legislative session when it was squeezed into a separate bill by a completely inaccessible last minute conference committee of insiders who were blindly allowed to “go beyond the scope of the differences.”
This is what we are talking about- representatives slam-dunking legislation over the heads of the most vigilant of citizen watchdogs. It’s not just the US Congress.
Colorado Voter Group press release here: http://cfvi.us/HB1036signed and deeper discussion here: http://cfvi.us/HB1036notes