Journal: Strike Three for Congress

Ethics

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Seats for Sale

Thursday, September 24, 2009

By FCW Editorial

What’s so revealing about the 50 is not how rich they are — combined, they are worth a total of $1.3 billion, which is down $171 million from last year’s list — but how new so many of them are.

Eleven of the 50 were first elected last year and nine more were elected sometime in the last five. The class of 2008 includes folks like dot-com investor Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado, #6 with $71 million); oilman Rep. Harry Teague (D-New Mexico, #10 with $41 million) and cattle ranch empress Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming, #15 with $17 million). Congress is looking more and more like the cabal in Atlas Shrugged.

The reason these multimillionaires appeal to state-level political parties, Roll Call’s Paul Singer has explained, is that they can pay their own way.

Take, for example, the vapid candidacy of former WWE chief executive Linda McMahon. McMahon and her family have spent 16 years planning and even participating in orgies of fake violence for middle-schoolers (and people who are middle-schoolers at heart). She’s entering the Republican primary against Rob Simmons, a military combat veteran, distinguished intelligence official and one-time representative in both the Connecticut and U.S. houses.

What makes McMahon think someone like Simmons wouldn’t instantly pile-drive her into defeat? She’s “rumored to be willing to put more than $30 million of her own money into the race,” according to Roll Call.

Phi Beta Iota:

STRIKE ONE: Members shaking down lobbyists for money–Randy Cunningham et al.  We gladly admit that our earlier view that Wall Street was bribing Congress was mistaken–it is Congress that has demanded to be bribed.

STRIKE TWO: “Party line voting” from the two-party tyranny, violating the Constitutioin and the Oaths of Office taken by each Member.

STRIKE THREE: Oligarchy Rules–he or she who has the gold buys in to make the rules.

Below are five books relevant to the above situation.  See also Global Class War, SCREWED, Working Poor, Off the Books, and Deer Hunting with Jesus.

Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It

Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny

Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders

The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)

2008 ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig