Saturday, June 30, 2007

Keep the people's mandate and reconcile a strong ethics bill

The Senate has an obligation to fulfill a mandate from last year's general elections, that Congress must put a stop and reverse the corruption that has been taking place there. Yet, in just the seventh month of this new session, there are signs of backsliding from both major parties. The Senate is having difficulties assembling a team of negotiators for the procedural reconciliation of its bill with that of the House. Both houses must maintain the people's mandate, and keep the strong ethics bill highlights they individually passed ( HR 2316 / HR 2317 and S 1 ) earlier this year.

There are several full-time "good government" reform groups in Washington DC to help keep this public interest issue alive and urgent. Also, the New York Times just wrote an editorial promoting passage of a strong ethics bill; the Washington Post has a strong record of good government reform. But it was none other than Ralph Nader's recent campaigns for president, that drove the American people forward with its anti-corruption mandate last November, 2006 on Congressional elections day. His message of government reform has been heard by the American people, and it cannot be denied!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another power grab in Washington, DC

A deal struck between the White House and some Democratic Leaders would facilitate passage of more Bush NAFTA-style trade pacts, by having the majority of the Republicans and a minority of the Democratic majority vote them in. Not one labor union or environmental, consumer, public health, anti-poverty, small business, faith or family farm group supports the deal. The announcement of the deal underlying today’s text came only 100 days after Democrats reclaimed the majority thanks to election of 37 House and Senate candidates who ran against the Bush trade agenda and replaced NAFTA-supporting incumbents.

When will the will of the American people drive legislation in Washington, DC? Only through the hard work of public interest groups such as Public Citizen and some struggling third political parties can issues such as important as trade be voiced. Whether the people's voice is likely to be heard by the powers that be is another story altogether!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Senate must show leadership on immigration reform

Immigration reform legislation will resume within the next several days in the U.S. Senate. Just recently, it had suffered a quick death after a very hasty legislative process involving a small group of senators. This issue is very critical to the security of this nation; we have not enforced our current immigration laws adequately, to the point that we now have about 12 million illegal immigrants in our country.

Immigration, especially in this post 9/11 world, is ultimately a national security issue, and if we can't defend our borders from millions of illegal immigrants each year-- most of which cross our southern border-- we question our very sovereignty.

Let us open up our legislative process on such a complex national bill-- many considerations go into immigration-- economics, social services, crime, culture, agriculture. By seriously employing the full resources of our congress, can we as a nation take control of this national security issue.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The House ethics task force must be consciencious

The Campaign Legal Center's blog has an excellent analysis of our current House ethics task force mission. The force is to recommend any changes to the U.S. House ethics enforcement process, in light of last election season's public outcry against Congress' "culture of corruption."

The point Ms. McGehee makes is that our elected officials must look deep within themselves and find substantive ethics improvements. Ethics is not a band-aid to be slapped on a serious condition. It is a state of consciousness, a realization that professional conduct is a matter of right and wrong.

I went to college at Texas Christian University, and it has bode me well in reflecting on living in this gray-filled world. Yes, there are consequences to human behavior, and that is especially true for our elected representatives in Washington.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Let this nation be a witness to integrity

Congress is presently conducting hearings on the U.S. Justice Department, and whether they put the Republican Party ahead of the public interest. The whole world is watching.

The American people, of course, have a much more direct relationship with the Bush administration. Attorney General Gonzales has an opportunity to rise to the occassion, and take control of his office. He must be open, honest and humble. He must show that, under his leadership, the Justice Department has been functioning flawlessly and professionally. These hearings will bring these issues to light, if the Congressmembers do the same. These are public offices on both sides of the interviews.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Vote for more than just "the lesser of two evils"!

Joel S. Hirschhorn has just published an informative analysis on political reform-- it concerns the common practice, during a low voter turnout, of voting for "the lesser of two evils". It's conventional wisdom for people on general election day to vote against the more "evil" candidate, by voting for only an alternative major candidate. Most of those times, there are just the two nominees from the major political parties-- a Democrat and a Republican-- that are on the ballot, as well.

As a former National Press Secretary for the Reform Party, I'm well aware of the self-fulfilling prophesy that is the two-party system in these United States. Ultimately, voters should select candidates in the primaries and on general election day who are honest and accountable, and who are qualified for each of the respective open seats; this applies to all of levels of government, from the local to federal. And, the duopolistic major parties should present to the people their most qualified candidates, who are honest and accountable, as well as the minor parties such as the Libertarians, the Green Party and the Constitution Party.

Mr. Hirschhorn has a book out right now as well, entitled "Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government". It promotes several political reforms which, put together, conditions our electoral system for cleaner, more responsible elections.