Saturday, January 20, 2007

Finally, something good to write

During the campaign, I always said you shouldn't get brownie points for doing what you're supposed to as a Representative. Whether that's showing up at ribbon cutting ceremonies, helping non-profits within your District get the support and publicity they need, or voting for universally supported legislation like honoring sports teams for winning their championships. However, after two weeks of voting against working families and Seniors in our District, misrepresenting his ethical stances compared to his votes, and patronizing the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by not having the integrity to show up in person to any event in his honor; it would seem we're beyond what a Representative should be doing and to hoping that anything good will come from Scott Garrett's next two years in office.

A minuscule step in the right direction was taken when Scott threw our name down as a co-sponsor of HR 14, a bill that strips the pensions of those Members of Congress who are convicted for corruption. It is a Republican bill, introduced by a moderate, as an answer to a weak alternative the Democrats seem to be putting forward that misses a bunch of crimes. My hope is the Democrats will either co-opt this bill or withdraw the weaker version.

The House historically is not very good at cleaning things up themselves, but I think having a solidly moderate Republican introduce this may give it some legs. It will be harder for Scott to argue on this bill's behalf, because he hasn't worked with the Democrats on anything and spends our time on the floor criticizing more than offering constructive alternatives. However, he did put our District down as a co-sponsor of this particular bill and my hope is it goes through.

Taxpayers should not be paying pensions for those who violate the public trust, period.

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