That is rhetorical; you need only look at the business conducted by your representative and voice in government.
What have they done?
147 bills signed: Bills by sign date
The Rough numbers (really rough – just highlights)
10 are “additional appropriations”
5 are directly related to court processes, including judicial conduct
16 are “land grant” issues, including a very lengthy entry for Boy Scout Access
Banking law and the rewrite for clarification or errors is 4 entries
Immigration information (including border control and special access to visas for Israeli citizens) 6
5 or 6 trade agreements, a few confirmations, and 2 tax relief for citizens
27 renames of post offices
And the one that I found most interesting: the law that was passed to prevent members of congress from using their inside information to procure, trade or otherwise profit from the stock market. Funny – but I thought that was insider trading and illegal for everyone.
That is the conducted business for the 112th congress that took the oath on 6 January, 2011 nearly a full 20 months ago.
Currently they are going back to the table to repeal the healthcare law: for the 33rd time. All failed attempts. They have declared a war on women, on the unemployed, on the needy. They scream no new taxes, and people cheer.
But what have they done for ME lately? That is the important question, no matter what side of the aisle you sit on. The important and relevant issues, that should be of interest to every voter are being hidden under the “he said she said sound bite coverage” of the latest election appearance. I think they have done little, and perhaps degraded more than one would think possible. They have at least continued to hide, ignore and otherwise block legislation that would be proactive and positive, and perhaps the information gleaned would put them out of office. That’s not representation of me – that is self-interest paid for with MY tax dollars.
The Koch Brothers won a fight in the Senate when a vigil for the DISCLOSE act failed 51-44. It would have made anonymous donations to political campaigns more difficult, providing more transparency to the process. Let there be no mistake – the Koch brothers are much like the Wizard in Oz: controlling the game from the sidelines, manipulating the view of the situation because they can, and they have thrown more money at candidates that were once “fringe” and “dismissible” but are now carrying title of Congressman or Senator. There is another vote scheduled on this issue today: while I would like to believe that there are more who wish to be open and feel it important, I haven’t many hopes.
DISCLOSE scares those who have tied their livelihood and ego to the elected offices in DC. Others feel it is necessary and integral to the political process. Senator Whitehouse (D-R.I.) a sponsor of the bill explains “putting and end to secret election spending by special interests is an essential step in protecting middle class priorities”.
Contrary to this belief, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been quoted in his attack of the bill: contending that it is a vehicle for intimidation that will squelch political speech and open the door for “enemy list” building by the administration. McConnell, like most who then paraphrase a sentence to appeal to their crowd is wrong. His misrepresentation of the SCOTUS decision on Citizen’s united as one that upheld the ability of “secret donations” was in error. In fact, the vote was 8 – 1 in favor of transparency as written in the decision by Justice Kennedy “this transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages”.
So – where can you find the “proper weight” without the propaganda? What sources do I use to find the “fact” of the matter?
Here are a few:
The Sunlight Foundation : Currently they are doing a series of posts about the DISCLOSE act, following the money trail, and transparency.
Annenberg Public Policy Center : a leading think tank with many great resources
Bill Moyers : one of the good journalists
I’m not perfect – but as the election looms near you should be asking yourself a question:
What has ____ done FOR me lately?