As your Congressman, I will confront dishonesty wherever I find it. Washington will not change me.
I will change Washington.

    

Common Sense Principles

Approval Vs Incumbency and Dirty Politics

 Congress has been hovering around a 10% approval rate, yet has a nearly a 90% re-election rate for incumbents. It is quite logical to conclude that the skill set it takes to get the job is not the same skill set it takes to do the job. What is effective strategy to get elected? What is effective strategy to be a good Congressman?

 It is considered common knowledge in politics that negative campaigning works. That is to say, speaking in a derogatory manner of your opponent effectively sways voters to the other alternative. I believe in accountability. Answering for one’s own actions should certainly be part of gaining the public trust. The problem arises when there is absolutely no compulsion for truth in political advertising. The FEC (Federal Election Commission) Law guidebook is 229 pages long. In all these regulations there is not one single rule or regulation requiring a candidate to tell the truth nor a single regulation punishing or sanctioning a candidate who lies about another candidate. Of course, those seasoned in politics are well aware of this. A political smear is truth until proven otherwise.

Our founding fathers knew the dangers of this philosophy. The Fifth Amendment to The Constitution mandates all Americans rate due process of law. While this Amendment refers to criminal law, it also establishes the American principle of presumed innocence. The burden of proof is on the accuser. Without this, our Nation would still have the legal system of the Salem Witch Trials. If accused, you are a witch unless you prove you are not.

The Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights directs, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Congressional members swear an oath to uphold this. Unfortunately, Congressional oaths are not legally binding. When private citizens do not tell the truth to Congress, such as the Roger Clemens case, they are tried for perjury and jailed. When Congressional members lie to private citizens, they equivocate it as Free speech. How could this double standard occur? Congress writes the laws governing their own conduct. That is how.

 There are many examples of this. Congressional members allowed themselves to “inside trade” until this was discovered by the American people this year. Congressional members watched their constituents go to jail for the very practice many of them were engaged in. The 112th Congress (the current session) passed a resolution to begin the session with the reading of The Constitution. Multiple members of Congress refused to attend, claiming that The Constitution offended them. All members had just sworn an oath to support and defend The Constitution.

Ironically, some are comfortable with a degree of dishonesty from their Congressional Representative. These voters have accepted that Washington was dishonest as a whole and it took a degree of dishonesty to succeed there. I reject this ideology. Our Representatives should be the best among us, not the worst of us. If you put dirty oil and dirty fuel in an engine, its performance degrades and eventually it becomes so polluted, it stops completely. Are these values consistent with what Washington DC should be?

 As your Congressman, I will confront dishonesty wherever I find it. I’m not a career politician. I have made no deals to get where I am. I did not arrive in this Congressional race from the traditional political avenues. Rather, I am a retired Marine. I have spent my life in service to this Nation, living a life of honor and integrity.

 Washington will not change me. I will change Washington.

 
 

 


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