Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We have only just begun to salvage American democracy

This is exactly what many of us expect and hate: corporate money gets the last word with representatives who allegedly represent us voters. The corporocRATs jump one ship just to get on the other and they had better not make democRATs out of our new legislators. I am watching this congress as I did not know how to watch its predecessor. The same people who were enthusiasticly bumping Republicans out of power will entusiastically attack any legislator who gives much attention to the wishes of lobbiests. A lobbiest is NOT a constitutional post, a branch of government or, in any way, a representative of my wishes. I give money to AAAS, which vainly tried to lobby for science when both industry and the executive were against it. If "we have to lobby because the other guys are buying legislation" is an excuse to tolerate soft money sloshing around our capitol, there is a simple if drastic solution: outlaw lobbying. The very presence of influence buyers ought to be criminalized. A letter, a phonecall or an e-mail from a voter like me and the reports from their own investigative staff, for which they have budgets, are the only inputs to a legislator that I would trust. What kind of laws could you expect if the advice to the lawmaker comes from parties who speak only for a narrow financial self interest?

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