Monday, May 17, 2010


Those three little words just might be the words that have caused our elected representatives and senators to be held in such low esteem by the American public and it is not what our founding fathers had in mind when they gave us our Constitution. The founders envisioned that our democratic republic would be administered by selfless individuals for the betterment of all its citizens and not just for their own power and personal enrichment.

It seems that certain individuals will spend millions of dollars to get elected to a job that pays about $170,000 (as a Congressman or Senator) per year. Are they really seeking elective office to help their fellow citizens run their country or are they trying to feather their own nest for future earnings and to gain power? That’s where the words “Pay to Play” comes into play.

I’m sure there are some dedicated politicians who are trying their best to follow the mandates of the U.S. Constitution, but what about the sizable cadre of other politicians who have self-serving motives?

We’ve heard over the past few years that many of our elected representatives use “earmarks” as a means to pad their campaign chest and for future monetary considerations. When a Congressman or Senator puts an “earmark” into a budget resolution (an “earmark” is a specific grant to an individual, business or public project, in the form of allocating taxpayer money for a purpose thought to be beneficial to a constituent without having to be voted on by the other legislators) he creates the perception that he expects something in return from the entity receiving that “earmark”. Look at the legislators on the Finance Committees and see who contributes to their campaign funds for re-election? You guessed it, the financial institutions. The politician will deny the obvious, but that scenario can be documented just by checking the politician’s campaign fund statement. Could that largesse, by these “earmark” recipients, be one reason why incumbents get re-elected about 90% of the time? Even if an “earmark” is not in play, the politicians vote on a particular bill is in play. That leads to the next example.

Another gross example of the words “Pay to Play” is the fact that many retired or former legislators become “players” by becoming lobbyists for one of the many firms that are in the lobbying business. These former legislators, especially the one’s who once held high leadership positions in either chamber, are commanding big salaries sometimes in the many millions of dollars. I’m not against anybody, per se, making a lot of money (contrary to the to the socialist feelings of President Obama), but if they are hired because of their former position in the legislative body or as payback for voting a certain way while a legislator, then the fish starts to stink from the head down.

Look at the lineup of former legislators (both DEMOCRAT and Republican) who have been brought aboard the lobbying “gravy train”. Former Senators Tom Daschle (D) and Bob Dole (R), both former majority leaders of their respective parties, are pulling down million dollar salaries from the lobbying firms they represent. In addition, you have other notable legislators cashing in like Richard Gephardt (D), Bob Livingston (R), Trent Lott (R), John Breaux (D), Dick Armey (R), Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D) etc., etc. What specific knowledge or “smarts” did these people possess other than knowing the workings of the congress and who they could convince, among their former colleagues, to vote a certain way. That is “Pay to Play” and it’s not in the best interest of our country.

The “foxes in the hen house” (the legislators) have made the rules and they have left many loopholes to benefit themselves when and if they become lobbyists. Today, a former Congressman or Senator cannot become a lobbyist until two years after he leaves that office, but they very conveniently become “consultants” not lobbyists, but still command six and seven figure salaries. Tom Daschle (D) calls himself a consultant, what a sham.

The system of “one hand washes the other” is one reason why the public has such a low opinion of the Congressmen and Senators. These hypocrites lambaste some corporation CEO’s for greed, but practice the same greedy ways in their own lives. SHAME ON THEM, BUT THEN AGAIN, THEY HAVE NO SHAME!

Conservative Commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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The Anti-Democrat said...

Look at how much money was given to Hussein Obama, Corrupt Chris Dodd & Barney Frank, by Fannie/Freddie. That is the biggest problem for the USA, corrupt Politicans destroying the Housing Market.

John Mulee said...

Just recently, Congressman Alan B. Mollohan, (D-WV), was defeated in the Democrat primary by a fellow Democrat. He held that seat for over a couple of decades and became extremely wealthy on a modest legislators salary. He came into office with a modest estate and will leave as a multi- muti millionaire (maybe he hooked up with Hillary's "futures" trading broker for his great going away bonanza?). Even the Democrats in West Virginia had had enough and dumped him. The stink, left by Mollohan, will probably not go away as the Republican will probably win that seat in November.
He is but one of many who should be thrown out of office because they violated their oath to uphold and protect the constitution, Good riddence!

steven s perrigo said...

Term limits would certainly help stop this thievery or at least slow it down. Also the concept of the initiative process on the national level would greatly restore our democratic process and would result in a greator controll over our government. An example of this being used in the Swiss federation today...