Local View: Politicians should recuse themselves to rescue nation from political influence
Would you like to be rescued from seemingly endless election cycles laden with negative campaign ads? Would you like to be rescued from printed glossy mailings that spew exaggerations, negativity, and contempt? Would you like to be rescued from t...
Would you like to be rescued from seemingly endless election cycles laden with negative campaign ads? Would you like to be rescued from printed glossy mailings that spew exaggerations, negativity, and contempt? Would you like to be rescued from turning on the TV and having to listen to how evil a particular candidate is or how he or she accepted a contribution from Big Pharma?
Perhaps, just perhaps, we the people could provide a solution to the undue influence of banking, Big Pharma, defense spending, Wall Street insiders, and the host of malfeasance that seeks control of our legislative process.
Not biting a hand feeding you is basic common sense. The black hole of campaign finance is a topic that very few, if any, politicians want to address. Why would they? The system leans heavily in favor of political action committees, large financial interests like Big Pharma, banking, the gun lobby, or health care.
All judges across America would have to recuse themselves from any case or trial in which they had a conflict of interest or otherwise could not be impartial. For example, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigations into President Donald Trump’s campaign.
If a senator from Minnesota accepted $29,366 in campaign contributions from a large banking interest, he or she should not be allowed to sit on the Senate Banking Committee. We the people should be protected by a law that forces senators to recuse themselves from committee work or legislative action regarding banking should they accept contributions from the banking industry.
If you or I went to that very same large banking concern and said, “Would you give me $29,366? I have no intention of paying it back,” we could be assured that the large banking concern would answer with a resounding, “No!” Why? Because a large banking concern expects to be repaid with interest, whether you are loan applicant or a politician.
Should a senator from Minnesota sit on the Judiciary Committee and accept $34,450 in campaign contributions from a large law firm, we the people should be protected by a law that forces the senator to recuse himself or herself of any committee work or legislative action regarding law firms.
Should a congressperson from Minnesota accept campaign contributions from a large health care interest, we the people should be protected by a law that forces the congressperson to recuse himself or herself from any committee work or legislation regarding health care.
The impact of large political action committees and large corporate donors on the electoral process effectively discounts the impact of our individual votes. How could we possibly expect a senator or representative who has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from any industry to be completely impartial when the time comes to vote on legislation involving that industry?
Could any senator say he or she could vote impartially regarding prescription costs and legislation when that senator has received a huge contribution from Big Pharma? If he or she accepts a campaign contribution from Big Pharma, that senator should recuse himself or herself from any committee work or legislative action involving Big Pharma.
Folks, if that money dries up, so will the negative political ads and the glossy mailings filled with exaggerations, negativity, and contempt.
Ironically, recuse and rescue are spelled with the same letters. We the people can be rescued from the undue influence of large political campaign donations by ordering our legislators to recuse themselves when they have benefited from one of those large political campaign donations.
Fifty-five cents can change the current political climate in Washington, D.C. Write a letter to your senators and representatives. The cost of a stamp is a small price to pay. Tell them campaign-finance reform will determine your next vote. Make sure the D.C. politicians know we voted them in, and we can vote them out.