Skip to comments.CA: Corrupting influence (politicians create safe districts and still squeeze special interests)
Posted on 08/15/2005 10:00:38 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
Why is it that Southern California residents continually get ripped off when it comes to the distribution of federal funds, but their congressmen the people charged with distributing those funds continually get re-elected?
It's all about money.
Southland lawmakers have some of the biggest campaign war chests in the country, thanks to countless special interests all too happy to purchase their favor.
Of seven Golden State lawmakers going into the campaign season with more than $1 million as of June 30, six are from Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties.
Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, has the third-largest congressional re- election fund in the nation. Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena; Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks; and Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, also round out the list of some of the top cash-raisers.
Is any one of them in danger of losing his seat? Hardly.
Credible challengers don't even bother trying to go up against that kind of political might, derived in part from Congress members' one bipartisan achievement: getting the state Legislature to gerrymander their districts so that nothing short of an outrageous scandal or death could cause any of them to be replaced. Even on those rare occasions when credible challengers emerge, the incumbents are able to crush them by raising even more money.
The power of incumbency, especially long-term incumbency, can be overwhelming. And that power has a lot less to do with how well legislators serve their constituents or the nation than with how well they serve their party and the special interests.
That is why term limits, which apply to state and local offices, but not Congress, are crucial. Because office-for-life for politicians mean virtual death for representative democracy.
Because office-for-life for politicians mean virtual death for representative democracy.
It does already...the only way we will ever again see a true representative GOVERNMENT FOR AND BY THE PEOPLE, is for the U.S. to completely tank and have to be rebuilt. A tragedy, but that is the fact in it. When there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY, THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT...
How can they write this editorial and not say one word about Arnold's initiative to turn the redistricting process over to a panel of retired judges? Are the editors so set in their Leftist ways that they can't even admit that the solution is on the table, waiting to be passed and implemented? And why the wimpy (and years too late) recommendation for term limits?