Contempt of Constituency Legislation
Honest politician laws
Who isn't pissed off and fed up with dishonest lying politicians? Would you like to force them to be more honest? We can...
We pay the salaries of our elected representatives. They are, or should, be contractually obligated to be honest with the citizens that they are hired to represent. What boss or business owner would tolerate an employee that routinely lied to and mislead them? So why is it okay, why isn't it an offense worthy of termination or at least penalties for politicians to lie to us?
We could be sentenced to prison for lying in a court of law or for lying during a congressional hearing. So why is it legal for our representatives to knowingly and blatantly lie to the American people? We suspect it is obvious to most that something needs to be done about this gross injustice. Passing legislation to make it a crime for elected representatives to knowingly and willfully lie to the public would profoundly improve the integrity of our political system. Unfortunately Congress decides what becomes law and you can safely bet your life savings that they will never pass such legislation because lying to the public is the norm for way too many of them. So what can we do?
To begin, we need to dispel the misconception that lying is simply a right, protected by the first amendment as a freedom of expression. It is not. People go to prison for contempt of court and contempt of congress violations. It is not legal to shout, FIRE in a crowded theater when there is no fire. Okay, so it's legal now, but it is not legal to encourage people to commit crimes like voting twice. We should also consider that our representatives are our paid employees. Let 's just remember that there are limits regarding first amendment protections and that "knowingly and willfully" is the legal standard.
There are presently some efforts to implement legislative reforms that are designed to "work around" congress, or to create reforms from the ground up starting at municipal and county levels and then to state levels and thereby creating momentum to then enact reforms at the federal level.
Represent.us is promoting The American Anti-Corruption Act which works to; remove dark money from the election/campaign system, ban lobbying (legalized bribery of public officials) and close the revolving doors between industries and state. This is an effort well worth supporting and they are relatively new on the scene, so check them out and help them out.
Move To Amend is an organization that seeks to create a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Buckley v Valeo and Citizens United Rulings that effectively legislated from the bench that spending money on political campaigns was a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment. It also seeks to overturn the doctrine of corporate personhood created by the judiciary that gives Bill of Rights protections create for people to legal constructs/corporations. This is another organization and effort well worth supporting. This is an older organization and has considerable success at the municipal level. Continued effort may create success at the state level.
The aforementioned organizations are aiming high for sure. A contempt of constituency effort could follow the same model, strategies and tactics as those other good efforts. Contempt of Constituency is, perhaps, less ambitious on the surface. The simplicity of a contempt of constituency law may be its greatest strength. It's easy to understand and who isn't tired of lying politicians? These laws don't have to be laws really. They could just as easily be incorporated into the rules of conduct that all legislative bodies have. It can be implemented at municipal, county, state and federal levels.
Heck, let's have some fun with this and make a contest out of it. Who will win the honors of becoming the verifiably most honest state in the union?
Perhaps we should steal a page out of Grover Norquist's playbook. Grover is the front man for for a faction of oligarchs who have all too successfully utilized a no new tax pledge to vet republicon candidates. Candidates who take the pledge get ample funding from wealthy special interests and those who don't are highly unlikely to win a race fueled by money.
Democrats, particularly the Progressive Caucus, could utilize a contempt of constituency pledge to vet democratic candidates. Those that pledge to support and promote such legislation will win the support of populists. We need to petition progressive representatives to introduce a bill in Congress. We can easily predict that there will be no support, only opposition from Republicans for such a proposal, but that's okay. The record will clearly show who promotes honesty from our elected officials and those who are in favor of deceiving the American public.
When enough people push for this type of legislation, it will become the responsibility of the public and the media to question all candidates for public office whether they support contempt of constituency laws or oppose honesty and integrity in our political body.
So let's get to work. First thing we need to do is incorporate this effort as a legal nonprofit organization. We'll need a little funding for this project, but nonprofits aren't that expensive to start. We'll need a qualified board of directors too. If you'd like to get involved, send an email. If you'd like to contribute a dollar or a few, click the donate tab....coming soon