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Put congressional reps on alert during their summer vacation



Published: Tue, August 5, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Put congressional reps on alert during their summer vacation

Congress has done one of the few things it does unanimously — gone on vacation. If its members take a day of this five-week hiatus to visit the people — not the party hacks — who they allegedly represent, I hope every man and woman tells them “no.”

Make it simple so the pol can understand your wish without extended study, or forming super committees needed to reformulate your “no” into something completely opposite your intent.

For instance, tell them this:

No person, business, organization, government body or trust may contribute more than $1,000 to your campaign, program, institute, committee in any calendar year. No action on this means I will vote no for your re-election.

No bill you submit, co-sponsor or vote to adopt will contain funding for any law, program, increase or addition to any existing legislation not contained in its title or itemized in its index. One bill, one subject. No action, no vote for you.

No military intervention, police action or war will be entered into for more than one month without the recorded agreement of a super majority of Congress and the executive branch of government. Not voting is not a choice. Your vote will be published to your constituents. No action, no vote for you.

This, albeit negative approach, at least sets some rules for the self-serving “governing class” to follow that could result in something resembling representative government. More positive approaches, like “tell me quarterly what legislation you have passed instead of waiting for your re-election year” or “please, tell me where the money from that last tax increase went before asking for more” or “spend at least one week of your multiple, multi-week recesses visiting the people in your district/state” might be good examples.

Either way, if you get the opportunity to speak to your representative or senator, don’t waste it on bluster. Just tell them what you expect of them and tell them what they can expect from you if they continue to ignore you.

Jim Cartwright, Canfield


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