Looks like Congress is the opposite of “democratically elected” when you take this into account.
How is 97 percent of Congress able to get re-elected each year even though only 17 percent of the American people believe our representatives are doing a good job?
It’s called an incumbent protection system. Taxpayers have a right to know how it works.
Recently, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com mashed up the federal checkbook with the congressional campaign donor database (source: OpenSecrets.org). We found powerful members of Congress soliciting campaign donations from federal contractors based in their districts.
We followed the money and found a culture of conflict-of-interest. The confluence of federal money, campaign cash, private employment, investments, prestigious committee appointments, political power, nepotism, and other conflicts are a fact pattern.
Furthermore, members of Congress own investment stock in, are employed by, and receive retirement pensions from federal contractors to whom they direct billions of taxpayer dollars.
Moreover, members sponsor legislation that affects these contractors. The contractor’s lobbyists then advocate for the legislation that helps the member and the contractor. Oftentimes, the contractor’s lobbyist also donates campaign cash to the member.
Here are five case examples detailing the conflict-of-interest among five powerful members of Congress…
There’s more at the link.
It’s easy to talk about term limits and similar steps to help fix our broken system of government; but I daresay the entrenched interests that have corrupted it, and the systems they’ve put in place, would find a way to corrupt newly-elected representatives almost as soon as they set foot in the door of the Capitol. We have to find a way to break the stranglehold of special interests before we can fix our democracy . . . and short of creating new offenses for which a heavy prison term can be levied, I don’t see how. Any practical suggestions, readers?