We are here to let you in on a dirty secret in Washington: To serve on the most influential committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, lawmakers are expected to raise a certain amount of money for their respective political parties. The sums involved have become astronomical — more than one million dollars for the most coveted spots. And neither party can claim the moral high ground: Democrats and Republicans alike expect this of their members.
You should not have to buy a position on any committee in Congress. That’s just wrong. To be a successful politician, you should not be judged solely by how much money you can raise. Issue One’s “The Price of Power” report illustrates just how rampant such pay-to-play politicking has become, and it offers solutions so that those serving in Congress can prioritize legislating instead of fundraising.
Constantly raising funds for the political parties interferes with the work of serving your constituents and your country. Hours spent fundraising — and worrying about fundraising — are time and energy diverted away from lawmakers’ legislative responsibilities. When members of Congress get out of bed in the morning, they should be thinking about solving the country’s problems as opposed to how much cash they can raise that day.
It should not come as a surprise that most members of Congress dislike both the fundraising quotas placed upon them and their second job of “dialing for dollars” as telemarketers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Lawmakers could undo these shackles by adopting simple, common-sense reforms as quickly as possible to sever the ties between fundraising and committee leadership, which would also reduce the conflicts of interest created by our current system.
It should be against House rules to require that legislators raise money to stay on a committee or to become the chair or ranking member of a committee. Moreover, members of Congress should be prohibited from soliciting funds during work hours while Congress is in session so their focus can be on the people’s work. Republican and Democratic leaders should also agree to bring “party dues” back down to earth. Furthermore, these dues should be publicly disclosed.
We are not saying that committee chairs should not be involved at all with fundraising to help their parties or their colleagues, but it should not be the primary arbiter of whether they ascend to, or stay in, positions of leadership.
It is unhealthy for our country and our democracy for money to be such a critical component of how legislative leaders are selected. This dirty secret has metastasized into a major cancer afflicting our legislative process. The time to combat this is now. Nothing less than the public’s trust in government itself is at stake.
Commentary by AJ Kern
To understand the problem with Tom Emmer serving as the Deputy Chair for the NRCC, a private organization… PLEASE READ the link: https://www.issueone.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/price-of-power-final.pdf
This is why the ‘establishment’ remain in power. Why politicians do not listen to you but, are influenced by lobbyist and special interest…. Big money also means grassroots conservative candidates don’t stand a chance.
Emmer would never be a member of the ‘Reformers Caucus’ because Emmer is a player in the problem the Reformers Caucus is attempting to solve…
Reformers Caucus seek to end ‘pay-to-play’…
“Today, most lawmakers do not spend the time building relationships with members of the opposing party or developing subject-matter expertise related to their committees and constituents.
Instead, members of Congress are incentivized to spend up to 30 hours a week raising money, talking to a narrow set of deep-pocketed donors or special interests, who also fund outside groups and “dark money” organizations to discourage political courage and fuel dysfunction in Washington.” https://www.issueone.org/why-it-matters-2/
You think Emmer is bringing money back to the district? That’s his excuse!
How does this serve YOU? How does this serve the district… or St Cloud?
This isn’t a personal attack… it’s just the truth. Our country is in deep trouble and this is a huge part of the problem.