Published on 12/20/07 - 05:54:11 by MCCNewsUpdates
Recently MCC/CRD had the opportunity to speak with Prescott Small on his views of the coming elections and politics in general. Mr. Small is currently serving as a precinct chair in Stafford, TX, is a successful family man and businessman and ran for a county commissioner seat in 2006 pledging off all special interest funding (a rare move these days).
I think there are several key issues that need to be addressed in politics regardless of party and on all levels of government whether it is local, county, state or federal elections.
There are two major players in what is wrong with elections, the “middle of the roader” and the person that refuses to vote. While the middle of the roader tends to be balanced in their opinions they are very seldom moved to take action and are just willing to “go with the flow” while the non voter doesn’t care about the flow at all. The only people that are typically active with elections and causes are the far right and the far left and combined we are a minority in this country, yet we get to decide how things will be.
Americans operate under a delusion where this is a majority rules country. This is not true at all. For example; let’s say we have a 60% voter turn out and the election is won by a 51/49 split. That means that roughly 30% of America just decided what is best for the country.
Being legal don’t make it right:
Then there are the Americans that are of a mind set that just because something is not illegal it is still just.
We all remember a certain representative from Sugar Land and how he took truckloads of money and gifts to pass legislation and that it was “legal at the time he did it.” That did not make it right.
The system is rigged:
Then there is the system, which is rigged. The real problem is how much it cost to get elected. You and I all want the best candidates and people that have a sense of responsibility and are willing to protect the real working men women in our country. The average person like you and I will find the campaign process a burden that is most difficult the bear. The average person can’t quit his or her job to run for office. Campaigning is essentially a full time job with a hell of a lot of overtime these days. The average person doesn’t have a spare quarter of a million dollars lying around. The average person is not willing to sacrifice their personal lives and their privacy not to bear the burden of the stress it takes to run for office.
Candidates still have bills to pay and families to feed. So the only people that are really able to run are those that can raise a ton of cash or have a ton of cash.
The candidates have to be willing to sacrifice any personal life they have or had. They also have to make the greatest sacrifice of all; that is to sacrifice time with their families.
In my opinion the effort to run for office and the sacrifice that it demands should be enough of an incentive to keep people honest and re-enforce their spine. However, when we are presented with the evidence this appears to not be the case.
Based on all that we have seen of the corruption of both parties, one would have to assume the burden of maintaining that status of “Elected Official” must be too great to bear for too long; for that re-enforced spine appears to collapse with time.
I believe that people that do business with the county. When companies that make millions in revenue from government contracts while contributing money to elected officials that grant the contracts is just questionable at best. In my gut I would feel wrong accepting such monies because I would perceive it as a conflict of interest. My personal integrity would make me feel uncomfortable.
Lobbyist making contributions and “sponsoring” fund raisers for elected officials is also a huge conflict of interest. When you seek specific legislation passed that benefits your organization and those you represent directly, it is immoral to give money to those same people.
Both parties are plagued by these corrupting influences. All parties have got to take a stand and change these practices.
Religion, meet State:
Religion and politics need to stay separated. Many of the candidates we see today are wearing their religion on their sleeves. They are in essence flying in the face of the constitution by endorsing a non-formalized process in which a politician not only has to have a profound sense of faith, but also be of a particular faith. For Example: Although I would never endorse Mitt Romney as a candidate I find it despicable that there are people in his party that refuse to vote for him solely because they believe his brand of faith is a cult.
The United States Constitution states in Article VI, section 3 that“ ...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. ”
What has happened is a minority of Americans, about 23%, have hijacked one party and made faith a requirement to hold political office. They are very clear in this goal and their influence has spread so that no candidate in any party has a chance of getting elected unless they talk about their faith and express a profound belief in God.
This requirement is un-American as can clearly be seen by taking the time to read your constitution. And yes, I am aware that the Texas State Constitution has a religious requirement for a belief in a higher being to hold office; however that is trumped by the U.S. Constitution.
Religion and Government are a poisonous combination; one need only read a history book to know this. And if you want more proof, just turn on any news station and what is happening in the Middle East and around world where people live in theocracies today. Our founding fathers had a pretty damn good idea and they were well aware of the dangers of mixing religion and politics. That is why they have the No Religion test and the 1st Amendment.
Ok, it’s time to leave:
All elected offices should have term limits. While the people that get elected most often have a sense of civic duty and purpose, far too many fall to the dark side of campaign contributions and the trap of getting re-elected. They stop taking chances and aren’t will to stick out their political necks to do what really needs to be done for fear of loosing their chances at re-election. Many of them consider a large part of their job to be getting re-elected. So much of their time is spent campaigning that they are no longer able to perform the jobs they were sent there to do.
To summarize what is wrong with elections:
4) Term Limits
Get more on the context of this OP/ED at http://www.fortbendnow.com/opinion/3624/fort-bend-desparate-for-new-blood-in-office#c021929
2009 FBISD Tax Hearing (On YouTube)
CLICK HERE FOR THE 2009 FBISD CONTROVERSIAL TAX HEARING (YES THEY ARE RAISING THEM AGAIN--see petition of over 500 district taxpayers asking for board accountability) --In case anyone missed it they raised the property tax rate again (4th time) in 2010 and more than likely will do so again in 2011 facing another projected 15-20 million dollar budget deficit, according to some media reports. ***NEW*** ..Petition TO STOP THE GSTC (Global Science Museum being planned at the district central office--near $30 million dollar project that superintendent Jenney is pushing): http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/ (see update below on this apparently ending this project after 2 years)