When the Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United in 2010, it opened the door for less restricted political campaign contributions -from corporations, individuals, special interest groups. While I am in favor of the free flow of currency in exchange for goods and services and even influence in some cases, with basic regulations to protect the parties involved, with that freedom comes some side effects.
One result of the Citizens United ruling is that sitting members of the US Congress are now expected, by their respective parties, to call donors personally. On a regular basis. During their work day…you know, while we are already paying them a sizable salary to work for us.
According to a CBS News 60 Minutes report,
‘The Republican House Campaign Committee would not tell us whether it recommends a specific amount of call time. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee claims it currently does not. But in 2013, at an orientation meeting, new Democratic members were shown a model schedule. It was later published by the Huffington Post.’
I don’t know about you, but I do not consider this to be a constructive use of their time. Time for which, I repeat, we are already paying them a salary…to do the work of a Congressperson, not a Super PAC.
Not only do they receive $174,000 per year for what amounts to a part-time job, they are fully vested in a pension from which they can begin to draw when they are 62 years of age with as little as 5 years of service (and as young as 60 years of age with 10 years of service). So wouldn’t it be nice if someone in the trenches stood up and said NO? Enter Rep. David Jolly (R-FL). Congressman Jolly has introduced a bill that, in a rare move, is intended to actually increase the productivity of our lawmakers. (I’m as pleasantly surprised as you are!)
The proposed Stop Act is a direct result of Jolly’s shock resulting from learning how much of his time in D.C. was supposed to be spent directly raising money. In an appearance on Fox Business’ Varney & Co. (video here), Jolly said:
“We all know about the money in politics. This is about the time it takes to raise that money. And the fact that you have a part-time Congress in a full-time world, spending all their days shaking down the American people for money and not doing the job they ran for.”
Unsurprisingly, because of his insistence on not spending half his time in congress making phone calls to donors, Jolly is now behind on raising the funds expected to be necessary to win the open Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio. So far he hasn’t changed course, and I believe him when he says it will not, even if that means he loses his election. In today’s political world, I’d call that extraordinary.
It’s important that we keep conservatives who not only talk about eliminating government waste, but act on it. We need representatives like David Jolly, and several more like him, willing to stand up for what is right and good for their constituents. Bravo, Mr. Jolly, you have my support.
I’d urge anyone interested in helping David Jolly in his fight against Democrat Alan Grayson, to go here to find out ways to help his campaign.