Change is very difficult for people — especially in faith, tradition and conviction. But sometimes change is forced upon us. Other times, because what is just isn’t serving the interests of the majority anymore, change becomes both necessary and desirable.
When the majority of Americans want change, our government is designed to respond. That’s what democracy is. Sometimes the wheels of progress turn slowly, and that can be good. But when the desire for change is overwhelmingly strong, as was indicated by the 2006 mid-term elections, the wheels of progress shift into high gear. This shifting took place recently in the 110th Congress with passage of Senate Bill 1. This bill contains two parts, or “titles”. The first is the Legislative Transparency and Account- ability Act of 2007. The second is the Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007. You can see the full text of Senate Bill 1 at the Library of Congress site. But, in short, provisions of this bill increase penalties for failure to comply with disclosure requirements for lobbying. It is aimed at reducing, if not eliminating entirely, the habit that Lawmakers have acquired over time, and increasingly of late, to reward special interest groups by “earmarking” funds for things like the notorious “bridges to nowhere” in Alaska. But some legislators just don’t seem to understand what voters sent them to Washington to do. Or maybe they do but don’t care, not understanding that, what with the advent of the Internet, their actions are already transparent. Without this bill becoming law, our representatives may have to wait until the next election to experience accountability. But, because there are so many of us these days using blogs like this to express ourselves and disseminate information, government will be more accountable.
Case in point — on Senate Bill 1, the Senate voted 81 to 6 to approve with 8 not voting. Of those voting against the bill, all were Republicans: Tom Coburn and James Inhofe from Oklahoma, Orrin Hatch from Utah, Kay Baily Hutchison from Texas, Trent Lott from Mississippi, and Pat Robers from Kansas. You may email any of these senators from this U.S. Senate website, as I will do for my own Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison. I will be asking what in the world she was thinking about when voting against this bill and I will be inviting her to respond to all of my readers by commenting to this posting.
During the 2006 gubernatorial race in Texas, the Democratic candidate, Chris Bell, was said by Governor Perry’s campaign to be “Too Liberal” for Texas. Hmmm, maybe Kay Bailey Hutchison, popular as she has proven to be over the years among Texas voters, has now become “Too Conservative” (resistant to change), even for Texas, by voting against this bill.
To post a comment, click on the tiny COMMENTS link below.