When an individual decides to run for the House, the first challenge that comes to mind is “I need money”. The second challenge that comes to mind is “Where can I get it”? If you have a little free time, do a little research on your Congressional Representatives. Odds are good that they received more money in donations from political action committees and individuals located outside their district, than from inside. This means their virtual constituency extends across the nation and maybe into foreign countries. How can any representative to Congress adequately focus on the needs of their local constituents, when they are beholden to so many outside their constituency for so much?
We continually hear how the special interests have taken over Congress. They have! Is it the candidate’s fault – No! Yes we have our share of unethical or even criminal candidates, but for the most part they are good people who know the other guy will raise oodles of money from the special interests, and they know that unless they raise as much, they have no chance to get elected. So the good people pander outside the district to raise money. Mostly the problem is the system and not the candidate. The fix is relatively simple.
Can we only allow fund raising from individuals whose primary residence is located in the district of the candidate? Unless there was an amendment to our Constitution, court challenges would be made that the rule violates the first amendment. If the elected folks in Congress really wanted to stop this carousel of political favors, fund raising, and special interests, they could propose a constitutional amendment to fix this problem forever. It might simply state that “Candidates for The House of Representatives, may accept campaign contributions of gifts in kind – media, money, personal property or real property only from individual Citizens of the United States, who primarily reside in the district the recipient candidate would serve, if elected. A candidate deemed to have failed to abide by this amendment would forfeit his or her seat in the House, upon a formal challenge brought to the House by the candidate’s opponent or opponents”
The Senate suffers the same special interest problem, but the fix there is different. The only special interest the Senate should serve is the State they represent. The Senate years ago lost its way as the Upper House of Congress representing the interests of the States. The solution here is straightforward, repeal the Seventeenth Amendment. Read more at: https://brokengovernment.wordpress.com/2008/05/02/1913-was-the-true-birth-of-our-federal-government/
Of course, the repeal amendment would have to right wrongs the Nation tried to correct with the Seventeeth. The repeal amendment, would have to control the method of recall of the Senator. It should require a super majority vote in each House of the state legislature and the concurrence of the state’s governor.
Follow this recipe and the special interest grip on Congress would be broken.