One purpose for which our Constitution was ordained and established was “to promote the general welfare.” When legislators are sworn in, they take an oath to support that Constitution. If we dare suppose that “general welfare” means the welfare of all the people, some of our legislators’ oaths mean naught. Bill after bill is brought to the floor of the House to reduce or eliminate programs that “promote the general welfare.”
Lobbying has long been an integral part of the legislative process. Lobbying, together with collection of data by staff members, informs our legislators. But when lobbying involves the quid pro quo of campaign contributions and PAC ads in return for votes, the end result becomes government for the benefit of corporations and the wealthy.
And so we wonder. Are those who stand for election motivated by the desire to promote the general welfare or by the desire for recognition, for power, for the perks of office, for the possibility of wealth? If it is the former, why is campaign reform not a priority?
We, the people, need to let our legislators know we want them, at the very least, to pass sunshine laws illuminating PAC spending.
Aynslie Frederickson, Modesto