Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Pox on Politicians

The other day while watching the news, I heard that Republican legislators, headed by Rep. Voss, want to change the state’s recall policy. Recent policy states elected officials can be recaled for any reason, but a petition with the names of 25 percent of individuals within the representative’s district - and the names have to be collected within 60 days. To me, collecting that amount of signatures - literally thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of names - in two months - seems like it would be challenge enough for the process.

Republicans however, want to make it so a representative can only be recalled if they have committed a felony or an ethical violation.

This proposed change reeks of political agenda and party-pandering. To me, it doesn’t matter if it is Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. Either way, I would not support the move.

We the people - We the People select who we want representating us not just as President of the United States, but in all offices, from Congress representatives and state senators, to district assemblymen and women.

When Governor Scott Walker presented his union-busting, collective bargaining stripping bill to the people, an outry went out and thousands from all over the state - teachers, police, firefighters, the common man - flocked to the Capital to protest. Within a few months, recall efforts were underway for both Republican and Democrat senators, and in the end, Democrats picked up two seats, not enough for the three needed to gain majority, but it wasn’t in vain.

It is the people who elect their representatives, the people who pledge their hard-earned money to fund the campaigns. I understand the frustration with the $44 million spent on the recent recalls, but stripping even more rights from the voting public of Wisconsin is not right. If constituents feel their lawmakers have let them down in some way, are no longer representing their best interests - whatever that may be - they should have every right to try to recall him or her.

This bill isn’t to prevent another rampaging recall effort from occurring in the future, it’s to limit a party takeover - because our Assemblymen and women, both Republican and Democrat - are incapable of working together. Public officials represent us, and showing intollerance and an unwillingness to work together for the betterment of our county, state and nation is a poor message to send to everyone.

Step up politicians, put aside your petty differences, and work to address an actual growing problem: how to fix our declining economy, growing unemployment rates and budget deficit, while not completely turning a cold shoulder to the most needy. Leave the party-pandering in the dust, please.

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