Congressional Pledge of Character would Drain the Swamp Members of Congress should be patriots who sacrifice in order to serve.

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Jan 25, 2017 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

A long time ago on my radio show – March 5, 2010 to be exact – we were talking about ethics in Washington. Together with callers, we crafted something called “The Congressional Pledge of Character” which was designed to force congressmen and senators to pledge an oath to doing the right thing.

This would be voluntary, but each member that signed it would be obligated to forego gifts from lobbyists, avoid conflicts of interest, and essentially work for the people – instead of working for Washington.

With the swearing in of a new president, it seems timelier than ever.

President Trump referenced Washington ethics in his inauguration speech. He could not have been more right.

Video: From ABC News Jan.20, 2017: President Trump’s inauguration speech during which he discusses how political elites work for their own interests See the 2:00 mark.

We have a problem – as was shown in an amazing Steve Kroft report on “60 Minutes.” Any member of congress willing to take this pledge would work for the people.

The Congressional Pledge of Character.

This was a simple, 7-point oath that members could sign and then post on their websites and hang in their offices. It was simple, yet logical. It would, if adhered to, drain the swamp. The 7 points were:

1. I will not lie to my constituents.
2. I will not waste my constituents’ money.
3. I will not accept any gift from a lobbyist or a corporation.
4. I will make no attempt to use my office for personal gain.
5. I will avoid any and all conflicts of interest.
6. I will not be a member of any race-based organization.
7. I will honor the Constitution in all that I do.

I would certainly like to see members of Congress pledge this at their swearing-in ceremonies with their hands on the Bible. However, as you might expect there was no groundswell of support for this emanating from Capitol Hill. Back in the day, we did not hear from a single member of Congress in support of this pledge.

its-time-to-drain-the-swamp-heritage-like-and-share-3612557That’s not surprising. Can you imagine Charlie Rangel signing this? That would end his junkets paid for by his “sponsors.”

Would Harry Reid give up his shady deals back in Nevada?

Would the late John Murtha have stopped his pricey dinners where corporations showed up to buy access to government largesse?

Would Eddie Bernice Johnson drop out of the race-based Congressional Black Caucus?

Hell no.

Members of Congress like their perks and, since they make the rules, the rules are always in their favor. They like the power that derives from their elected offices. They like insider information they get and the deals that show up in their inboxes. They sometimes fund raise from dawn until dusk and find creative ways to move campaign money into their own bank accounts.

Steve Kroft did a report called “Washington’s Open Secret” for 60 Minutes – still, in my opinion, the best segment ever on that show.

I post it from time to time – and here it is again in case you missed it. Watch this, and you will understand a lot more about how Washington works for Washington and not for you.

Video: Published on Oct 20, 2013 — Steve Kroft shows how Washington politicians and elected officials get rich off their “service.”

Can Trump Drain the Swamp?

Dunno. As a multi-billionaire, President Trump has his own share of conflicts and issues. I hope he can overcome them – and then go for major ethics reform in Washington. Already, he has moved to stop the swinging door from presidential administrations to the lobbying cesspool on K Street.

Members of Congress should be patriots who sacrifice in order to serve.

That’s the way it used to be. That’s the way it ought to be now. The Congressional Pledge of Character would be a great way to start draining the swamp.

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