CBS smuggled secret cameras into a weekend-long fundraiser for twelve freshman Republican Congressmen, held at an exclusive resort in Florida and attended by lobbyists and special interests, who each paid a minimum of $10,000 and as much as $46,200 (the legal maximum) to attend.
The CBS article points out the hypocrisy of the event, using quotes from these Congressmen taken from their 2010 election campaigns promising to change the way Washington works and (as one put it) put “families before the Washington special interests”.
But somehow I can’t blame these guys. The lesson isn’t that these guys are corrupt and we should replace them with someone new who won’t be beholden to special interests. Because that’s exactly what we keep doing, with increasingly predictable results. Even Obama promised “change”, and while I will give him credit for actually trying to change things, he hasn’t changed them nearly enough.
Instead, we need to fix Washington’s dependence on money, in particular, money from special interests. As I’ve said before, I think a good first step is to pass laws requiring transparency. CBS shouldn’t have to sneak cameras into these events. They should be public. It should be public record whenever an elected official spends time with someone who also donates campaign money.