When you go to the polls, do you vote for men and women to spend their time doing their job or raising money for campaign funds and their political party?
Would you be shocked and upset to learn that some of the men and women you sent to Congress spend up to and even more than half of their time raising money, instead of their job?
Did you know that both the Democratic and Republican Parties expect their Senators and Representatives to raise a certain amount of money for the Party? The more money they raise, the better chance they have of getting placed on the more prestigious committees and even be appointed committee chairs. The less money they raise for their Party, the less likely the Party is to endorse them for re-election.
Most members of Congress spend hours every day, sometimes up to 30 hours a week, making cold-calls like telemarketers, asking donors for campaign contributions, part of which then goes to their political party. Sometimes they miss votes on the floor, some have missed family events and vacations and others have no idea of what legislation is before them, all due to feeling pressured to raise political money.
Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) – no relation as far as I know – has introduced legislation, HR 4443, known as the STOP Act to stop members of Congress and federal officials from personally asking for donations. The official summary of the STOP Act is:
This bill amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit an individual holding federal office from soliciting funds directly from any person: (1) for or on behalf of any political committee, or (2) for or on the behalf of any person for use for federal election activity.
Such an individual, however, may participate in a fundraising event, including planning or attending it, speaking at it, or serving as a featured guest at the event, so long as he or she does not engage in any written or verbal solicitation of funds in connection with the event.”
Appearing on CBS This Morning, Jolly said:
“You can see them come and go from the call suites, both the Democratic headquarters and the Republican headquarters, and you can tell when members of Congress are missing in action, you know where they are at. Look at how many members of Congress are not at hearings or not on the floor or are hard to find and I also know personal testimony from colleagues, colleagues who told me told me they had to miss family vacations because there was an end of quarter deadline.”
“…the whole purpose of my STOP Act is to pull the curtain back on the amount of time that members of Congress spend raising money. In any other profession, if you spend 20 to 30 hours a week doing a job other than what you were hired, you’d be fired.”
“It’s going to take the will of the American people, the anger of the American people, when they learn that you have a part time Congress in a full time world spending more time shaking down the American people for money than doing their job. We can get it done as a country.”
Jolly went on to explain about the more a politician raises the more benefits he/she receives. He also said that if he loses his bid to replace Sen. Marco Rubio because of his efforts to pass campaign reform, that he and his wife are prepared for that.
When asked what reaction he has gotten from other members of Congress, Jolly replied:
“I said to my wife, the only people who are angry at us are guilty as charged in Washington DC.”
He went on to say that a third grader understands that people are supposed to do their job and that’s the purpose of his bill is to get members of Congress back to doing their job.
He also stated:
“Members of Congress get paid $174,000 a year. If we don’t pass the STOP Act, let’s cut their salary in half because they’re spending half their time raising money and not doing their job.”
If you support Rep. David Jolly’s STOP Act, you can sign his petition here at TheStopAct.com and tell Congress you want them to spend their time working, not asking for money.
I know that if I lived in Florida, I would support and vote for David Jolly for Senate because of his efforts to get politicians back to work.