Born and raised in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I know a little something about corrupt politicians. Particularly, growing up in the district of arguably one of the country’s most notorious, John Murtha, I was always astounded by the fact that he kept being re-elected time and time again. Even after numerous stories like those of the ABSCAM fiasco of the 1980s, the abhorrent comments he made about the Marines in Fallujah, and the pork-laden, federally subsidized Johnstown airport that bares Murtha’s name, the people of Pennsylvania’s 12th District continued to pull the lever for Murtha. Even after his death, the 12th District is sending Mark Critz, a former Murtha aide, to Washington to continue perpetuating the problem.
The problem is corruption. The problem is spending. Specifically, spending our tax dollars on superfluous pork barrel projects that, in the case of the Johnstown airport, simply don’t do anything. You would think that in the current political climate, dominated by a return to conservative and limited government, the electorate would have had enough of sending these bums back to Washington. Alas, it continues in PA-12, but it has also occurred in three districts where anyone in their right mind would ask themselves the question, Because of my vote, do I continue to perpetuate a culture of corruption, graft, and back-room deals in Washington, or do I stand up for our Founders by electing someone who will change the scene in Washington, and get government back in the hands of the people? Sadly, Americans in the districts of Charlie Rangel, Barney Frank, and Maxine Waters aren’t asking themselves that question.
Maxine Waters is someone who thought that her “clout” as a United States Representative was massive enough to assist a bank (on which she and her husband served on the board and in which they each had investments) in receiving federal stimulus money and to get away with it. For those who might have forgotten, in 2008, Waters set up a meeting between officials from the Treasury department and executives from the OneUnitedBank to lay the groundwork to receive $12 million of TARP funds from Barry’s pocketbook (read our pocketbook). And on Tuesday, the voters of the 35th District of California reminded the rest of America that they don’t care about Waters and all of her corruption by giving her a 10th term in Congress. And it wasn’t a close race. It was a blowout. Waters won 80% of the vote.
In Charlie Rangel’s case, there was some thought that the countless ethics violations and egregious amounts of pork may actually bring Rangel down, coupled with the fact that the Republican challenger wasn’t a joke. Alas, Rangel, defiant to the end over his ethics charges, was re-elected to serve an astounding 21st term. Moreover, Rangel has indicated that he wants the ethics trial to be expedited during this lame-duck session. Obviously, Rangel knows that the Republicans won’t be as nice come January. Michel Fauklner, Rangel’s Republican opponent, was a very respected and intelligent candidate, but all the intelligence in the world only got Mr. Faulkner an abysmal 10%. It begs the question: Do the voters even KNOW anything about the candidates’ platforms or the nation’s political climate as a whole?
And Mr. Frank, the man who must receive blame for the financial crisis, is still coming back to Congress in January. Remember in 2003 when Frank said that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “are not facing any kind of financial crisis”? Remember when the Bush administration said that there would be considerable “systemic risk for our financial system” if mortgage giants weren’t curbed? I do. It was Frank who complained that the evil Bush administration was inconsiderate of the young family that needed a home loan.
And look where we are now, Barney.
Sean Bielat, a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and a small-businessman, gave Mr. Frank a run for his money, literally. Frank, in the last weeks of his campaign, had to infuse $20,000 of his own money to fend off Mr. Bielat. Without question, on election night, seeing the Frank race called so early was extremely disheartening to me and to fellow conservatives around the country who wanted to see that criminal Frank sent back to Massachusetts for good.
These three individuals are the shining examples of why conservatives, moderates, and Tea Partiers came out in droves in this election. We are sick and tired of the constant lack of direction and of actual representation in Washington. We have to keep the pressure on. Thankfully for Waters and Rangel, their time is running out, since ethics trials are bearing down on them, but in the case of someone like Frank, who was at least partly responsible for the financial mess out of which we are still digging ourselves, it’s inexcusable to support him as a Member of Congress. It’s up to you, me, and the countless grassroots conservative activists who shaped this election cycle to keep holding our representatives accountable, even the ones that don’t represent us.