Do Legislators Make Profit on Legislation?
by John Doll
Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 04:59:28 PM PDT
I am John Doll, Democrat for Congress, Kansas District 1. I wanted to write just a few thoughts this afternoon on the subject of - who should our congressmen represent?
Today, as I filled up my car with gas to head out for a week of campaigning across our large congressional district - I couldn't help but notice the many regular folks filling up in readiness for their work weeks too. Filling the gas tank is a major expenditure that many families are finding too difficult to afford.
I consider the cost of gasoline and I ask: Are our congressmen making thousands of dollars on the legislation that they enact? Do their votes translate into personal profits for them.
Of course, the answer is complex. One must look more closely at each congressman's campaign war chest and at their personal finances - then, correlate these to the votes they make on the floor of the House of Representatives.
* John Doll's diary :: ::
Let's look at the man I am running against, as just one example. Congressman Jerry Moran, Republican, has in years past received many thousands of dollars of oil, gas, and energy PAC money for his campaign. Is it any surprise that he voted in Congress last year to give tax payer supplied gifts to mega-profitable multinational oil companies for the purposes of development and exploration? Do profitable oil companies really need tax payers to supply them with seed money to grow their businesses?
Congressmen are receiving thousands of dollars from special interest groups. That money changes and impacts how they make legislation, right? We know that Jerry Moran has already received more than $30,000 from energy companies just this year only, and his campaign coffers aren't full yet.
We need to lessen the power and hold that major corporations have over our representatives. Our current system causes your legislators to be more beholden to corporations than to you, the citizens. This is evident in how our Congress votes and in the laws that they make.
We should also look closely at their investments. I will propose legislation that will require that legislators not be allowed to own stock in any public corporations while serving in office. Again, let's investigate Jerry Moran's stock portfolio pertaining to energy, easily found by going to www.opensecrets.com on the Internet:
Capital World Growth and Income A, Mutual Fund ($15,001-50,000), Capital Income Builder A, Mutual Fund ($50,00-100,000), Investment Company of America A, Mutual Fund ($15,001-50,000), Fidelity Growth Opportunity T, Mutual Fund ($1,001-15,000, Income Fund of America B, Mutual Fund ($1,001-15,000), Schlumberger LTD, Stock ($1,001-15,000, Transocean Sedco Forex, Stock ($1,001-15,000), Chevron Texaco, Stock ($1,001-15,000), Halliburton Company, Stock ($1,001-15,000), Exxon Mobil, Stock ($50,000-100,000), etc.
As you can readily see, Jerry Moran is heavily vested in energy companies. And, this is just a partial list of his personal stocks and/or mutual funds.
His returns on these stocks have been marvelous and we don't begrudge anyone for making good investments. However, is it right for a legislator to be so heavily locked in with the energy industry at a time when gasoline at the pumps is close to $3.00 a gallon?
Do we want our legislators to represent us, or do we want them to represent the interests of profitable international oil companies? I believe this - we need a new congressman, one who will look out for the interests of everyday citizens.
This week our campaign will visit McPherson on Sunday, Hutchinson on Monday, Cimarron on Tuesday, Salina on Wednesday, Medicine Lodge and Pratt on Thursday, Pratt and Lakin on Friday, and Dodge City on Saturday. We hope to see you on the road!
Democrat for Congress