The People's House Must Be Returned To The Citizens Of Kansas
by John Doll
Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 11:32:09 AM PDT
My name is John Doll. I am a Kansan Democrat running for the US House of Representatives.
It was approximately one year ago when I decided to run for the First Congressional Seat in Kansas. Having never run for a political office previously, I have found every experience in this campaign is a new one and offers much opportunity for learning.
Every day, the citizens of western Kansas emphasize to me the importance of changing the power structures in Washington. With each new hand I shake, I make a solemn promise to work tirelessly to accomplish exactly that.
I am running against the Republican incumbent, Jerry Moran, in US House District 1 of Kansas.
From the beginning of my campaign, I understood that we would be facing a daunting task going up against a five-time incumbent (Jerry Moran, Republican) with his large war chest. I knew that by virtue of my being less known than Moran, that my campaign would require extensive travel and effort to get out and around the sixty-nine counties of western Kansas. I knew I would have to work really hard and survive with little sleep...
But, what I didn't know when I began this journey was that with each mile I traveled that I would gain such fortitude and resolve. I did not know that I would be strengthened by the hopes of everyday citizens that I would meet.
Like you, I believe that our government needs a change of direction and, for Kansas, the first steps in that change must include electing representatives to Congress that will return our government to its people.
Our incumbent congressman must now be held to account for his votes in Congress. The people of Kansas can make Jerry Moran accountable for his ongoing votes to cutback essential funding for Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, veterans healthcare, and food stamps. He can now be asked to justify his willingness to eliminate and reduce these safety nets during this economic period characterized by lowered average wages, rising tuition, and job downturns. He must face his constituents as they show their disapproval of his tax-supported gifts to mega-profitable corporations, including no-bid government contractors and multi-national oil corporations.
Representative Moran has not had an opponent in the last three elections. This is not how our government is supposed to work. Democracy cannot exist in a one party country, or, a one party state.
As I march forward, I do confront a challenging task in competing for campaign money. The advantages enjoyed by this incumbent can be startling. For example, in the 2004 election sixty-one percent of Mr. Moran's campaign contributions, of nearly $725,000, came from political action committees (PACs). This year, over half of his contributions have come from PACs with 43 percent coming from out of the state of Kansas! Almost half of his money comes from states other than Kansas. Further, even the money he gets from Kansas, does not come from our district. Out of the top ten cities of his contributions, only three of those cities are in the First Congressional District of Kansas.
Campaign reform is very important if we want our democracy to succeed. How do incumbents get PAC money? When they vote how a particular interest group wants them to vote, they are rewarded with political action committee money. The way the law reads, candidates cannot take more than $2100 before the primary and another $2100 after the primary from any one individual. No candidate can take money from a corporation. However, a candidate is allowed $10,000 from a political action committee. In looking at the PACs that support my opponent, it is readily apparent who he is beholden to - big oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, healthcare providers, defense contractors, and other similar corporate funded groups. It is no mystery why he votes the way he does in Congress.
Until we can get the career politicians out of Washington, our nation, and all of its offices, will continue to be run by extremely large corporations. We need to elect legislators that will put the power back where it needs to be - with the people.
I give my solemn word that, as soon as I am elected, I will not rest until this power shift is secure. I will introduce legislation, fight for change at every turn, and support all efforts that will help guide that power away from the mega-corporations and back into the hands of ordinary people.
Candidate for US Congress (KS-1)