Most of the folks we send to Washington want to do the right thing. Yet, after a few terms in office they begin to change. They stop representing us and start representing Washington, D.C.
The story of George Nethercutt, a Republican from Washington State, seems destined to become a classic of human weakness. On the strength of a pledge to serve no more than three terms, Nethercutt defeated the most powerful man in Congress, Speaker of the House Tom Foley. It was David toppling Goliath.
Now Nethercutt has broken his word to the voters. He’ll run again. And his campaign finance report looks like reports he attacked Speaker Foley for. Most of Nethercutt’s money is coming from Washington not Washington State, Washington, D.C. According to his FEC report, 91 percent of Nethercutt’s contributions, or more than $113,000, were from special interest PACs and Washington DC Political Committees, while only 9 percent, or barely $10,000 came from individual donors. Of those individuals, only three live in Washington’s 5th Congressional District. A fat $20,000 came directly from PACs controlled by the top leaders in Congress.
These so-called leaders have been urging poor George to abandon his integrity in exchange for a career in Congress. It’s also clear that while Nethercutt was pretending to agonize over breaking his word back home, in DC he was in raking in PAC money and lying to reporters about it.
George Nethercutt is representing Washington, all right, but sadly it’s the wrong Washington.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.