This is the tale of two congressmen.
One congressman became famous for speaking plainly. He pledged to abide by the people’s vote for term limits, serve three terms and then come back home. He said he would be a good listener. In an upset of David vs. Goliath proportions, he defeated the then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley. He sent a message far and wide of trust in the people and hope that there were people in public life of honesty, character and integrity.
But there was another congressman. This congressman pledged to term limits and not to take more than a third of his funding from PACs-in short, not to become just another Washington career politician. He carried with him the hopes and dreams of thousands of citizens for a government they could believe in, even be proud of.
But once in power, he changed. He voted three times to raise his own pay and pad his million-dollar pension. He went on junkets paid for by special interests. He took over a million dollars in money from outside his state, and a much larger sum from PACs and special interests than he had promised.
When it came time for him to honor his pledge to step down, he refused to meet with citizen groups. At a press conference closed to the public closed to the people he supposedly serves he announced he would break his word. So who are these two congressmen, you ask?
George Nethercutt and George Nethercutt. Wow, power really does corrupt.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.