9 Steps To Better Government

Some ideas to try and improve the functioning of congress and presidency.

  1. No person shall be allowed to stand for any office who is not a native born or naturalized citizen of the USA. Naturalized citizens must have held their citizenship for a minimum of two years prior to filing for office.

  2. There shall be a set campaign season of no more than 90 consecutive days with a hard start date and a hard end date. The end date should be no less than seven days before actual voting starts.

  3. The polls should be open for at least two and possibly three days, and those days shall include a weekend.

  4. Total campaign spending for any office is not to exceed the total dollar amount of official remuneration for a single term of the office sought.

And once the election is over:

5: No bill submitted by any member of either house of congress, nor originating in either house shall be accepted for any action if it exceeds 10 pages in total length or is written in language above a 12th grade comprehension level.

  1. No bill shall be presented for a vote in either house without first being available to the public via print, broadcast, electronic, and any other feasible media for a period of no less than seven days. No vote shall be considered valid or binding without the officially recorded vote of each and every member of the voting chamber and said voting record shall be immediately available to the general public.

  2. No person shall be elected to serve in congress for more than two consecutive terms in any office or combination of offices. No person having served two consecutive terms shall be allowed to stand for election to any office prior to the expiration of the number of years equal to a single term of the most recently held office.

  3. No person serving as president or vice president shall serve more than two consecutive terms of office. No person shall be allowed to stand for election to the presidency or vice presidency while also holding an elected office, with the exception of the sitting president and/or vice president who may run for a second term while still in office. A sitting officeholder may resign his/her office with the stated intention of seeking the presidency/vice presidency provided the resignation is effective and complete no less than 365 days prior to the first day of voting for the office sought.

  4. No person having held elected office shall be allowed to act as a paid lobbyist, nor as consultant to, or agent for, or in any capacity for any lobbying organization or group prior to the expiration of a period of eight years, beginning on the last day of the most recently expired term held.

Aaaand…discuss!

Regards.

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My opinion and two cents:

  1. I feel it should only be native-born citizens not naturalized.
  2. No comment
  3. Agree to allow those that work late or past poll closing to have the ability to vote.
  4. I feel that if you want to run for office use your own money, not donors
  5. Plain and simple
  6. Public input
  7. Ted Cruz has introduced a bill limiting senators to 2 terms. Have not followed up
  8. Makes sense
  9. I feel this should be illegal
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Thanks, MilVet.

Regards.

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  1. native born solves 1/3 of the problem, because a lot of americans do not know the basics of the founding of the country or the constitution . What they cherish is a local (family) version of what was understood.

getting naturalized is also a problem in that the ingrained culture fromwhich people come is usually their point of reference when solving problems ,regardless of the little test and book given out by immigration nd naturalization service. Also even if the get it usually they have family and the points of reference are cultural not based on understanding our country. I almost feel like prior to running for public office two years of education are needed currently, one year on our constitution and country and one year in law basics so they can navigate the boondoggle in dc, and that is not what the founders wanted.
Perhaps while impractical (its as good as anything else at this point) we could either finish the constitutional setup,(specifically how you get selected to run for office from your community) or start by outlawing politically correct speech, and mandating that people speak honestly and openly as in 1776 before speech was intentionally used as a politicized weapon in the 1890’s . This is also a hard move for the country.

Perhaps actually enforcing constitutional law and principles in every state without activism and prosecuting judges who become activist.

Term limits are a good start, as well as a prohibition on becoming a lobbyist for the first 8 years after service (I would opt for 16 years 4 presidential terms, allowing that those in power and there cohorts are sufficiently removed from office as to make their influence nil by the time they are eligible. However I could see firms hiring them in background and putting others out front using their knowledge.

with respect to funds and donors the amount raised should not exceed the salary obtainable from the job . This should be tied to a monitoring of how much a representative is making while in office, with some limit on income to prevent influence peddling.

With respect to campaigning, if campaigns do not discuss specific policy for the region or country they should not be allowed, and each candidate should have to present fiscal or financial data not just projecting what they want to do , but what it would do to the overall budgets and where the money would come from and go and the numbers should be reconciled to available money. The other thing is each candidates policy should be reconciled to the other candidates so people can clearly see what the gross and net differences are and bth have a hard cap on the income they can spend based on revenue and or GNP. If the numbers don’t reconcile then the candidate is fiscally irresponsible and would be dismissed.

education level- shouldn’t matter as long as it can be broken down and everything can be broken down.

Polls should be tied to verified (physically verified) home addresses and tax returns. and the population base prior to voting should be cross referenced with birth and immigration records. A situation like in CA where more people vote thn live in the region should not be allowed to exist.

possibly even a computer or phone app tied to your finger print and birth records cross checked with immigration and records. and possible employment records to nail down residence and if you are actually a citizen. tied to regional home address records and cross verified with post office records. all of which is tied to data of the community, region or state as to number of residence it has before voting can take place. Obviously this is all computerized and is designed to ignore those electronic records being created in places like NY and CA where everyone has a drivers license. etc.
this is my off the cuff thoughts.

and discuss (nice)

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Pretty good list. Let me add a couple.

Any representativei n the house or senator who may directly benefit from a bill before either house must recuse themselves from all discussion, debate, and voting on said bill.

No person having held elected or appointed federal office or officer rank in the Military may later act as a lobbying agent or paid advocate for any interest or company doing business with the federal government.

Military members may go to work in the defense industry after their careers as employees or advisers but may not in any way attempt to influence directly or indirectly an agency, department, or branch of government involved in legislation or procurement/purchase of products from that company.

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Good chance of that being a violation of the 1A.

" 1. Ted Cruz has introduced a bill limiting senators to 2 terms. Have not followed up"

Joke. He introduced it days after the Democrats took control of the House. Show vote, like the 60 something show votes by Republicans to repeal Obamacare when the Democrats held the Senate and Obama had veto power.

“Any representativei n the house or senator who may directly benefit from a bill before either house must recuse themselves from all discussion, debate, and voting on said bill.”

Add that no indirect benefit allowed either, spouse, cousin with construction company…

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Possibly, but the campaign season rules could form part of the voluntary contract that a candidate agrees to when filing to run. I see the press being the bigger problem as any restrictions would be argued on the grounds of prior restraint. Don’t know how to make it work, I just think it sounds like a good idea.

Agreed!

WildRose, I like all your additions.

Regards.

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Actually the campaign season is dictated by the two major parties an their primary schedules.

The way we’d get around the 1st amendment violation would be via constitutional amendment.

Not sure I agree with the campaign spending limits though since that directly collides with the 1st.

What I’d like to see would be an individual limit of 1000.00 per candidate and the same on donations to parties.

Not much you can do though with “issue advocacy” without gutting the 1st completely and I’m not fond of doing so.

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All of these points are great. and as far as TERM LIMITS goes they are being worked on now by THE ARTICLE V CONVENTION OF STATES. And so far 15 states has passed resolutions calling for one. Anyone can find out more by going to “www.conventionofstates.com”. and you can also sign the petition as well. I’m a volunteer with them. And we still need another 18 states to pass a resolution calling for it. and during a CONVENTION OF STATES laws can be passed that CONGRESS AND EVEN THE PRESIDENT CANNOT STOP. And it called out on how to do it in the CONSTITUTION ARTICLE V. So if you want to find out more feel free to check it out.

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This is already the law for national elections. 1. No person shall be allowed to stand for any office who is not a native born or naturalized citizen of the USA. Naturalized citizens must have held their citizenship for a minimum of two years prior to filing for office.
Voters are already uninformed and this will make it even worse. 2. There shall be a set campaign season of no more than 90 consecutive days with a hard start date and a hard end date. The end date should be no less than seven days before actual voting starts.
This could work but could lead to increased voter fraud. Also, most issues with people getting out to vote have less to do with ability and more to do with apathy. 3. The polls should be open for at least two and possibly three days, and those days shall include a weekend.
Same issue crating an even more uninformed electorate 4. Total campaign spending for any office is not to exceed the total dollar amount of official remuneration for a single term of the office sought.

And once the election is over:

This will lead to congress creating many enabling bills and leaving the details to be created by the various agencies. Laws are often complex and dumbing them down is not the answer. 5: No bill submitted by any member of either house of congress, nor originating in either house shall be accepted for any action if it exceeds 10 pages in total length or is written in language above a 12th grade comprehension level.

All bills are filed and can be seen on the internet. Nothing in Washington happens in a day. And you can watch CSPAN. 6. No bill shall be presented for a vote in either house without first being available to the public via print, broadcast, electronic, and any other feasible media for a period of no less than seven days. No vote shall be considered valid or binding without the officially recorded vote of each and every member of the voting chamber and said voting record shall be immediately available to the general public.
We do not need to create term limits. This basically says that voters are too stupid to not reelect bad representatives. Term limits is not the answer; an informed electorate is. 7. No person shall be elected to serve in congress for more than two consecutive terms in any office or combination of offices. No person having served two consecutive terms shall be allowed to stand for election to any office prior to the expiration of the number of years equal to a single term of the most recently held office.
The President currently is limited to 2 terms. THere’s no good reason to limit the VP if he serves under multiple presidents. the VP has no real power except breaking a tie in the Senate. 8. No person serving as president or vice president shall serve more than two consecutive terms of office. No person shall be allowed to stand for election to the presidency or vice presidency while also holding an elected office, with the exception of the sitting president and/or vice president who may run for a second term while still in office. A sitting officeholder may resign his/her office with the stated intention of seeking the presidency/vice presidency provided the resignation is effective and complete no less than 365 days prior to the first day of voting for the office sought.
I do not believe this is realistic. It is up to the elected officials to not be swayed by false promises. I would agree that there should not be Johns offered to elected officials while they are still in office. 9. No person having held elected office shall be allowed to act as a paid lobbyist, nor as consultant to, or agent for, or in any capacity for any lobbying organization or group prior to the expiration of a period of eight years, beginning on the last day of the most recently expired term held.

My 18 cents.

I haven’t been to his site in a while but Mark Levin who is kind of the driving force behind this movement used to have a lot of details there.

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One of the way they hide a lot of waste, fraud, abuse, payoffs for donors and sweetheart deals is by burying them into bills that may be hundreds of pages or more in length.

Your idea to restrict them to ten pages or so I think has great merit.

The one problem with short bills is that tends to leave most of the details to the regulatory agencies to decide on and work out.

Who would have thought fifty years ago that we’d be living in a country with more regulatory felonies than we have in criminal law?

Somehow we need to restrict the regulators along the way as well otherwise the bureaucratic state which operates largely in the dark and off of the radar becomes more powerful than those we think we’re electing to run the country.

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We could allow the bills to be longer, BUT require that any bill must deal with only one subject and that any amendment or addendum must be directly and wholly related to the original purpose of the bill.

Sadly, in my experience I have encountered too many voters who are too stupid to not reelect bad representatives. Back in the 80’s a district in Detroit reelected the incumbent even though he had been removed from office, convicted of several felonies (connected to his official duties), and was, at the time of the election, serving his sentence in a federal prison.

An informed electorate is the hope of us all but I have a cynical and pessimistic view of the likelihood. Too many people vote for the name they recognize, or they incumbent because “he’s been there a while so he must know what he’s doing”, or for a single issue without considering a candidate’s view of other issues and policies.

Some of us have come to believe that it may be more feasible and practical to limit the elected rather than to trust in the electorate to improve themselves.

Regards.

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I feel you, you can’t fix stupid! But, amending the Constitution because people are ignorant is not the right answer.

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Maybe not, but you have to start the conversation somewhere!

Regards.

Don’t forget DC’s star Marion Barry who was elected after the coke and prostitute scandal and if I recall reelected after he got out of prison.

I still lean towards term limits simply because of the power of incumbency and the quiet power they acquire each time being reelected which gives them even more opportunities to work corrupt deals that make them rich and allow them to buy even more votes.

Let’s face it, even many supposed conservatives gain, hold, and increase their power simply by constantly funneling federal funds back to their own states and districts.

Our permanent political class is essentially becoming the new gilded, privileged, ruling class.

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Short answer: Mitch McConnel.

Regards.

Our Founding Father’s thought that NO ELECTED OFFICIAL should be away from their district for more than 12 years. And that was because they felt that they’d loose touch with the very people that they’re supposedly represent. And would start working along party lines. And around some time in the early 1900’s Congress passed that they could have unlimited terms in office. And over the last few decades we’ve seen that they were right. And we now have elected officials that are doing just what OUR FOUNDING FATHER’S WARNED US ABOUT. And that is that they’re not doing what WE THE PEOPLE WANT BUT WHAT THE PARTY WANTS AND TO HELL WITH EVERYONE ELSE.

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That would limit a Presidential campaign to $1,600,000. Would that really be enough to get a true candidate representation out to the nation?

I must admit that it WOULD make TV/Radio much more enjoyable.

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