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We’re defrauded, not represented

By   /   December 3, 2010  /   Comments

It hit us like a freight train when U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop asserted during his recent re-election bid that southwest Georgia couldn’t afford to be represented by a rookie congressman. It would take years and years, Bishop said, for a newcomer to build the necessary clout to bring the bacon home to Columbus, Albany, Thomasville and all points in between, like Bishop does. To heck with doing the right thing; rather, a significant barometer of a representative’s success, Bishop says, is maximizing federal spending within the geographic confines of a congressional district.

For us, it was an epiphany: If they’re saying this in Congress, the system truly is broken. And if they are saying it this boldly and this publicly, they’re shameless, to boot. Rather than fix a system that bankrupts our children’s and grandchildren’s government for the sake of re-electing incumbents, our representative and his colleagues are deliberately perpetuating it to the point that it’s part of their re-election platform.

Elected officials should be in the business of passing good laws, repealing bad laws, following the rules, and ensuring that our money is spent as efficiently as possible. There’s  little in Bishop’s portfolio and that of nearly all of Albany’s elected officials from city hall to Capitol Hill – that indicates that good governance is actually vital to them. We’re being defrauded, not represented.

Sadly, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth’s honest assessment of the state of government in America hits the nail on the head. “I have never seen more  senators express discontent with their jobs. I think the major cause is that, deep down in our hearts, we have been accomplices to doing something terrible and unforgivable to this wonderful country … we know that we have bankrupted America and that we have given our children a legacy of bankruptcy. … We have defrauded our country to get ourselves elected,” said Danforth, a Missouri Republican who voluntarily left office after three terms.

James Fennimore Cooper, the novelist, described the common view that “contact with the affairs of state is one of the most corrupting of the influences to which men are exposed.” Still, there was a time when honor prevailed in rotation of service. For example, starting with George Washington, every re-elected president until Franklin Delano Roosevelt voluntarily quit after two terms. A sign of the times occurred when the 22nd Amendment of 1951 limited presidents to serving two terms.

Rotation in office – referred to nowadays as term limits — dates back to ancient times. More recently, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were big fans of limiting tenure, as Jefferson said, “to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office the members of the Continental Congress …” Said George Mason, who along with Jefferson were troubled by the absence of term limits for the Senate and presidency in the Constitution: Nothing is so essential to the preservation of a Republican government as a periodic rotation.”

To bring our point home, we ask: When presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue left office, was there a hue and cry at any level regretting term limits? Nope. And we also ask: Is there one elected official in Albany pressing for term limits? Not a chance. That’s because rotating service by limiting terms is virtuous – a long-forgotten character trait among those who represent us in government.

Kevin By Kevin Hogencamp

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  • Published: 1735 days ago on December 3, 2010
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  • Last Modified: November 30, 2010 @ 5:50 pm
  • Filed Under: Outlook


  1. Truth B Known says:

    uh oh,my puter went nuts before i finished,lol.Maybe it has Bugs planted in it.Where i left off.for our Officals to not use the TRUTH AND JUSTICE FOR all law.When a gun toting city att. can get away with the knife and gun.They only use that law for there selfs.Slander people when they know nothing about them and get away with it.All i can say is when the paper comes each week i cant wait to see who got cought up in lies,or theft,orbreaking laws that you and i would be locked up for.I love my Journal.And hats off to all the cover up they can find.But you know,if you found them our other news services around here had to also.But they do not report it.Why?Who’s buddie are they? Thank you Journal,for letting us know the truth.

  2. Truth B Known says:

    Each week i cant wait for my Journal to come in the mail.I always know someone is going to get cought with there pants down.Sound like anyone you know?(Our Officals)Yrt they make a law on saggie pants.” We have defrauded our country to get ourselves elected” sound like anyone you know here in Albany”.Elected officials should be in the business of passing good laws, repealing bad laws, following the rules, and ensuring that our money is spent as efficiently as possible”sound like any of our Officals here? Hell No.It is a shame our Country has come to all this,and Albany has come to it big time.How many times can our Officals lie,steal,get a special driver to drive them around town on our tax money,not use the

About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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