Jesse Young on Political Accountability - [Print Version]

It is no longer sufficient to be “right” on the issues; we must be effective in our policies as well!

What gets measured gets done – a business truism that should hold for government as well.  For too long Congress has been able to “kick the can down the road”, as they say.  Although required by law, Congress has failed to pass a budget for over three years.  How can this happen?  The answer is that we have too many lobbyists, lawyers, and career politicians in Congress.  That’s why we need Representatives from the business world who know how to set goals and are willing to be measured against them.

To be effective, government must be held accountable.  To be effective, Congress must be measurable.

I intend to be both accountable and measurable so that I’m an effective Representative for you, and to set a standard which others can follow.  I want you to evaluate my accomplishment towards goals.  To that end:

Current seniority rules reward careerism in Congress.  This not only increases special interest influence and the possibility of corruption, it weakens our voices as citizens.  Our ever-changing world demands a cycling of new ideas, updated skill sets, and real-world experience.  Longevity does not equate to effective or qualified leadership.

Therefore, I propose that after three terms Congressmen lose all seniority.  If they are re-elected for a fourth term, they start out at zero seniority.  The experience they bring will still be of benefit to their constituents, but this system will weed out those who are not truly wanting to or qualified to serve.  It will also promote healthy competition for leadership that will benefit us all and minimize the influence of special interest money directed toward those with seniority.