Accountability and Congress – will they ever meet? – repost 11/15/13

Repost from November 15, 2013

I have been asked on more than a few occasions why I am exploring a run for the New York 22nd Congressional seat. What is the end result that I hope for if I should run and win?

Michael "Vass" Vasquez, looking to a better and brighter future

Michael “Vass” Vasquez

Tough questions, and absolutely essential.

The 30-second answer? I want to make Congress accountable. To reflect and represent the people that elect members. To improve, in an effective and long-term solution, the issues that face this country today and the next decade. I don’t want to be a politician, but America needs Representatives that aren’t there to bask in their power.

The actual answer takes a bit longer.

Why I am looking at a run for the 22nd District comes down to what I have observed in my lifetime, and most importantly since I’ve been providing political commentary and news reporting in 2007. Like most people, before I was so actively following what is going on, I didn’t think about politics much. the occasional law and scandal would catch my attention, raising my ire, but like most I let it go. How could one person make a change, that’s what so many of us believe.

But as I paid attention, researched speeches and campaign promises. As I reviewed charts and laws, I gained a more full picture of just how badly our Government was running things. The amount of waste, over-spending, and passing-the-buck on critical issues was astounding. The number of flip-flops and non-answers on important issues by members of Congress and other elected officials was staggering.

As I wrote articles, gained a popularity across the world, and interviewed various politicians I sought to raise the bar as much as I could. I wanted to make more people aware of what was going on and what the people they voted for were actually doing. In this process I became known to most politicians in Central New York and the Southern Tier, or at least much of their staff. This allowed me more access to law-makers, and the laws that were (or were not) being made and passed.

I have written over 1500 articles, some good enough to be republished in scholarly reference books. I have gone beyond the snappy headlines and 30 second soundbites that pass as political reporting and commentary that some in the media accept as good enough – and most politicians enjoy as it bypasses real answers. I have sought to bring issues to greater attention, with a depth that has allowed the public to make more informed decision about candidates and elected officials.

Yet, Congress retains a 90% re-election rate. Most incumbents enjoy such a hold on their elected seats that they are almost untouchable financially, regardless of how they have failed to live up to the promises they have made. My voice, along with that of most of the news media, reached too few and was unable to make an effective difference.

The result is a nation that is closer to the brink of financial despair than ever before (some believe it may already be too late). The results are a series of laws that sound great, but the function of which is devastating to the freedoms we take for granted (Obamacare, Executive Orders, NY SAFE Act, ect). The result is elected officials, especially in Congress, who talk about Conservative views and standards yet they vote in exact opposition to these views (on immigration, late-term abortion, NSA, drones, and more).

Congress is no longer filled with people that represent and reflect constituents. Congress is filled with business men and women, whose occupation is the accumulation of power and control. It has become the castle for a nobility class that was never meant to exist in this nation, in direct contradiction to the intentions of the Constitution.

I volunteered to become a Marine, because I love this nation – faults and all. When I returned home from Moscow in 1992 after more than a year abroad, I had lived through proof that this was the greatest nation in the world. When I started my political commentary I had a vision of making a difference, to prevent the nation I love from drifting into the nation I lived in overseas, where our freedoms don’t exist.

I believe that one of the best ways to preserve our nation, to fix the long-term problems, is by breaking that nobility mentality, by making Congress accountable again. Even with just one seat, that allows the voice of the people to be heard and make things a little better. But it’s not just 1 seat, because there are some in Congress that equally believe the things I believe. I think even more are in Congress, but they fear a political backlash, but with more accountable and effective people elected, I think those others will speak out as well.

As for what I expect to happen?

That win or lose, the competition and fear of loss of power will cause some in Congress to stand up in a clear and decisive manner. That Representatives will fulfill their obligation to the people that elected them, championing the views of their constituents. That even 1 better and effective law will be passed that preserves our freedoms and ensures our quality of life is extended to the next generation and those after it.

If such a person, whether elected already or candidate, existed in the New York 22nd Congressional District, I would not explore a run for elected office. If there were someone doing the job, or trying for it, I would be supporting them with all my abilities. But there isn’t, in my opinion. In talking with people across this large district, many agree. So many that I believe I have made the right choice.

But in the end, the public will decide. I can live with whatever the result, because I am doing what I believe must be done at this time.

About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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