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Political Promise Patrol

August 19, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

We want to help you hold your elected officials accountable. Chances are that with Congress in recess during August, the representative and senators you elected to Congress are around your district to hold town-hall-style meetings and discuss issues with constituents. If you see or hear the lawmakers you elected making promises or commitments, and you want to make sure they stay true to their word, let us know about it and we’ll post it on our blog.

As this Washington Post story explains, the August recess is a prime time for members of Congress to start branding their re-election campaigns for 2008. There are a lot of controversial issues pending in Congress right now — the Iraq War, warrantless wiretapping, impeachment, children’s health care, restoring habeas corpus, etc. — and on-the-fence lawmakers are going to be asked by constituents to pick sides. It’s easy for them to take the position that’s popular with the crowd they are talking to at the moment. But too often the commitments last only as long as it takes to make them; when it comes time to place votes or push a policy, they buckle under other pressures and do the opposite of what they said they would do. We want to help keep a record of the promises politicians make to the people they work for — those who elected them — so that it’s harder for them to break their promises and act like they never made them. Letting them know that we haven’t forgotten is a great way to help them remember.

Has your lawmaker made a promise to you that you want to help them actualize? Send video footage, audio recordings, transcripts, or approximate quotes to OpenCongress by submitting a tip or emailing me directly at donny at ppolitics dot org.

By the way, remember what John Coyers (D-MI) said about impeaching Dick Cheney?

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