by Paul Jacob
Have I stumbled upon an alternative universe? There is a congressman actually making sense.
Well, to be more precise, he’s not yet a congressman, he’s Congressman-Elect Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado. Polis is a supporter of voter initiatives and has personally been involved in state ballot measures. He says the initiative process in Colorado and elsewhere “doesn’t work perfectly” but that it is “far better that we have one than that we don’t have one.” That’s certainly true.
Polis argues that “[t]here are some policies that by their very nature are unlikely to ever be implemented by an elected legislature. These are things like campaign finance reform, term limits — types of issues where it affects the members personally. . . .”
One example Polis cites is the open meetings law passed by initiative in Colorado. “The US Congress doesn’t have that,” he reminded radio listeners recently. “Congress literally still has the smoke filled room. . . .”
Polis adds that he is “very interested in seeing what a national initiative system might look like.” As a newly minted member, he is expected to introduce legislation to create such a system.
Knowing how Congress works, I’m not holding my breath, of course. The politicians and special interests won’t want any such citizen input.
But it is refreshing to see someone in Congress be serious about empowering the American people. At every level of government, voters should have a check on their elected officials.
That’s simply common sense.
Paul Jacob's "Common Sense" is published by the Sam Adams Alliance. Their website can be visited at www.samadamsalliance.org.