(From my campaign blog – no longer available.)
Most of us believe that State Senators have a duty to be transparent with their constituents – that they should be open about what theyâ€™re doing and why – that they should be ready and willing to be held to account.
We applied that standard in 1998, regarding the President of the United States. “Yes. He did it and he must be held accountable.”
Now it’s seven years later – and a major storm of legal trouble is breaking over the current White House and over other top leaders in our national government. The courts have not ruled, but it seems clear there has been at least some inappropriate and illegal behavior, some behavior that has been damaging to the American people and to American interests in the world.
It is never pleasant to have such things featured in the news day after day. And it is even somewhat dangerous – authority is weakened, leaders’ freedom to act is somewhat curtailed. But “we the people of the United States of America” can and must continually check up on our leadership. And they need to know we are doing so.
That is a great strength of American democracy. We are free (and obligated) to require openness and accountability not only from village clerks and city and county officials, but also from our public servants in Lincoln, and even from those in Washington D.C. It’s for a reason that we have that inscription on our state capitol building: “The salvation of the State is watchfulness in the citizen.” Those Nebraskans of a few decades ago had it right.
Or, as Socrates is reported to have said, “No one man can be trusted … Give us back our democracy.”
After all, if there have been dishonesty and other sorts of corruption in very high places, that really does weaken our whole Constitutional system. If there has been contempt for procedures of government that we have put in place, that is in effect contempt for all of us.
It is necessary to deal with these current problems, so lawmakers and officials all over the country will be reminded that they too are accountable. It’s a lesson of great importance.
For me as a candidate, and as possibly your representative in the Unicameral, it means I want your continuing input – and I want you to be aware of what I’m doing and why. Hold me accountable to openness and fair dealing, and to my priority responsibility to serve you, the people of the 44th District.