And so goes the newest incarnation of the Republican’s 1994 “Contract With America”. This time around, the opposing side has crafted a “Contract With Ohio” that reads as such.
- We pledge to be good stewards of your tax money and help rebuild Ohio as a place where people want to live and work.
- We pledge to end pay for play politics and regain the trust of the people in their government
- We pledge to end the culture of corruption that has plagued the state and return government to the people.
- We pledge to work hard for all Ohioans, not for the special interests.
- We pledge to listen to all of our constituents, making their priorities our priorities.
Nice little set of pledges, isn’t it? Now let us compare it with only a part of the 1994 Contract.
- FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
- SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
- THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
- FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
- FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
- SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
- SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
- EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.
To go further, the Republicans proposed actual bills that would be introduced into Congress to back up these pledges. Of course, now that we’re removed by 11 years, some of these things have gone by the wayside for bigger fish, but the enticement of the entire Contract With America was that it wasn’t just a bunch of empty promises, but it was a written pledge that not only did they promise to do something, these are the exact things that they would do. The American citizen was then able to look at their Congressman and say, “Why did you do this? You said right here that you would.”
The “Contract With Ohio” makes no such pledge. It is nothing more than “Seriously, we can do better. No really, we can! Just give us a chance, please? With sugar on top?”