How many politicians from your state are in jail? Is anyone of them facing corruption charges? As an Illinois resident, our corruption is so rife that Illinois Policy actually has a corruption tracker. Sounds crazy right? But if we think about all the ways that politicians are not monitored it’s a run of the mill lifestyle. It’s time that we begin a new monitoring system for politicians from body cams to closed-circuit television monitors in their offices. It is We the People who pay their salaries so why shouldn’t they be monitored like us when we are at work?
In the last decade, there were 133 different misconduct and alleged misconduct charges against politicians. That’s nearly a quarter of the people on our taxes committing crimes. The buck stops here. It’s time we begin the monitoring system.
Monitoring politicians not only saves us millions from lengthy court battles and preserves faith in the system. According to the National Institute of Justice, body cameras on police provide two very important aspects of political life-civility and quick resolution. Politicians wearing body cams during fundraising events would lead to less “pay as you go” funding. “Pay as you go” means businesses donate funds to campaigns and politicians miraculously find it in their hearts to support zoning and legislative initiatives important to the businesses just to name a couple. Then politicians could wear body cams during lobbyist meetings. Talk about squashing “pay as you go” deals. Lobbyists and politicians would never create plans of action for political support of private interests hidden in Bills if We the People could watch recordings.
Just an example if we define civility as honesty in governance. A vape industry lobbyist meets with a House Representative. They bring their FAQ sheet of positive means of the vaping industry on Americans’ health and a copy of a legislative bill they have created that they’d like the House Representative to support. The House Representative states his campaign may need some cash flow for an upcoming election or possibly a donation to a fellow politicians campaign. Suddenly, Monday that bill is being presented on the floor of the House and $25,000 has been donated to a campaign. It’s really that easy without a body cam.
If they were monitored a House Representative would not be able to accept a legislative agenda or bill created by an outside source than his own office. That’s the law. Secondly, the donation would probably not occur until and if the House Representative supported the bill. It could take months or years as the legislative process in Congress is slower than molasses.
A quick resolution in Congressional Halls would help as well. Let’s use the Trump Impeachment as an example. If closed-circuit cameras were in Congressional Halls and offices and body cams were on Nancy Pelosi, Trump, and their possies, the articles would have either already been squashed or they’d be in the Senate. Just an example. The private conversations withholding the articles from transfer wouldn’t include politicians admitting to waiting for their own advantage. Politicians wouldn’t have conversations about the articles waiting until they check their constituent and national polls on public opinion of the impeachment. If they couldn’t have these conversations, which could be deemed collusion, the articles would have been sent within 24 hours of the impeachment vote. This is just one example of how collusion and self-aggrandizement suffer our political systems. We pay these people to make decisions based on our interests, not theirs.
If we really want justice in politics it might mean big changes for the politicians. If Ald. Burke from Chicago was wearing a body cam he probably wouldn’t be facing extortion charges. If cops wearing cameras are increasing civility for them and offenders then wouldn’t it be a welcomed tool for politicians? It is the politicians that made laws forcing this on the police. Let’s save millions in taxpayer court costs while increasing honesty by asking politicians to take the deep dive into body cams.