In business, if you make a crappy product or treat your customers like dog food, you're hanging out a quick "going out of business" sign. In schools, in the workplace, and even in personal relationships, you screw up, you pay the price. Accountability. It's the ultimate check and balance.
Now, with all the Ned Lamont news swirling around and all the talk about anti-war and left v. right ideology, we seem to be losing track of a very basic instinct, and that loss is REALLY what people powered politics is all about.
I know, because I'm on the front lines and I'm hearing the story every day as I knock on the doors of the 41st District here in New York. Now, to set the record straight, I'm knocking on the doors of NOPs (no party affiliation) and Republican women and what people are telling me isn't about ideology, left v. right or even specific issues. The one theme I'm hearing is that people are VERY angry because there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY in government anymore.
Joementum lost his mojoe because the people of Connecticut got really pissed off and finally had had enough. After six years of no one in Washington actually paying the piper for their inexcusable behavior, the Nutmeg State said NO to JOE. They simply held him accountable for his actions. The sad part of this tale is that Lieberman thinks he is above accountability and shouldn't have to answer to anyone, let alone to the people he supposedly serves. Sadly, he`s not alone.
Here in New York, our state government is the poster child for corrupt and secret political wheeling and dealing. Here, the status quo has, over the years, legalized unaccountability...actually written secrecy and evasiveness into the statutes that govern how the legislature operates.
Got an example, NYBri? Good lord, where do I begin? Pick a department, any department...or all of them, for that matter. The authority system in New York consists of all the agencies that are responsible for the operation of the state government...from transportation to building dormitories for universities. You know what? There is no oversight by the legislature to make them accountable for their actions. In fact, the legislature has turned accountability on its head and is using state agencies as a way to launder pork money and sidestep borrowing regulations.
Let's look at another secret shell game the legislature has devised to avoid accountability. This one is called the "member items" expenditures, which is New Yorkeese for pork. Now, in the budget, the legislature has appropriated a $200 million lump-sum for "services and expenses, grants in aid, or for contracts with certain not-for-profit agencies, universities, colleges, school districts, corporations, and/or municipalities." I'm not kidding. That is what it says in the budget.
And what's the money for? It's secretly divided and then distributed according to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) by the governor, the Senate majority leader and the Assembly speaker. These guys then hand out undisclosed amounts of money to anyone they want, (Senators, Assemblymen, etc.) and who knows whom else...because there is no public record of where it goes! No accountability.
I could go on and on, but the point of this is that after decades of this system the people of New York are fed up. They are seeing their property taxes explode, energy costs triple, health care expenses skyrocket and no one in Albany is taking responsibility for their actions. Damn.
We are all seeing crap like this pass for government and, of course we're royally riled. The people of Connecticut have been watching and yesterday they took action. Connecticut, Washington, Albany, in towns and cities across the country, people power is finally demanding accountability. That's what the Ned Lamont victory is about and what my race in New York is about, and what netroots campaigns across the nation are about.
We demand accountability. We will be satisfied with nothing less, because it's the very essence of our democracy, the essence of our relationships, the essence of our lives. We are now millions strong and we are marching to the walls of power and we are Crashing the Gates.
Our time is now.
Ned is only the beginning. We have so much work to do and now is the time to get involved. Join a race, give some money, work for change, work for democracy...work for accountability. This is your country. They broke it. Take it back and fix it.