Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Huge potential benefit from offshore energy
The Mid-Atlantic Continental Shelf (MASOCS) just off our coast could be home to more than three billion barrels of oil and thirty trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to surveys taken three decades ago. Beyond the enormous economic benefits to a port community like Georgetown, harnessing these energy sources will help the United States become less dependent on foreign resources. I hope we can take the first step in exploring the MAOCS potential by conducting safe and responsible seismic surveys to determine accessibility. I hope we do not continue to ignore this issue. There’s simply too much to gain from investigating a potential economic boom for our area.
I talked to the Mayor today concerning the request by the City Fire Department to relocate the antennas from the water tank at city hall to the SCANA tower and council approved it. Since it was a “Cut and dry” request” I saw no reason to question it.
This past Sunday, I witnessed the removal and disposal of the two antennas as scrap by the company hired to remove the tank. I later found out that the Fire Department had no intentions of relocating the antenna system and they went ahead and purchased a completely new antenna system. My question to the Mayor was “ Why the deceptive, crafty wording”? Stating “To relocate the antennas” instead of just simply saying “Request to replace antenna system”? The Mayor told me: “You’re being silly.”
What bothers me is the way they worded the request removed any questions being posed by any of the council members such as: Can the antenna system be salvaged and reused? Would salvaging the antennas save the city any money? Why can’t we salvage the antenna system? Anything wrong with the existing antenna system?
I have no doubt that some members of city council would have asked questions if they had known that the Fire Department wanted to just trash the antenna system that was working perfectly up to this past Sunday. I do not think it was appropriate for the Fire Department to be crafty in wording the request by deceiving the Tax Payers of Georgetown.
I’m a firm believer in the two words this town seems to never use...”DUE DILIGENCE. ”
A silly taxpayer
Time for term limits
It’s no secret here in the United States that Congress is broken and horribly unpopular. Budgets can’t get passed on time, the all-important appropriations process has become nonexistent, and the term “regular order” is a thing of the past. Our leaders in Congress on both sides of the aisle ignore our nation’s most obvious problem - our addiction to spending money we don’t have - while focusing on attending parties to fund their own re-election efforts.
Earlier this month, a Fox News poll found that a whopping 67 percent of those surveyed would vote to replace all current Members of Congress with someone new. While that is a startling statistic, sadly it’s essentially meaningless because we all know that will never happen.
The reason for this has to do with the lack of competitive districts. In 2012, only 62 U.S. House races out of 435 were decided by 10 percentage points or less. In 2014, there will probably be as few as 50 competitive House elections - just 11 or so percent of the total contests. Similarly in the U.S. Senate out of the 36 seats up for the re-election this year, fewer than 10 races will likely end up being truly competitive. Facts are facts: most Members of Congress feel like they have nothing at all to fear at the ballot box and are subject to no other motivating force to change the broken ways of Washington.
When you combine the enormous number of “safe” seats with the fact that there are no congressional term limits, you are left with scores of well-funded, entrenched incumbent politicians who are accountable to no one. If you want to know the reason the United States got to be $17.5 trillion in debt, look no further.
Like Senator Rand Paul says, we need more citizen legislators in this country and Citizens United agrees with that sentiment wholeheartedly. In fact, that is precisely what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they thought of how their new Republic should be represented. Individuals with a sense of duty to their country would step forward and represent their districts and states for a short period of time and then return to their homes and primary professions. That Washington of today makes a mockery of such wisdom.
It’s a depressing scenario we find ourselves in, but there is an obvious solution. In the current 113th Congress alone, more than 10 resolutions have been filed calling for some sort of limit on the number of terms Members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate should be allowed to serve.
Ending the era of the “career politician” in the halls of Congress would be a huge step in the right direction and would change the mindset of those seeking office. But making Washington reform itself won’t be easy; in fact it will take nothing short of a grassroots uprising.
I urge all Americans to read the pieces of legislation I mentioned and to call their Member of Congress to demand action. Take note of who is sponsoring these bills and ask them what you can do to get them moving through the legislative process. Politicians have a funny way of responding to overwhelming pressure - let’s make them sweat. Congressional term limits is a reform all Americans should unite behind and finally make a reality.
Join me in this fight.
David N. Bossie
President of Citizens United