Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Term limits

TO CONGRESS: If not term limits, what do you propose to fix yourself?

TheWashington Post
The Fix
 


During a rally in Colorado, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pledged to introduce a constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on members of Congress. (The Washington Post)
Donald Trump wants to make members of Congress step down after a few years. But it's wishful thinking, mostly for these four reasons:
Donald Trump wants to make members of Congress step down after a few years. But it's wishful thinking, mostly for these four reasons:

1) The Supreme Court says passing term-limit laws is unconstitutional.

In 1995, the Supreme Court decided in a 5 to 4 vote that states or Congress can't just make a law limiting the number of terms members of Congress can serve. The decision essentially wiped off the books term-limit laws that 23 states had for their congressional delegations. (The decision didn't affect term limits for state legislatures, and there are 15 states that impose them.)
The court said that for term limits to be constitutional, we'd have to amend the Constitution.
And actually, changing the Constitution is exactly what Trump proposed Tuesday:
“If I'm elected president I will push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress. They've been talking about that for years,” Trump said in a speech in Colorado championing his new package of ethics reforms. “Decades of failure in Washington and decades of special interest dealing must and will come to an end.”
But there's a problem with that idea, too. And it's:

2) Constitutional amendments are really, really, really hard to pass.

Presidential candidates routinely call for constitutional amendments, but rarely with success.
For one, changing the Constitution requires one of the hardest things to do in politics. It requires an agreement by a two-thirds supermajority of Congress and then to be ratified by three-fourths of states, or 38 out of 50.
Only 27 proposals out of countless ideas in our country's 240-year history have climbed that steep hill.
This isn't the first time Trump has proposed one this campaign cycle alone. Back when he and other GOP presidential hopefuls floated the idea of changing the 14th Amendment to eliminate birthright citizenship, I dove into the circumstances surrounding those 27 changes to our Constitution. I found that the United States is often only spurred to change it under extenuating circumstances, such as political crises, war and death.

3) Many political scientists think term limits are a bad idea.

There is evidence that term limits create more competitive elections, said Josh Chafetz, a law professor and congressional expert with Cornell University. But he said most political scientists would agree that term limits don't make sense in a body that deals with as many complex issues as Congress. In fact, paradoxically, term limits could increase the power of those who can stay around the Hill for as long as they want: lobbyists.
“If members are restricted to only serving a few terms,” Molly Reynolds, a congressional expert with the Brookings Institution told The Fix in an email, “the logic goes, they have neither the time nor the incentive to develop the relevant expertise they need to be good at their jobs. If members don’t have that expertise themselves, they’re more likely to rely on outsiders, including lobbyists, to replace that expertise.”

4) Congress would probably never agree to it (and never has).

Trump is right, imposing term limits on Congress isn't a new idea. Politicians — especially those on the right — have been floating the idea for years as a way to crack down on corruption. The thinking goes that once a lawmaker spends too much time in Washington, he or she becomes part of Washington and incapable of effectively serving people outside of it. So let's put a limit on how long they can be in Washington.
But once those pro-term-limit lawmakers get into office, very, very few of them have actually tried to put their words into action.
Back in 1995, when the Supreme Court ruled term limits unconstitutional, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted on four  versions of term limits. But three of those proposals, as the New York Times reported at the time, even failed to get a bare majority. There really hasn't been a major push for term limits since.
And that makes sense when you think about it: Why would lawmakers agree to campaign for a job they're just going to leave in a few years?
Some lawmakers have decided to impose their own term limits. But history is littered with broken term-limit promises. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) resigned his seat in 2000 to honor a campaign pledge to retire after three terms. But in 2011, he was back, saying the idea of term limits is flawed unless everyone agrees to them.
“When it came to getting committee assignments it harmed me,” hetold the Weekly Standard in 2004. “When I say harmed me, I mean it harmed my district.” (Salmon says he's retiring at the end of this year.)
We're picking on Salmon, but lots of lawmakers have and continue to run for office despite making campaign pledges to leave office at a certain date.
In other words, proposing term limits for Congress is a popular thing to say on the campaign trail. But it's not such a popular thing to advocate for once you're actually in Congress. And of all the reasons Trump's term-limit proposal won't happen, this is probably the most salient: Congress doesn't want it.
Amber Phillips writes about politics for The Fix. She was previously the one-woman D.C. bureau for the Las Vegas Sun and has reported from Boston and Taiwan.
  Follow @byamberphillips


LOBBYING BAN
The President-Elect is proposing lobbying bans applicable to Congress and Congressional staffs. Congress should consider these proposals for fixing itself. Senators and Representatives in Congress should decide where they stand on these proposals and announce the same to their constituents. The voters should demand this of their representatives in Congress. See AL Cong'l delegation lobbying ban positions.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Trump Inc.

The Clinton Foundation model
Conceive of the Clinton Foundation as a giant web of contacts, with Bill Clinton as the mastermind at the center.

The contacts include hundreds of governmental entities and officials, businessmen, politicians, charities, media publicists, Clinton entourage members, and others. The web has large financial resources to draw on for its activities. The primary attraction of the web has been the Clinton machine for political access and influence, which, before November 8th, had the prospect of being incomparably augmented by Hillary Clinton being elected President.

The web has existed for benefiting the participants through the trading of financial inducements and governmental, political and commercial favors.

Bill Clinton is the mastermind in charge of the operation of the web. Proposals for projects for the web come to him, He vets them with a view to benefits for web participants and assembling a team of web contacts to provide needed services and assets for a particular project, including pulling needed strings with involved governmental bodies and officials.

The Clinton Foundation was hugely successful in its purposes and grew spectacularly for 15 years. Many, many persons wanted to get on the Clinton Foundation roster of participants in order to partake of large financial and other benefits that could be obtained through the massive Clinton web of contacts and connections.

Besides enriching themselves through the trading of financial inducements and governmental, political and commercial favors, the Clintons ultimately had their eyes on supporting Hillary Clinton's quest for the Presidency. This made the Clinton Foundation a virtual precursor of the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign, enabling immediate donations to the Foundation (and payment of speaking fees) that would nurture the Clinton political machine for its ultimate quest, and donors being deserving for recognition in the future if Hillary Clinton was elected President ("pay to play" in advance, so to speak).

One gauge of how much present and prospective pay to play went on in connection with the Clinton Foundation will be how much the Clinton Foundation donations and activities fall off now that the value of the Clinton political brand has been very substantially reduced by Hillary Clinton's losing the Presidency with little prospects ahead.

Trump Inc.
The Trump business empire is a massive web of contacts and connections that Donald Trump has developed over 25 years in business, and that most in the country are just beginning to learn about.

Before Trump's ascendancy to the Presidency, Trump was a governmental outsider (compared to the Clintons being governmental insiders), and it is likely Trump Inc. currently has a lesser degree of contacts, access and influence in the governmental and political realm compared to what the Clintons cultivated over 25 years in their governmental spheres. So long as Trump was in the private sector, the Trump Inc. web of contacts and connections did not present the troublesome aspects that the Clinton web of contacts presented in the form of the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons' outsized role in political fundraising (and its concomitant "pay to play").

Trump will become the ultimate governmental insider and have more access and influence in the governmental domain than anyone else.

Trump has given the impression that he is going to keep the business empire fully operational. As a result, now the massive web of contacts and connections of Trump Inc is potentially available for use in new ways. These new ways could create "pay to pay" problems like the Clinton Foundation and raise other novel questions that are troublesome.

1. The Trump Inc web as an adjunct to regular Presidential powers

One way for Trump web to be used by Trump is as an adjunct to Trump's regular Presidential powers for carrying out his Presidential agenda.

For example, Trump could simply ask his Trump web contacts to support his legislation, including that they contact their Congressional representatives to urge the representatives to support Trump legislation. Trump could couple his requests with indications of favorable treatment of business interests of web contacts who help out, and Trump may even signal that failure to support Trump legislation could be met with some unfavorable business treatment by the Trump administration.

Besides using the Trump business web, Trump has already exhibited a willingness to go outside of regular Executive Branch modes of governance in order to carry out his Presidential agenda. This was shown in his contacting the Carrier Air Conditioning Company directly over the Thanksgiving holiday to try to keep jobs in Indiana. Trump has lived by the "art of the deal" in his business career and is on course to bring it to his Presidency. Trump stands to expand enormously already massive web of contacts in business and government in order to make "deals" to advance his Presidential agenda.

This prospective form of governance by Trump is to be contrasted with regular modes of governance by the Executive Branch. The regular modes start with Congress passing laws, making appropriations, funding programs and incentives under the law, and specifying punishments for non-compliance with the law. The Executive Branch executes the laws Congress passes, including by means of administrative agencies which act by general rule making and by enforcement in particular cases for which there are administrative and judicial protections for those against whom enforcement is sought.

Governing by "deals" (such as exhibited by the Carrier Air Conditioning Company) raises questions of whether it is constitutional rule by law or is impermissible extra-legal means of governance. Troubling problems include lack of transparency and improper inducements or punishments to obtain the "deal".

2. Increased "pay to play"

If Trump uses his Trump Inc. web  to help him in carrying out Trump administration agenda, those whom Trump calls on to help may want to obtain something from Trump in return.

To the extent it is perceived that Trump is using his Trump Inc. web as an adjunct to his regular Presidential powers, many will vy to participate and augment their participation in the Trump web, so they may curry favor with Trump and possibly receive things in return for helping Trump (a form of "pay to play")..

"Pay to play" is significant problem in the regular political fund raising domain, and efforts are made to counter the problem by means of such things as reporting and disclosure about campaign contributions

Trump's adamancy that the President cannot have "conflicts of interest" may provide rationalization and induce willingness of those in the Trump Inc. web to engage in "pay to play" with Trump.

Further, in the Trump Inc web, "pay to play" can be camouflaged, and reporting and disclosure may be not work very well to combat problems with that form of "pay to play."

Trump's use of the Trump Inc. web and his "art of the deal" method give rise to undesirable secrecy in how Trump is governing the country (compared to Trump operating within the organized Executive Branch of government).

3. Conflation of the USA and Donald Trump

There does not seem to be a limit to Trump's sense of grandiosity about himself.

If Trump keeps his business empire, there is a risk he will conflate his Trump businesses and Trump name with the greater interest of the country as a whole, and Trump will develop a mindset that the greater the success of Trump businesses and the ever more prominently the Trump name figures in the nation and in the world, the greater America is and the greater America will be so viewed.

Trump may simply conceive of himself as having two empires to run and build, one being the country and the other being the Trump private empire.

If that conflation happens in Trump's mind, particularly if he continues in his view that the President cannot have conflicts of interest, there is likely going to be rampant blurring of lines between Trump as President and Trump Inc., rampant violation of "conflicts of interest" standards that are applied throughout the governmental realm, and rampant "pay to play."

4. Trump Inc. as the Clinton Foundation on steroids

If Congress and the voters do not strenuously oppose Trump in the course he is on regarding Trump Inc., it is fair to say that Trump Inc. will become the Clinton Foundation on steroids.

UPDATE 11/30/16
Trump tweeted today that he will "be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again." His tweets further said,‘‘While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as president, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.’’ Also, legal documents are ‘‘being crafted which take me completely out of business operations,’’and the presidency is ‘‘a far more important task!’’

Trump's saying he is "not mandated" to do anything regarding his businesses ignores consideration of what the word "faithfully" means in his constitutional oath of office to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States."

It is far from clear, if the rest of the Trump family is left to run the Trump businesses, that Trump will be able to "faithfully" execute the Office of President of the United States.

Today's tweets by Donald Trump come after the below letter that the Democrats on House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote to the Chairman of the Committee.
November 28, 2016
The Honorable Jason Chaffetz
Chairman
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
It has now been two weeks since Ranking Member Cummings wrote to you requesting that the Oversight Committee immediately begin reviewing President-elect Donald Trump’s financial arrangements in order to identify and protect against conflicts of interest.
Although you have stated publicly that you will hold Mr. Trump to the same standards as President Obama and Secretary Clinton, you have not responded to Ranking Member Cummings’ letter, and you have not taken steps to conduct basic oversight of these unprecedented challenges.
Since Ranking Member Cummings sent his letter, Americans across the country have flooded our Committee’s offices with thousands of calls in strong support of this investigation, jamming our phone lines with more calls than we have ever received in response to any other issue.
At the same time, during this two-week period, troubling new revelations about Mr. Trump’s actions ― as well as those of his family members and business associates ― have made the need for robust congressional oversight even more urgent.
For these reasons, we are now all writing to you in support of Ranking Member Cummings’ request, and we ask that the Oversight Committee begin its work as soon as possible.
President-Elect Trump’s Refusal to Acknowledge Bipartisan Concerns
Mr. Trump has exhibited a shocking level of disdain for legitimate bipartisan concerns about his conflicts of interest. For example, during an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Trump stated, “The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”
Of course, this statement is incorrect. Mr. Trump can ― and already does ― have obvious conflicts of interest between his widespread global business interests and his Constitutional obligations as president.
The relevant question is whether he will follow the model set by his predecessors to mitigate these conflicts by liquidating his assets and placing them in a blind trust. If he refuses, then Congress must fulfill our own responsibilities by closely examining the Constitutional and statutory provisions that govern Mr. Trump’s actions, determining whether his approach meets these standards, and proposing appropriate reforms to address any problems we identify.
Unfortunately, Mr. Trump does not appear to be taking these concerns seriously. On November 21, 2016, he tweeted, “Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world. Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!”
Again, this statement is clearly incorrect. The nation’s leading Republican and Democratic ethics scholars have called on Mr. Trump to place his financial holdings in a blind trust.
For example, the top ethics counsels for former President George W. Bush, Richard Painter, and President Barack Obama, Norman Eisen, published an op-ed in The Washington Post titled, “Trump’s ‘Blind Trust’ is Neither Blind Nor Trustworthy.” They wrote:
Donald Trump must urgently rethink his plan to allow his children to run his businesses. As drastic as it may seem to him, he should instead put all his conflict-generating assets in a true blind trust run by an independent trustee. The good of his own administration, and that of the country, demand nothing less.
Mr. Painter and Ambassador Eisen recommend that Mr. Trump “appoint an independent professional trustee to take charge of liquidating and converting to cash Trump business holdings through an initial public offering or leveraged buyout.” Second, they recommend that the proceeds “be turned over to the trustee to be managed.” Third, they recommend that as long as Mr. Trump’s children and their spouses are dealing with Mr. Trump’s business matters, “he should ask them to step away from the transition team and the White House, and to not advise him or be involved in any U.S. government affairs.”
Similarly, a group of 19 government accountability experts and organizations called on Mr. Trump to place his assets into a blind trust. They wrote:
Contacts about the Trump businesses should be prohibited between all other administration officials and people involved in the businesses, including any of the children who maintain an ongoing involvement with the businesses. Except for personal communication with the president or first lady, such telephone calls and emails should be routed to the White House counsel to make sure that the firewall is not breached.
Even The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board argued that “Mr. Trump’s best option is to liquidate his stake in the company.” In addition, the editorial board of The Salt Lake Tribune agreed with Ranking Member Cummings’ request to conduct a rigorous review, writing: “that, if he wants anyone to take him seriously, is exactly what Chaffetz and his Oversight Committee should start preparing to do.”
Global Scope of President-Elect’s Conflicts of Interest
The scope of Mr. Trump’s conflicts of interest around the world is unprecedented. Over the past two weeks, new revelations have raised serious concerns about the intermingling of Mr. Trump’s businesses and his responsibilities as president.
For example, according to The Washington Post, at least 111 Trump companies have done business in 18 different countries, including projects in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Panama. Mr. Trump has admitted he has “a little conflict of interest” in Turkey because he has a “major, major building in Istanbul.”
In addition, Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka ― who now serves on the transition team as she continues to lead Mr. Trump’s businesses ― reportedly participated in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. According to Japan Today, “For the last 30 years, Donald Trump has attempted to negotiate deals with Japan.”
She also reportedly participated in a meeting with Indian business developers involved in Trump Tower, a hotel in Pune, India which pays to use the Trump name. One of the developers, Kalpesh Mehta, reportedly “expressed satisfaction with the pace of Trump Organization’s India business and showed interest in expanding it further.” Another developer, Sagar Chordia, posted pictures with Ivanka and Eric Trump and confirmed to The New York Times that “they had discussed the desire to expand the deals with the Trump family.”
Ivanka Trump also reportedly participated in a call between Mr. Trump and Argentine President Mauricio Macri on November 14, 2016. The Trump Organization reportedly has pursued building an office tower in Buenos Aires, but it was not completed before the permits expired.
In addition, it has been reported that when Mr. Trump spoke with British politician Nigel Farage, he raised concerns about the impact that offshore wind farms could have on the view from one of his golf courses in Scotland. When The New York Times asked Mr. Trump about this exchange, he admitted that he “might have brought it up.”
It has also been reported that Mr. Trump’s organization filed a lawsuit during this period against the District of Columbia to evade local property taxes on his new Trump International Hotel in the former Post Office Building. Mr. Trump argues that the value of the property is millions of dollars less than the official government assessment, yet Mr. Trump told The New York Times that “occupancy at the hotel will be probably a more valuable asset now than it was before” and that his “brand is certainly a hotter brand that it was before.” In fact, approximately 100 foreign diplomats met during this period at the Trump International Hotel, which is now reportedly “the place to be seen.”
In addition, Mr. Trump will be responsible for appointing the head of the General Services Administration, who will have responsibility to ensure taxpayers are not being cheated by that lease. Procurement experts Steven Schooner and Daniel Gordon have warned:
The Post Office Pavilion lease is between GSA ― whose administrator President-Elect Trump will appoint ― and Trump’s company. It’s a casebook example of both the appearance of a significant conflict of interest and an intolerable intermingling of Trump’s official governmental duties and his and his family’s personal financial interests.
As Mr. Schooner and Mr. Gordon noted, “Any reasonable person would worry about the undue pressures and the inherent risk of favoritism that the government might show to such a well-connected contractor.”
Request to Fulfill Our Constitutional Obligations
The troubling examples cited above are only those that have been reported publicly over the past two weeks, and more are coming to light by the hour. It is difficult to imagine the actual number of conflicts of interest that currently exist around the world and no doubt will cause serious ongoing problems if no action is taken to mitigate them now.
You have the authority to launch a Committee investigation, and we are calling on you to use that power now. You acted with unprecedented urgency to hold “emergency” hearings and issue multiple unilateral subpoenas to investigate Secretary Clinton before the election. We ask that that you show the same sense of urgency now.
Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns has already demonstrated a troubling lack of transparency and accountability, making it even more critical that the Committee conduct rigorous oversight right away ― before he is sworn in as President.
When you were asked about this in August, you responded:
If you’re going to run and try to become the president of the United States, you’re going to have to open up your kimono and show everything, your tax returns, your medical records. You are going to just going to have to do that. It’s too important. ... I promise you, you I don’t care who is in the White House. My job is not to be a cheerleader for the president. My job is to hold them accountable and to provide that oversight. That’s what we do.
For these reasons, we request that the Committee begin this review by inviting officials designated by Mr. Trump for Committee Members to hear directly about their plans for protecting against conflicts of interest. We also ask that the Committee formally request that Mr. Trump provide the Oversight Committee with copies of his tax returns.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. [link]

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Priority questions for Congress

There are many questions relative to the pending Trump presidency. These questions are deserving of prioritizing by the President-Elect and Congress. 

The conflicts of interest presented by the Trump business empire should be of very high priority, because they potentially have bearing on every action to be taken starting on day one (January 20th) of the Trump administration. The questions need addressing starting now, and not waiting until January 20th.

Here are some priority questions for immediate consideration by Congress:

1. What is the relationship between the constitutional oath of office to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States" and the exemption for the President that is provided in the "conflicts of interest" statute? What does the word "faithfully" mean in the constitutional oath of office? Can Trump do anything he wants in service of the interests of his business empire and his family, or does the word "faithfully" limit what Trump can do?

2. If the word "faithfully" means there are limitations on what Trump can do, do you think Trump understands that?

3. What is the role of Congress in overseeing whether the President is "faithfully" executing his office? Can Congress impeach the President if it determines that the President has failed to faithfully execute his office? What if the President has one view of what "faithfully" means, and Congress has a differing view?

4. Do you currently have any concerns that President Trump will not faithfully execute his office? What assurances have you gotten thus far, or do you think assurances have been lacking? What do you understand is the President-Elect's understanding  of the word "faithfully"? To the extent you understand what Trump's understanding is, do you agree or disagree with Trump's understanding of what the word "faithfully" means?

5. Given that the question of whether Trump is faithfully executing his office will be relevant immediately starting January 20th, don't you and other members of Congress need to start your own consideration of this matter immediately, so that the country, the Trump administration and Congress are on good ground for moving forward starting January 20th?

Getting Congress to address the above questions:
Efforts to get Congress to address these questions will be more effective if done in an organized and coordinated way.
I am a resident of Alabama and am posing the questions to the Alabama legislative delegation in Washington per Priority questions for AL legislative delegation. I have sent tweets to the Alabama delegation and have posted the tweets in Priority questions for AL legislative delegation. In the next week or so, I will send hundreds or thousands of tweets to Alabama residents giving a link to Priority questions for AL legislative delegation. My tweets will say something like, "Please join with me in asking our AL legis. delegation these questions re Trump business empire. http://al6thcongdist-ihaveuntiljan13.blogspot.com/2016/11/prioriy-questions-for-al-legislative.html"
To others who want Congress to face up to the Trump business empire, I say, let's try to act in an organized and coordinated way to make demand on Congress about this.
My suggestion would be for others to send tweets to their state's legislative delegation in Washington (as I have done with the Alabama delegation), and I would create a separate blog entry for that state and post the tweets that are sent. This would be followed by the sending of tweets to other residents in the state (as I am going to do in Alabama).
This approach would be subject to development as those participating in the effort think appropriate.
Please let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Can Trump be President?

Is Trump seeking to establish government of Trump, by Trump and for Trump?

Can Trump fulfill his constitutional oath of office to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States" if he pursues establishing government of Trump, by Trump and for Trump in connection with his business empire?

Is the proper course of action of "we, the people," through their Congress, to impeach Trump for violating his constitutional oath of office for acting to establish government of Trump, by Trump and for Trump?

For further discussion, see Priority questions for CongressIs Trump risking a hashtag #crookederthanHillary? and Priority questions for AL legislative delegation.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Is Trump risking a hashtag #crookederthanHillary?

In the incredible 2016 elections, Donald Trump astounded us with his shameless mendacity, hyperbole, hypocrisy, and double standards.

A lot of it was taken with big grains of salt, and some of it was amusing.

Also, that was just citizen Trump speaking, and what he said lacked the seriousness attending speech made by someone who is or was a public official.

Secretary Clinton was burdened with the serious consequences if one is or was a public official who lies or lied to the public.

With her private email server, most now believe that Secretary Clinton lied right from the start when she said the reason for the server was a matter of her convenience in using her Blackberry.

Most now think the private email server was a calculated decision by the Clintons of what would best enable them to keep the public from learning about questionable things related to the Clinton Foundation and possibly other questionable matters. This conclusion was particularly supported by the "bleaching" of 33,000 emails when the private email server became publicly known.

Secretary Clinton could never have given the honest answer that the reason for her private server was to be able to keep the public from finding out about things related to the Clinton Foundation, So, she had to lie about the reason, that lie dogged her for 18 months, and it may have cost Secretary Clinton the Presidency.

President-Elect Trump has now moved into the serious zone when it comes to lying to the public as a public official (or public official-elect), and a lie may have now started  in a way very similar to the way Secretary Clinton lied about her private server.

Central attacks in candidate Trump's  Presidential campaign included that Hillary Clinton was one of the most corrupt politicians in American history, growing out of conflicts of interest and blurred lines between her State Department business and the Clintons' personal financial, charitable and political activities, which may have risen to criminality.

Candidate Trump spoke about how his personal business empire was small and unimportant compared to interests of the American people that he was going to serve.

Since the election, President-Elect Trump has given the impression that he alone will determine how conflicts of interest between his Presidency and his business empire are dealt, and President-Elect Trump will expect the American people to trust him completely regarding the matter.

A very intense tussle appears looming on what President-Elect Trump needs to do about the Trump business empire. Already it is being argued, given how candidate Trump promised to change Washington’s culture of self-dealing, that, if he wants to succeed he’s going to have to make a sacrifice and lead by example and liquidate his businesses.

President-Elect Trump is going to take kindly to reporters throwing up to him his campaign statements about the Clintons' corruption, conflicts of interests and blurring of lines between their official governmental roles the Clintons' personal financial, charitable and political interests, and such reporters then asking President Trump about his conflicts of interest and blurring of lines between his Presidency and his business empire. The same goes for reporters bringing up the Trump condemnation of "pay to play" by the Clintons, and wanting to dig deeper about whether Trump was doing his own "pay to play" with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi or his other participation in "pay to play".

Today it was indicated that President-Elect Trump has decided against further investigation and/or criminal prosecution of Secretary Clinton. The reason given was that this was in order to help Secretary Clinton's healing process in her election defeat.

Is this stated reason a lie just like Secretary Clinton's lie that she had a private email server for reasons of convenience, when the real reason was to keep the public from finding out questionable things about the Clinton Foundation?

To answer this, consider how the voters heard for more a year and a half about the rigged and corrupt political system. Consider how candidate Trump charged that Secretary Clinton was one of the most corrupt politicians in American political history.

There is clearly a public interest that the voters obtain more information about exactly what is rigged and corrupt, and what should be done to fix the same. Iff Secretary Clinton is one of the most corrupt politicians in American political history, it is important for the American people to get to the bottom of  exactly what Secretary Clinton's wrongdoing was in order to address what is wrong with the rigged and corrupt political system.

Digging into the conflicts of interest and blurring of lines that allegedly went on with the Clintons would tend to keep in front of the people whether improper conflicts of interest and blurring of lines is going on between the Trump Presidency and the Trump business empire.

It is fair to think that President-Elect Trump does not want a Clinton investigation to keep in front of the people the matter of whether there is improper blurring of lines between the Trump Presidency and the Trump business empire.

In short, it is not unreasonable to think that it is a lie to say that the reason not to continue investigation and/or prosecution of the Clintons is in order to help Secretary Clinton with her healing from election defeat (when the real reason is to keep a Clinton investigation from calling attention to the Trump conflict of interest situation), in the same way Secretary Clinton lied that her choice of a private email server was for matters of convenience (when the real reason was to keep the public from finding out about improper profiting and other things related to the Clinton Foundation.)

If President-Elect Trump continues the way he has done the past few days related to addressing conflicts of interest between his Presidency and his business empire and related to continued investigation of Secretary Clinton or not, a Twitter hashtag #crookederthanHillary could become warranted.

Update 11/23/16
President-Elect Trump seems bound and determined that the President is exempt from the conflicts of interest law, and, if he wants to bring Ivanka to meetings to help her hustle business, that's entirely his prerogative, and it is none of the country's business if he does so. I think this warrants commencing use of hashtag #crookederthanHillary.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The 2018 citizens' unity Congress

President-Elect Donald Trump campaigned hard at the close of his campaign that he would "drain the swamp" in Washington DC.

In his Contract with the American Voter,  Trump committed to embark immediately on a plan for restoring honesty and accountability, and bringing change to Washington. The Contract proposed six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC. These are:
★ FIRST, propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress.
★ SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health).
★ THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.
★ FOURTH, a five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.
★ FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
★ SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

The above culmination in the 2016 Presidential election grew out of a remarkable eighteen months of Presidential campaigning by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump that vociferously charged that a corrupt Congress and broken political system were failing the American people.

There is good reason to think that the people should not just sit back and passively await what the Trump administration and the new Congress will do to address the problem of a corrupt Congress and broken political system.

Rather the people should keep themselves aroused by the momentous emotions stirred in the 2016 Presidential election and be proactive and pressure the Trump administration and the new Congress.

It is submitted that this must be done in a unified way by grassroots Republicans, Democrats and independents.

Such unity by grassroots Republicans, Democrats and independents may be impossible, but, without it, there is great risk that the Trump administration will morph into business as usual.

One should not rule out the Trump administration and the new Congress actually bringing about change that is generally found acceptable by the grassroots electorate.

If that does not happen, there are alternative paths for the people. These alternative paths have been pursued for several years. The paths include getting the states to call a constitutional convention to amend the constitution, and also getting state and local legislation and ordinances to end corruption at those levels of government and pushing up from there to Congress and the Federal government.

Work will continue on the foregoing alternative paths.

This blog attempted, with respect to the 2016 Congressional elections, to instigate a citizen effort to get candidates who were running for Congress in 2016 to make a public declaration that was intended to force Congress, before November 8, 2016,  to pass reform legislation for the American people to consider in casting their votes on November 8th. This is set out at 2016 Congressional candidates Declarations. This effort had no success as regards the 2016 Congressional elections, and there was much diversion of effort towards the Sanders and Trump candidacies.

This blog will now shift to trying to pressure the Trump administration and the new Congress, with the threat of trying to elect a citizens' unity Congress in 2018 to enact change if the Trump administration and the new Congress are not responsive to the people's wishes.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Virginians tweeting for Trump against the corruption

Virginians are tweeting for Trump to defeat Clinton corruption and also lead the charge against the corruption of Congress.

In order to Make America Great Again, these Virginians are demanding that the current Congress face up to and act on its corruption before Nov. 8th, or face eviction from office.

Please join these Virginians and become part of the Trump "ground game" in Virgina, by (i) sending Trump a tweet, (ii) sending tweets to Senators Warner and Kaine and Virginia's representatives in Congress, and (iii) sending tweets to other Virginians. Scroll down this blog entry for sending sending the tweets.

REASONS TO TWEET FOR TRUMP AGAINST THE CORRUPTION
The Clinton corruption of the past 25 years keeps welling up. Its most egregious manifestation is being revealed in The Clinton Foundation.

In his campaign, Trump is lambasting the Clintons on their corruption.

There is other widespread corruption Trump has been outspoken on.

In the very first debate, Trump was brutally honest. Here's the video of that.



On August 16th Trump tweeted a video that "we are going to make this a government of the people once again."

In video (below) Trump slams the "pay for play" corruption of Hillary Clinton, the "profiteering," and the "favors given to foreign corporations and governments," all being "not acceptable," "corrupt" and bringing "great dishonor" on our government.

On the goal of making this "a government of the people once again", Trump says this is "the last chance" for the people to take back their power, and that the "establishment is scared" and "has no idea how many people are going to come out on Nov. 8th and vote"

Virginia is a battleground state for Trump to defeat the Clinton corruption and lead the charge against the corruption of Congress. You can be part of the Trump "ground game" in Virginia by sending tweets.

If you receive a tweet and come to this webpage, please tweet and join the Trump "ground game" in Virginia.

Thank you.

FIRST SEND TRUMP A TWEET
To send Trump a tweet for defeating the Clinton corruption and to lead the charge against Congressional corruption, click on the below link. The tweet you send will have a link to this blog entry (Virginians tweeting for Trump against the corruption).  Also your tweet will contain, and show up under, the Twitter hashtag #FixCongressNow.


SECOND, SEND TWEETS TO WARNER, KAINE AND VA REPS IN CONGRESS
You can send tweets by clicking on the below links. The tweet you send will have a link to this blog entry (Virginians tweeting for Trump against the corruption). Also your tweet will contain, and show up under, the Twitter hashtag #VaPolitics.

Tweet here to Senator Warner
Tweet here to Senator Kaine
Tweet here to Rep. Wittman
Tweet here to Rep. Rigell
Tweet here to Rep. Scott
Tweet here to Rep. Forbes
Tweet here to Rep. Hurt
Tweet here to Rep. Goodlatte
Tweet here to Rep. Brat
Tweet here to Rep. Beyer
Tweet here to Rep.Griffith
Tweet here to Rep. Comstock
Tweet here to Rep. Connolly


THIRD, SEND TWEETS TO VIRGINIA VOTERS
The meat for a Trump "ground game" in Virginia is for tens of thousands of tweets to be sent to Virginia voters. This is to be accomplished by a pyramiding of tweets.

Here is a suggested tweet to be used for the pyramiding.
Join Trump tweeting Virginians against Clinton corruption and Cong'l corruption. http://2016candidatesdeclarations.blogspot.com/2016/09/virginians-tweeting-for-trump-against.html
(If you prefer another tweet, feel free to compose your own, the only important element being a link to this webpage http://2016candidatesdeclarations.blogspot.com/2016/09/virginians-tweeting-for-trump-against.html )

Next you start sending your tweet message to Virginia voters in your geographic location. individually. This can be done easily by finding Twitter accounts of newspapers, TV stations, chambers of commerce, schools, political organizations, and others in your geographical area and sending your tweets to followers of those Twitter accounts.

For example, if you live in the Richmond area, you might use these follower lists to find Virgina voters to send tweets to:
https://twitter.com/richmonddotcom/followers

In doing your tweeting, you are repetitively sending the same tweet message. This can be done efficiently. Get the tweet message on your mouse clipboard, go to the follower list you are using for your tweeting, start with the first person on the list you want to tweet to, and do this:
1. Right click on person's Twitter name.
2. Choose "open in new tab"
3. Go to the new tab.
4. Click on the "Tweet to" button.
5. Paste the tweet message in the box.
6. Hit the "Tweet" button.
7. Close the tab, which takes you back to the list
8. Go on to next person, and repeat above steps.
You should be able to send 30 to 40 tweets in a half hour. Send as many tweets as you are willing to. Don't worry about any duplication that you think may arise.

The idea is for recipients of your tweets who click on the link in the tweet will come to this webpage and then join in and do their own tweeting to other Pennsylvanians in their locale. The goal is to produce a pyramiding of tweets that reaches tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters across the state.