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Who do our Elected Officials Represent - The People or Themselves?

by: kfratto

Sat Feb 13, 2010 at 20:51:46 PM EST


( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

Are our officials in the State House of Representatives elected to further their own careers in the House or should they be representing what their constituents want and voting accordingly? I believe they are elected to represent their constituents and not their own political careers. After all they serve in the House of Representatives. Their title is Representative and we have a representative form of government. Representatives are supposed to advocate on our behalf. If they fail to represent and advocate for us, the people need to hold them accountable.

I addressed a group where I discussed the runaway state spending and the crushing taxes already imposed on us by the legislature as well as the potential for new taxes. Rather than stand up for the taxpayers who did not want tax and fee hikes, my incumbent voted not only to hike our existing taxes, but also to impose new taxes and fees upon us last year.

Rather than vote to end Bunker Hill and Evacuation Day and save the taxpayers millions, my incumbent voted against the will of his constituents.  

kfratto :: Who do our Elected Officials Represent - The People or Themselves?

Rather than stand with the people and ask for the Speaker to release the details of the legal fees we are paying for former Speaker DiMasi, my incumbent is silent.

Rather than stand with the people and say the state should not keep considering in-state tuition for illegal immigrants over and over again, he stays silent.

Rather than stand up for the people and respect the will of the electoral process, my incumbent has done nothing to try to roll back the income tax to 5%.

Rather than accept responsibility for his role in the increased state spending and higher taxes and fees, my incumbent said that government was living within its means.

After addressing the group, I was approached by a voter who defended our incumbent by saying if the incumbent doesn't go along then he risks demotion or losing committee positions. She kept telling me that I don't know how things work up there and the incumbent has to look out for himself.

I don't see it that way. He should be looking out for us. Period. If all the elected officials actually represented their constituents rather than the political machine the power of accountability in legislation and government would lie with the people, not the political machine. That is what government of, by and for the people is, but sadly that is not what we have right now.

Right now we have elected officials not representatives. They are politicians, but not advocates, which has to change. This is why I am running. I am a trained advocate. I believe in term limits to limit the threat of corruption and the machine takeover of government. Our government is supposed to be of, by, and for the people. It is time we make it that way again. If you feel the same way, please get involved with campaign for State Representative at www.karafratto.com.

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Good for you Kara (0.00 / 0)
Don't let up

Umm? (5.00 / 1)
"Increased state spending"?  The budget this year is 0.06% higher than last year's. That isn't much of an increase in my mind.  I would argue that government is living within it's limited means.

Edmund Burke, not exactly a liberal thinker, said it best in my opinion: "Your elected representative owes you not his industry only, but his judgment... and he betrays you instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion."


I would agrue (5.00 / 1)
that you are using a definition of "living within it's means" different from many.  Living within means does not mean comparing year over year budgets and without taking into account revenue.  

Simple example....if i spent 10k more than I earn this year, and next year with the same income (or less given added expenses or drop in revenues) I spent 10,600 over my available income can we call that "living within my means"?

Budgets are made with revenue projections which are often far rosier than actual collections.  Right now the state budget has the "rainy day fund" to fall back on and stimulus money to it prop it up.  What happens when those are no long available?  If prior history can be used as a guide the answer usually lies in tax increases.  Now that may be inevitable, but it has to stop being the first option.  It should come after all options to reduce expenses without impacting public safety and education are examined.

Suffering Battered Voter Syndrome since 8/31/1981


[ Parent ]
RE: I would argue (0.00 / 0)
Living within its means does not mean asking the taxpayers for a raise. At home, when we have budget shortfalls we cut back. On Beacon Hill when they have budget shortfalls not only do they not cut back they increase spending. At home we do not increase our spending, no matter how minimal and demand that people give us more money. If revenue projections are less than needed to fund the government wishlist, adding new taxes and fees to make up for the shortfall is not living within its means.

We at home have to work with what we have. We do not demand more money from our bosses to fund everything we want. We repriorize and get cut back on what we want in order to pay for what we need. This is what government needs to do. There is more than enough money to pay for what government needs, but there will never be enough money to pay for what government wants. Wanting something and needing something are different. Government needs to understand this difference.

Tax and fee increases rather than fixes and cuts to spending and continously proposing more tax and fee increases is not living with your means.  


[ Parent ]
RE: Umm? (5.00 / 1)
If tax revenues are down then state spending should not be up, no matter how minimal. The money that the state spends is our money and the state needs to stop demanding more of it while they increase spending. If tax revenues are down the state should either be fixing the reasons for drop or create new ways for the state to generating income without tax increases.

[ Parent ]
If by 'living within its limited means' you mean..... (0.00 / 0)
using up all the rainy day funds and raising taxes on everyone, while asking cities and towns to apply local options taxes - then 'yes' they are living within their means.  

Ed Markey is now the official 'cheapest' man on earth.  1.5 percent to charity while the average American gave 3 times as much...

[ Parent ]
Richard Ross thinks his vote is more ipmortant than the PEOPLE (0.00 / 0)
Ross is a self serving rep nothing more.

? (0.00 / 0)
Who was talking about Richard Ross?

Suffering Battered Voter Syndrome since 8/31/1981

[ Parent ]
This furthers the debate about representative government... (4.00 / 1)
While our representatives SHOULD listen to the people, are our elected representatives not elected to make the best decisions for the people even if they are unpopular decisions?

Clearly this is a question for philosophical debate and should not be applied to Fratto's opponent.  I think most of us agree that many on Beacon Hill are making decisions based on their interests over the people's interests.  

In an ideal world, should representative's be elected to use their best judgment for the people they represent? Should they instead make decisions based on public opinion? Maybe a mixture of the two?


Constant balancing act (0.00 / 0)
The more representative government becomes and approaches "direct democracy" the more the will of the majority has the potential to step on the interests and rights of the minority who lose their voice.  And those can often be in direct opposition to preserving existing societal and legal norms.

What happens when the majority wishes to violate or step on the voice of others outside the majority?  You can see an easy example of this....sin taxes.  The vast majority of people support raising taxes on things like tobacco because a) it does not affect them b) it can increase revenue c) tobacco is unhealthy.  

Now the original intent of excessive tobacco taxes was meant to be used for education and cessation purposes.  Instead the state uses the money for whatever purposes it wishes and the public wants even more.  The smokers being in a group with no voice cannot argue against it and be allowed to make their own foolish choices and are continually are a target for future increases.

Would that dynamic be in place for alcohol? One could easily argue that alcohol is a great public health hazard, money can be raised and so on, but the majority would be affected.  And then the greater argument comes in about the "cost to the public" to support the results lack of regulation on that behavior.  No problem making the case that long term tobacco use incurs great cost to society and the public means....don't hear too many people making that argument about people suffering from cirrhosis, pancreatitis, stomach cancer, diabetes, domestic abuse and premature deaths attributed to alcohol use.  

The moral is the individuals act on their own behalf in their own interests (or perceived interests) even when it is clearly not in the interest of the public.  Hence the dilemma.  We see the same type of dilemma unfolding over gambling and who knows where that will go.

One would hope that representatives act in the best interest of those they represent and in a overall support of "fair play"...sadly, I don't think that is the case.

Suffering Battered Voter Syndrome since 8/31/1981


[ Parent ]
Think of a bullseye (0.00 / 0)
painted upon the head of every elected official.  They are hounded by protocols, special interest lobbyists and the pressure to do something even if the details of lofty sounding good things were detail approved by the thing tanks of Satan's highest minions.  The special added effects of people and corporations wanting to be "in compliance" with above mentioned Satan inspired think tanks then go above an beyond with their own extreme extrapolations of the above mentioned Satan's minions inspired law and social policy to avoid the preceived potential lawsuits.

who do our (0.00 / 0)
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