Citizens of Alabama’s 6th congressional district, represented by Republican Spencer Bachus, made their voices heard today when they brought megaphones, signs and opinions to his district office.
Many constituents are upset by information released in the new book Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweizer, and the ensuing segment on 60 Minutes exposing insider trading and short selling by Rep. Bachus, among others.
“The idea is to be honest, and police our own, because we are the Party that does it right,” said one demonstrator, “we don’t want election time to come around in 2012 and figure out then that people won’t vote for conservatives because of what one bad player did. We want to keep our name clean. We are the party of ethics, and whether Congress wants to admit it is illegal or not, it is wrong. Conservatives know the difference.”
Upon protestors’ entry into the building, they were told that they would not be allowed to assemble on the grounds of the Congressman’s office, and that they should go across the street. They stayed, and were peaceful. They agreed not to wave their signs, or shout, or disrupt the peace in any way, with one protestor commenting to security, “We aren’t the Occupiers, we are the Tea Party, for crying out loud.”
Alabama realizes that the scope of what happens here extends far beyond our state, and that this is a fully national story now. We want to set an example, as a constituency willing to police our own, and demonstrators discussed many reasons why this particular Congressman needs to go, in addition to those reasons mentioned in the media today.
As of this morning, no one in the House had actually agreed to hold hearings on legislation prohibiting insider trading in Congress. Considering that Republicans hold a majority in that chamber, it is surprising that the Democrat-held Senate was the first to act.
After the rally today demanding that Bachus commit to the same sort of reform, the Congressman announced that the House Financial Services Committee (of which he is Chairman) would be considering legislation to prohibit lawmakers from investing based on private information.
Out of more than one hundred people who came out to the event over the course of the day, some small groups, couples, and individuals went in to visit the Congressman’s staff. He was not there. Television and radio media were present, as were candidates who intended to challenge the Congressman in the upcoming elections. Two candidates declared on “The Dr. Gina show” on Monday and Tuesday, when the news of the scandal broke.
I joined other speakers in addressing the crowd about staying strong in the interest of what is right, and not being intimidated by a multimillion dollar war chest, or a powerful DC insider Congressman. I mentioned that after dedicating my 3-hour talk show to this topic every day this week, and having taken countless calls, I have yet to receive a contrary comment in support of the Congressman, or what he did.
The eyes of Alabamans are on Rep. Bachus as we wait to see if he follows through on his pledge for reform. And the eyes of the nation are on the state of Alabama to see just what they are going to do about a Congressman that is already being portrayed as representative of the corruption in Washington, D.C., and the Wall Street cronyism whose benefits are available only to the powerful and privileged.