Saturday, May 01, 2010

Tim Bridgewater -- The Business Candidate or a Hypocrite

Tim Bridgewater has been presenting himself as a business friendly candidate and as someone who would be a champion against big government spending. However, it was revealed this week Tim Bridgewater advised client companies to seek government earmarks and funding from the stimulus, and that he co-founded and operated a company which operated to take advantage of the NCLB program. This revelation does make Mr. Bridgewater look at least slightly hypocritical, and majorly untrustworthy to taxpayers.

So, Mr. Bridgewater has advised his clientele to take advantage of cheap government money -- who wouldn't? Yes, Mr. Bridgewater is correct in his assertion that his clients would have been foolish not to use the government financing options that he has condemned. The problem is that Mr. Bridgewater wants us, the taxpaying voters, to believe he is somehow different than everyone else who is in Congress or who is running for Congress. This revelation, if not damning, is disconcerting. His business dealings show that he is just as willing as anyone else to say one thing to the voter in order to get elected, and do something completely different in his regular life or when faced with pressure from party leaders if elected. Although I agree with Mr. Bridgewater that he was prudent in advising clients to seek after, and he was prudent in seeking cheap government financing in his own business -- it doesn't show a man who stands firm on his convictions (especially the ones that he preaches from the campaign podium)

I doubt that Tim Bridgewater is the solution to our problems in Congress that he is hoping we will believe he is.

I'm pretty thoroughly convinced that nothing can change in Washington until there are some major changes to the way Congress operates.

First, it is time that we have term limits to Congress and the Senate. Congressional leadership spend so much time in Washington that they have no real connection to the areas that elected them. Second, cut Congressional pay. It is insulting that members of Congress, a majority of whom are independently wealthy, go to Congress only to be paid larger salaries than most Americans and to be granted lifetime benefits that employees of some of the most stable American corporations would envy -- especially when so many Americans are struggling financially. Third, we need a system that is favorable to any and all comers -- stop the two party control of Washington. The two party system is one of the biggest causes of organizational myopia in the Federal Government. Decisions should be made by merit of ideas presented and thoughtful debate and negotiation, not by the letter that you have affixed next to your name.

In general, members of Congress receive a great deal from their time in Congress. Many find gainful employment as lobbyist, business leaders, bureaucrats, and financial gain by being public figures. Congressional pay and benefits are obscene, as is the job security and length of time for which congressional leaders serve. We need fresh ideas and faces every few years to combat the myopia and group-think which seems to command most of the decision making that comes out of Washington.

I'm sure Mr. Bridgewater is a nice guy and a good businessman, but I'm just as sure that he would become part of the problem within seconds of taking the oath of office.

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