by Stacey Selleck
A couple years ago, a video documentary called “The Swamp” aired on Facebook. It provides an uncensored, behind-the-scenes view of how the corrupt political machine of Washington operates. Featuring term limits pledge signers Representatives Thomas Massie (KY), Ken Buck (CO), and Rod Blum (IA), among others, these political outsiders came to D.C. aspiring to fix the broken system. Snippets of the Emmy award-winning four part series, produced by Matthew Whitworth, may be viewed here: https://www.laivideo.com/portfolio/swamp-online-series.
In the clips, Massie explains how staffers taking whip counts repimand members who vote incorrectly telling them to get informed about how leadership expects them to vote.
“This is a staffer,” says Massie, “and she’s giving me permission to vote my conscience… to vote for my constituents? It was ridiculous but that was just the tip of the iceberg,” Massie smirks in disgust wearing his congressional pin he sarcastically dubbed “Precious.”
For anyone who thinks the staffers will run the show once term limits are implemented, I’ve got a news flash for you, they already do!
Rep. Ted Yoho from Florida recalls how he discovered the “pay-to-play” system when a lobbyist told him they expect repayment for campagn contributions in the form of high dollar fundraising for the Party and “X amount of dollars” to secure a charimanship position.
For anyone who thinks the lobbyists will run the show once term limits are implemented, I’ve got a news flash for you, they already do!
According to Buck, freshman are taught before they are sworn in that if you play ball with the power structure in D.C. there is a good life for you here.
If you play ball you are rewarded and if you refuse to succumb to the pressures you will be ostracized, defunded, and they will primary you with someone who will.
Massie amplifies that message stating,”The problem is the incentive structure is set up to get you to sell out to lobbyists.” He continues, “You’re faced with coming up here and prostituting yourself just so you can get a committee assignment where you can represent your constituents the best.”
The question is, will these representatives change the swamp before the swamp changes them or will they realize DC is beyond repair and give up the fight?
Two years has gone by and a few of the members featured have already left office or announced their retirement. On August 4th, 2020 a new documentary of The Swamp directed by Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme airs on HBO. View the trailer here: