The WRONG Way to Pass Legislation

The Senate broke my heart by passing the bailout Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (note the re-framing) overwhelmingly.

What’s really eating at me though is the way that it passed. In an attempt to make the bill more palatable to members of  Republicans in the House, they packed the bill with pork. Sure, this is how business gets done in Washington, but in this case it’s really, really, really sick. See some examples of the garbage in this bill here.

With all of the quasi-economic-populist rhetoric going on as this election draws nearer, why not throw in substantive measures to make this bill more palatable to homeowners, consumers, and everyday citizens? Isn’t that what economic populism is all about?

We need a change in Washington. Yes, I agree that we need a new President, and I think that new President should be Barack Obama. But what we really need is a change in how Washington works. This bill passed the way most bills pass in Washington: too quickly, without enough scrutiny, packed with “sweeteners” for politicians instead of people.

I wish my candidate & his VP (and, frankly, their opponent) hadn’t supported this. When a Democratic Senator who’s name is not on this list tells you they put regular people first, do a double-take.

Democratic Senators that Voted ‘No’ on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act

  • Maria Cantwell (WA)
  • Byron Dorgan (ND)
  • Russ Feingold (WI)
  • Tim Johnson (SD)
  • Mary Landrieu (LA)
  • Bill Nelson (FL)
  • Bernie Sanders (VT)
  • Debbie Stabenow (MI)
  • John Tester (MT)
  • Ron Wyden (OR)

One Love. One II.

P.S. When was the last time that opposing candidates voted the same way on a such controversial legislation this close to an election?


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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