Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.

Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people. Henry Clay said this in a Speech at Ashland, Kentucky in March of 1829. Henry Clay was the Speaker of the House of Representatives during 1811-1814, 1815-1820, and 1823-1825.

You as members of Congress should be aware of this as it is quoted on Page 2 of the House Ethics Manual, but that would have assumed that you have read the manual. If most of you are not reading the legislation you are voting on it is probably a good bet that you have not read your own ethics manual. Looking at how you conduct yourselves as a whole it is clear that most of the members of the House of Representatives use the Ethics Manual as a paper weight!

Another interesting section of the Ethics Manual (still only on page 2) states the following: “That ―public office is a public trust has long been a guiding principle of government.(emphasis added) 2 To uphold this trust, Congress has bound itself to abide by certain standards of conduct, expressed in the Code of Official Conduct (House Rule 23)3 and the Code of Ethics for Government Service.4 These codes provide that Members, officers, and employees are to conduct themselves in a manner that will reflect creditably on the House, work earnestly and thoughtfully for their salary, and that they may not seek to profit by virtue of their public office, allow themselves to be improperly influenced, or discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors.(emphasis added)”

2 Code of Ethics for Government Service 10, H. Con. Res. 175, 72 Stat., pt. 2, B12 (adopted July 11, 1958) (contained in the appendices to this Manual). This creed, the motto of the Grover Cleveland administration, has been voiced by such notables as Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)), Charles Sumner (speech, U.S. Senate (May 31, 1872)), as well as Henry Clay (see note 1, supra). 3 House rules are formally referenced by Roman numerals. For ease of reading, this manual uses the more familiar Arabic numerals throughout. All citations are to the House rules for the 110th Congress, unless specifically stated otherwise. 4 See note 2, supra.

If only our elected members of the House of Representatives had read just Page 2 of the Ethics Manual, maybe they would have thought twice about the Stimulus Bill and the Cap and Trade Bill they voted on without reading it. I spent part of my weekend reviewing the Ethics Manual, The House Member’s Handbook, and the House Rules and to my shock I found absolutely nothing in any of the House Rules that specifically states that members must read legislation before voting on it!

Then I started to think about this, commonsense dictates that if you are a trustee for the public and you are voting on legislation you have fiduciary duty to the people to read this legislation.

The definition of fiduciary duty: “is is a legal relationship of confidence or trust between two or more parties most commonly a fiduciary or trustee and a principal or beneficiary. In a fiduciary relation one person justifiably reposes confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another, with loyalty to those interests. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the “principal”): he must not put his personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from his position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents.” (Definition compliments of Wikipedia)

Ok, so what Congress has a Fiduciary Duty to the people of the United States? By not reading legislation and voting it into law, I argue that they have breached their Fiduciary Duty to the people and we the people have legal recourse against them.

Taking this a step further, if members of Congress have voted on bills that have caused themselves, their family or friends to profit, this also would be a breach of Fiduciary Duty to the extent that the House Ethics Rules have been violated and the public good was not served. I would love to see Representative Murtha explain the legislation that has benefited his nephew’s company! But I digress!

What can we the people do with these blatant breaches of Fiduciary Duty? SUE THEM! That’s right, why don’t we sue every member of congress who voted for the Stimulus Bill and Cap and Trade Bill for Breach of Fiduciary Duty. God knows they do not hold themselves accountable for any of their actions. I find it amazing that Congress is allowed to police itself, does anyone else see a problem this? It is up to us to hold them accountable!

Alternatively, why not sue for an injunction against the continued enactment of these bills as they would potentially be unconstitutional by the very failures of those members of Congress who voted for them without reading them and fulfilling their Constitutional duty and fiduciary duty to the American people!


What we need is to determine if any state laws govern the conduct of each elected official, including those caring and competent members of the House of Representatives and use these laws to remove these lazy S.O. B.’s from office and get people in office who are more interested in the country than they are in their own personal gain.

For the record it is not just the Democrat members who have acted in their own personal interests above those of the country, there are Republican members as well who are just as guilty. I don’t know how far back we could or should go with these Breaches of Fiduciary Duty on the part of members of Congress, but if this theory can be used to clean up Washington once and for all we should go for it!

There has to be some group or organization that access to constitutional lawyers that can take on this cause! This could very well be our only way to stop the insanity in Washington D.C.!

- The Congressional Heckler - Reminding the members of Congress that they do some real stupid stuff on a daily basis!

Source: Chuck Fongress

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