Lawmakers have a responsibility of a specific nature and also a responsibility of a general nature that are relevant to the subject matter of this blog.
The specific responsibility is that lawmakers make the laws that determine the contours and rules of our civil liability system, and, if that system is being abused by the plaintiffs' lawyers and is not properly serving societal interests, our lawmakers have the authority and responsibility to correct that through legislation.
Second, lawmakers have a responsibility in a general way to be ethical public servants who act honestly and in good faith in passing laws, including establishing regulatory and criminal law apparatus, that attempt to achieve a defensible balance of societal interests, including the protection of consumers. Frequently lawmakers fail this responsibility, and instead they furtively do the bidding of campaign contributors in casting votes and sponsoring legislation that the contributors want but that are not defensible in a proper and good faith discharge of the lawmaker's responsiblity as an ethical public servant. This is particularly evidenced by lawmakers lying and dissembling about and hiding from voters what the lawmaker's actions have been and the reasons for those actions. Consequences of this corruption include that lawmakers become derelict in tending to legislative business they ought to be tending to for their consitutuents, and further the laws they enact are viewed as the tainted result of bribes and corruption that need not be respected and that may be overridden by judges and juries. This is particularly the case in areas of consumer protection where business is viewed as having corrupted the legislative process.
In the 2006 elections, the issue of corruption in Washington was viewed to have figured very prominently. It has also been viewed as an important issue in the 2008 Presidential election. I personally felt it should have been the most important issue to the voters in the 2008 Presidential election. My reasons for this are detailed in a separate blog of mine that may be found at this link.
All of us as citizens should have an interest in ending the culture of corruption in Washington. This culture of corruption in Washington, as indicated above, also has bearing on issues related to tort reform and on nuturing ethical business conduct that are discussed in this blog. Thus it seems appropriate to make this election eve entry here.