Bjorkman Critiques Congressional Campaign Finance Dues System

Democratic candidate for U.S. House Tim Bjorkman continues to speak like a budding Bernie Sanders. The judge-turned-campaigner says corporate money controls Congress, and he’s calling on every Congressional candidate to reject the party dues system:

Today, both parties’ leaders levy dues based on the congressman’s committee choice: the more lucrative the committee for fundraising, the higher the dues.

Yes, astoundingly, our representatives are expected to pay to do the work we elected them to do.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., likens the practice to extortion: “They told us right off the bat as soon as we [got] here, ‘These committees all have prices and don’t pick an expensive one if you can’t make the payments’” [Tim Bjorkman, op-ed, that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.08.30].

Showing his bipartisan/nonpartisan inclination, Bjorkman cites the book published by Republican Congressman Ken Buck from Colorado last spring detailing the selling of committee seats. Rep. Buck is a Tea Party favorite. Buck denies climate change, but he also denied birtherism. But his position on either of those fringe issues does not indict his or Bjorkman’s assessment of the corruption of Congress by party leaders addicted to corporate money.

Bjorkman says the dues system gets just as nasty as Donald Trump’s personal threats against lawmakers who don’t bow down before him:

If you don’t pay your dues, you’ve got a big problem. The leadership can get nasty. Democratic leaders have maintained a wall of shame listing those who owe dues; they have also sent collection letters and even made phone calls to “delinquent” House members.

It gets worse. Leadership promises to route dues back into key races the incumbents are at risk of losing, but if the congressman opposes the party’s leadership on a key issue – say, the recent health care bill – the party may not just withhold campaign money in the next election; they may use the war chest to fund a primary challenger [Bjorkman, 2017.08.30].

Let’s see if Bjorkman’s critique of big money in politics earns him the same disdain from national Democratic leaders that Rick Weiland got in his Senate bid in 2014.

7 Responses to Bjorkman Critiques Congressional Campaign Finance Dues System

  1. The two-party system has run its course. But now that both are huge corporations whose economies have swollen and bloated over time, they now are too big to fail. It has become a self-feeding and mutually perpetuating duopoly.

  2. Porter Lansing

    Where do congresspersons get the money to pay these dues? From lobbyists. And what do the lobbyists want in return for paying their prostitute congressperson’s dues? Favors!!
    This must end. RELEASE THE KRAKEN!! or at least send in Stace Nelson …

  3. It’s good to see that Kristi Noem is such a good team player to raise lots of out-of-state cash to give away to party leadership in exchange for letting her off of the Ag Committee. “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.”

  4. Ben Cerwinske

    Does this explain why Noem is on the prestigious Ways and Means Comm.?

  5. Bingo, Ben and Ror. That’s the game she played. If I were generous, I might speculate that Noem feels the same way Bjorkman does and wants to get out of the swamp and back to South Dakota where lobbyists can’t buy anyone. But I wouldn’t want to put words in Noem’s mouth. I’ll wait until she says that herself to believe that she finds the dues system unacceptable.

    Of course, even if Noem proved my speculation true, we should be eager to replace a woman who succumbed and played the game and now runs away from it with a man who promises to fight that system.

  6. If only Mr. Nelson could run for the congresses and do better than 3rd place. Imagine how much fun he would be on C-SPAN TV channel.

  7. Nelson can’t run for Congress; he’d split the Trump/Tapio vote. Any anti-establishment GOP effort must focus on one candidate.