Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

What Do You Look For In A Lawmaker?

by Countable | 11.27.17

These days every day seems to bring a new story into the headlines about questionable behavior on the part of politicians. Roy Moore, Al Franken, Joe Barton, John Conyers, Donald Trump, Bob Menendez. The list goes on and on.

But scandalous behavior by politicians is nothing new.

Of course, there’s scandalous and then there’s illegal. Is that the line in the sand for you? Or is a politician’s choice that you consider "unethical", even if it’s not illegal, a deal breaker?

Are there behaviors you don’t approve of, but you can forgive? Are there behaviors that are always unforgivable?

Does it matter if the behavior occurred before they were an elected official? Does it matter how they deal with the fallout when the behavior comes to light?

If an elected official is willing to go to the mat over policy issues that are non-negotiable for you, does their personal character matter less? Or do you choose representation solely on policy positions, and personal character is not a factor in your decision at all?

What do you look for in a lawmaker, and why?

These are big, philosophical questions, perhaps, but our answers have the potential to change the character of our democracy.

What should we expect from our leaders? What do you expect?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(48)
  • KenBudris
    11/27/2017
    ···

    What I look for in a lawmaker, first and foremost, is integrity. I want representatives who put the best interests and wishes of their constituents above those of their party... or even of their own. I like a lawmaker who stands up for what he believes is right and is not afraid to admit when he is wrong. It is unrealistic to think that we will find leaders who have never made mistakes. A good public official owns those mistakes—admits them and learns from them.

    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
  • NoHedges
    11/27/2017
    ···

    I check voting patterns using FiveThirtyEight on the issues that matter most to me. Then, I look at ballotpedia for ties to special interest groups, personal gains/profit while in office and legislative experience, Afterward, I check party affiliation, generational cohort, socioeconomic bracket, and humanitarian focused projects. Last of all, I read both comments made by the legislator and about the legislator.

    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
  • Azrael
    11/27/2017
    ···

    One with enough intestinal fortitude to rid my White House of an idiot using racist remarks at a celebration of native Americans Someone file an ethics complaint and a lawsuit

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • John
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Someone with integrity that’s not been bought and paid for by ALEC Big Pharma the KOCH’s or any of the other special interests who seem to believe they’ve paid for special access and a free ear.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • RadicalModerate
    11/27/2017
    ···

    I look for someone with the back bone to do the people’s work. We want legal access to life saving cannabis flowers. We want health care not insurance scams. We want peace not war. I look for Green Party candidates. The Democrats are as corrupt as the republicans.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Monica
    11/28/2017
    ···

    I expect elected officials to be subject to the same standards of conduct as rank and file government employees-they apparently need training in ethics, sexual harassment, and much more. This should include every elected official and anyone appointed by the president to a high office in the government. I also feel there should be punishment for lying on the campaign trail and even after being elected. These people should also take a pledge to represent the people, not corporate America or the party they are in. Maybe they need to sign a contract which spells out who they should serve, and that using their office for personal gain will automatically put them in prison. I would also like to require that all members of Congress and the Senate must vote on every bill that is proposed, they cannot skip issues because it could lose them some votes. Basically, I expect these people to do the jobs they were elected to do, not reinvent the job to suite their biggest donors.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Countryfirst
    11/28/2017
    ···

    Someone who is the exact opposite of the orange haired buffoon in the white house and the other money grubbing morally corrupt unethical supporters of the aforementioned moron!

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Marylynn
    11/28/2017
    ···

    Honesty, integrity and morals that can't/won't be compromised. A good lawmaker does all they can to create laws that will benefit everyone, not just the top 1%. It's high time we weed out those who lack these qualities. We also need a president that isn't a bully, liar and above all mean spirited.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Nancy
    11/27/2017
    ···

    I am a democrat because their political values match mine most of the time. It’s still possible to dislike the behavior or decision made on a lawmaker’s part even when they are elected. Having Ethics and Integrity is important too.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Stephanie
    11/27/2017
    ···

    I'm a Democratic Leader, and I have Faith and Good Hearts, Opened Minded Souls, and I want to bring Peace in our World.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Holly
    11/28/2017
    ···

    What I look for in a lawmaker is fairness, a belief in equality, an understanding of change, a willingness to put aside religious beliefs to do what’s best for everyone, and finally someone who isn’t beholden to dark money.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • MFein10
    11/28/2017
    ···

    A Congressperson must feel responsible for their constituents. That includes holding town halls, sending out newsletters about their actions in Congress, and replying to messages like Countable comments. In Ohio, our two senators are Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown. Senator Portman does none of the duties I mentioned; Senator Brown does all of them. We live in a representative democracy and that means the legislators have to REPRESENT their constituents’ beliefs. How is that possible if they do not communicate with the public? Therefore, a Congressperson’s most important duty is communication. >> UPDATE: I found emails from Sen. Portman in my spam folder. Apparently he is in fact doing his job in this regard!

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • PLD
    11/27/2017
    ···

    These days my top priority is a person who has an ethical code of behavior that holds honesty and self-respect along with caring for the well being of constituents and the country above the desire for personal gain and a win in the game of party politics. Unfortunately, it appears a rarity today where the personal gain and a loyalty to the party takes precedent over all else.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    11/27/2017
    ···

    I research the issues each candidate supports and the values they exhibit. If they appear to possess ethical and moral values, which place human beings, wildlife and environment centric in society and culture, above corporate greed and profits, they may receive my support and vote.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • S
    11/28/2017
    ···

    Personal character has a significant impact on policy proposals and support. I could not trust a person charged with embezzlement with proposing IRS regs, of using friendly relations with private sector corporations not to be patron influenced, of ignorant and offensive remarks about minorities to supporting civil rights policies. Personal character never goes away. Traits can be suppressed but sooner or later they rise up. It doesn’t matter if it happened yesterday or 40 years ago. There has to be an accounting. Denial of public office is such an accounting.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • MIKAL
    11/28/2017
    ···

    SIMPLE... I want HONESTY & INTEGRITY... I want MY REPS to DO what is BEST for the US not their own self interests. I would expect them tho stand up to their own party leaders when the leaders were wrong. WHAT A PIPE DREAM... WASHINGTON DC CORRUPTS ALL but the very best of us AND BOTH PARTIES seek to destroy the best of us when they won’t toe the line... 1987 GARY HART withdrew from the Presidential Race over a “SUGGESTIVE” photo. We have a President who admitted to bragging about sexually assaulting women... an accused pedophile standing for election to the Senate ( and will probably win)... TWO Democrats who have been accused and admitted to sexually assaulting women & harassment AND YET refuse to resign... WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THIS COUNTRY?...

    Like
    Follow
    Share
  • Terry
    11/28/2017
    ···

    Character. Ethics. Morals. Conviction. Truthfulness.

    Like
    Follow
    Share
  • Amelia
    11/28/2017
    ···

    I expect as a bare minimum , unimpeachable integrity, law abiding, ethical code of life, intelligence, an academic education so he/she can render informed opinions, ability to articulate and argue points and beliefs with the intent to persuade and obtain consensus (as opposed to ‘negotiating’ votes like a dish seller at the market). Last but not least a fundamental unwillingness to sell themselves to highest bidder.

    Like
    Follow
    Share
  • Beverly
    11/28/2017
    ···

    You know that show House of Cards? I’m looking for someone different. Someone who strikes good deals for good deals. Who doesn’t sell us out to the NRA, oil and gas industries.

    Like
    Follow
    Share
  • Joanne
    11/28/2017
    ···

    I look for someone who represents me. I look for someone who is moral and empathetic. When I say moral I do not just mean sexually moral, but moral in his attitude towards his fellow man. Someone who treats the least of his people as he treats those with the most. He or she needs to be socially just. Those who are trying to undercut those who need food supplements and healthcare and help with education to give to the wealthy will not get my vote or support. This present tax bill is based on the old adage that if you give even more to the rich and corporations that they will provide more jobs and increase wages. This has not been the case in the past and I doubt that it will work this time. All it has ever done is blow up the deficit, and make the wealthy wealthier. Then a democrat takes office increases taxes and the wealthy hold on to their money tighter. It is a vicious cycle. We have to get rid of big money in politics and give it back to the people. We have to get rid of gerrymandering so that every vote counts.

    Like
    Follow
    Share