Statement of Jim Hansen

"He who pays the piper calls the tune." This is true in Congress today more than ever. I believe we cannot sit by and let it get worse. I am a candidate for Congress because I believe we must make Congress accountable to the people again.

To demonstrate how serious I am about reducing the influence of special interest money in Congress, I am taking no money from PACs (the political arm of corporations, unions and lobbying groups) and am limiting contributions to $100 or less per person, per election.

The U.S. House of Representatives was once referred to as the "People's House," but no longer. Its members increasingly make decisions behind closed doors, remove the public from meaningful participation, and cut deals with interests groups that have power and money in Washington, D.C.

This Congress is so paralyzed by partisanship that it has worked fewer days than any Congress in 60 years. Yet incumbents have raised a record amount of campaign money. Big private-interest groups - like oil and pharmaceutical companies - get virtually everything they ask for. How is Congress paying for those deals? With the largest national debt in history, chock full of pork barrel (also called "earmarks").

Because I am not taking huge campaign contributions, I have focused my time meeting people face-to-face in each of the 2nd District's 26 counties. When incumbents have huge war chests of campaign money, they take ordinary people for granted. The thousands of Idahoans I have met with - seniors, farmers, teachers, and small business owners - share similar frustrations with Congress.

Our representatives should listen to ordinary people and help bring them together to solve problems, not blindly follow political consultants who encourage attacks that divide people with fear.

My commitments to the people of Idaho include:

I grew up in eastern Idaho in a family that taught me that public service should be an honorable calling in our country. I served as a state legislator for three terms and voluntarily retired in 1994. I continue to serve my community in many other ways and hope you will join me in helping to restore openness, trust and accountability to our Congress.