_[Fill-in blank #1]____ PLEDGE TO PROVIDE HONEST LEADERSHIP, OPEN GOVERNMENT
Washington, D.C. – [#2]________s from across the country today unveiled their Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. In the Great Hall of the Library of Congress, Senate [#3]_______ Leader [#4]__________ and House [#5]________ Leader [#6]__________, were joined by Senator [#7]_____________ and Congresswoman [#8]______________ and their Senate and House colleagues to shine a spotlight on the [#9]____________ "pay for play" politics that put special interests first at the expense of the priorities of the American people and signed a pledge to restore honest leadership and open government.
"There's a price to pay for this corruption in Washington, and we can see it in the state of our union," said Leader [#10]_________. "From seniors who cannot afford their prescription drugs to soldiers sent to war without body armor and middle-class families living on a financial cliff, the cost of corruption is very real. Today, I challenge President [#11]______ - the head of the [#12]________ Party - to match our commitment to honest leadership. When leaders are accountable to people, not lobbyists, there is no limit to how far America can go."
"An ethical cloud hangs over the Capitol," said Leader [#13]___________. "For years [#14]_______s have called for an end to the [#15]____________ culture of corruption, but[#16]____________s have resisted every effort because they benefit from allowing it to continue. This poison tree of corruption has borne the fruits of bad legislation - legislation that has come at great cost to the American people. [#17]___________s are leading the effort to turn the most closed, corrupt Congress we have ever seen into the most open and honest Congress in history."
"The corruption of Washington has done far more damage than sending politicians on golf junkets or showering them with gifts. It has shaken the faith of the American people in a government that looks out for their interests and upholds their values," said Senator [#18]________. "The hired guns on K Street who've been allowed to help write our laws have gotten exactly what they paid for - massive tax breaks for the [#19]___________ companies, giveaways to the [#20]____________ industry, and no-bid contracts for [#21]____________ reconstruction. Meanwhile, hardworking Americans across the country who can't afford their own lobbyist wonder when someone in Washington will help them send their kids to college or pay their medical bills or guarantee their pension. It's time we answered their call."
"Mr. [#22]__________ and his associates will be held up as the beginning and end of our Congressional crisis, but they are just the symptom of a larger problem," said Congresswoman [#23]_________. "The disease is here, with the party of power in Washington. Now is the time to realize that the [#24]___________ Members of Congress who put America up for sale have neither the ability, nor the credibility, to lead us in a new direction. But the [#25]______________ Party can. And today, we are demanding the restoration of democracy itself to our government."
[#26]____________s today announced the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, a comprehensive government reform plan that will clean up and protect the government from the [#27]___________ culture of corruption and quid pro quo politics. The Act will reinvigorate Congressional ethics rules and institute broad-based lobbying reforms to ensure that the representatives of the people are operating in the people's interest, not the special interests. . . .
The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act offers the following reforms:
The [#28]___________ Reform: Fix the gift and travel rules that allowed [#29]__________ lobbyists to buy influence in Congress.
The [#30]___________ Reform: Increase transparency and accountability in government: holding Members of Congress accountable to ethics rules and allowing the public to see exactly what their elected representatives are doing in Washington.
The [#31]___________ Reform: Close the revolving door between government and K Street lobbying firms by strengthening the ban on lobbying by former Members of Congress and senior government officials after they leave to work in the private sector.
The cost of [#32]____________ corruption is felt by American families every day as they try to heat their homes and send their children to college. While seniors struggle with a confusing and poorly implemented [#33] ___________ program and middle-class families desperately try to pay higher bills with lower wages, special interests reap rewards and giveaways. [#34]_____________s created laws that provide billions to [#35]_________ companies already making record profits and a multibillion dollar slush fund for the [#36]___________ industry, and allow friends like [#37]___________ to receive no-bid contracts. At events throughout America today, [#38]_____________s pledged to clean up Washington so that the people's interests will come first.
"We are committed to immediate change to lead this country in a new direction, to put an end to [#39]___________ business as usual, and to make certain this nation's leaders serve the people's interests, not special interests," pledged [#40]_____________s while unveiling principles for reform. "With honest leadership and open government, America's leaders can once again focus on the urgent needs of the American people: real security overseas and at home, economic strength and educational excellence, affordable health care, energy independence, and retirement security."
Got your answers written down? OK, now check them against the actual words in this original press release issued January 18, 2006. (H/T: Big Government [check out the photo].)
And if you want to see the future of America under those who are making the promises quoted above, just watch this video. It shows their cumulative accomplishments in a single American city, which has been (since 1962!) under continuous Democratic leadership -- in conjunction with the unions, which have helped keep that leadership in power during that whole time. Promises, promises, promises: how many times will the American public play Charley Brown to the Democrats' Lucy?