SARASOTA - Can we even talk about politics now without talking about how it has become entangled in partisan gridlock? In addition to their oath of office, some people want lawmakers to take another oath: to get something done. And they've challenged a local congressman in person to agree.
"Our Congress is dysfunctional our government is dysfunctional." Stuart Scheyer says he's fed up with lawmakers not doing what they were elected to do. So he and about 200 people have decided to take matter into their own hands. "We came up something we'd distribute to our 200-some odd people to their friends around the country to send to their congressman."
It’s an oath he hopes will help the group remember what they were elected to do. "This is a pledge, and it says my pledge is to return the word untied to the United States."
The pledge goes on to ask lawmakers to commit to putting aside their personal agendas to accomplish common goals. "We'll work to balance our budget through simplification of our tax code, will work to eliminate spending wherever I find it, I will eliminate wasteful earmarks that are not in our national interest, benefit few."
And that’s just the beginning. "I will cooperate and negotiate with those who disagree with my views when compromise is in the best interest of our country."
At this weekend’s listening session, Congressman Vern Buchanan became the first official to receive the pledge -- something he says he will consider. "I will take a look at it, and based on what you said I agree with that. You know I’m there because I want to make a difference for our country," said Buchanan.
Scheyer says they are also creating a website that will list all the congressmen who have received the oath as well as show who have or have not agreed to honor it. "It’s very simple, we think everyone should support something like this."
He says the website will also allow people who disagree with what’s going on in Congress the opportunity to voice their opinions.