Restoring the public’s trust in government was a principal reason I decided to run for Congress in 2006, and it continues to be my driving force as I serve the Fifth Congressional District.
I believe that government can have a positive influence on people’s lives. Unfortunately, the culture of cronyism that prevailed in Washington for much of the last decade alienated many and created a collective skepticism about government. I am committed to shaping a government that all American middle class can believe in again—one that works for them.
That is why I have been a strong advocate for ethics reform in Congress. In 2007, I organized over 20 freshman members to voice support for an independent, citizens ethics panel to vet, initiate, and conduct investigations. Despite tremendous resistance from the powerful Washington status quo, a bill that I championed establishing an independent ethics panel passed the House - representing a major victory in the fight to cleanup Washington.
Another powerful way to tackle government corruption, both real and perceived, is to let lawmakers focus on policy, not fundraising. Only once private money is removed from the political process will the American people be sure that elected officials are focused on legislation for the good of the country, not for the benefit of a few. I advocated for and helped achieve a system of public financing when I was in the Connecticut State Legislature, and I’m dedicated to constructing a similar system at the national level.
My position on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has allowed me to play a meaningful role when it comes to monitoring and evaluating the federal government’s efficiency and integrity. One area where I have taken a particular interest in was unmasking the grossly high profits being made off of the Iraq War by private contractors. I sponsored a law that required private government contractors, like Blackwater, to disclose the amount of profit they make off of wartime contracts.