Why no one has much chance of toppling Congress's incumbents

If you've ever wondered why democracy seems like such a sham when it comes to Congressional elections here, read this. Between gerrymandering, pork barrel spending and campaign finance laws incumbents do everything they can to lock down their seats for eternity. Changes are required if the people are to retain confidence in their elected representatives, but no one seems to know what those changes are or how to implement them. And meanwhile, incumbents keep doling out free pork sandwiches...

MONROEVILLE, PA.--With the war in Iraq, $3-a-gallon gas, and Jack Abramoff dogging Washington Republicans, it might seem a good bet for an ambitious Democrat like Chad Kluko to give up a six-figure salary and campaign for a seat in the House of Representatives. After all, he was a top executive at Verizon Wireless, started his own technology company, and makes a convincing case for bringing the lessons he's learned from business to bear on government. But Kluko was hardly the Democratic Party's first choice to run in Pennsylvania's 18th District, which fans out east and west from southern Pittsburgh. He has close to zero name recognition, entered the race late--in January--and has no political experience. "Don't you usually start in city council?" a reporter with Monroeville's Times Express recently asked. Despite his business credentials, political analysts say, Kluko has little chance of winning.

(link) [U.S. News & World Report]

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