Campaign 2010

Nov 21, 2013

Remember When a Promise Actually Meant Something to Washington Insider Lee Terry?

Congressman Lee Terry this week wrote:

Remember when a promise actually meant something?

At the heart of our democracy is an unspoken covenant between the American people and the representatives they elect.

The entire success of the great experiment we call America lives and dies with the trust of the people in the public servants they elect.

I guess the difference between a public servant and a politician is that, to us, promises matter. To politicians, they are just phrases of political convenience.

With that in mind, here are at least three promises Congressman Lee Terry has broken during his 14 years in Washington:

Congressman Terry Broke His Promise Not to Plagiarize

2009: Congressman Terry Pledged that his Office Would “Make Sure our Words are Clearly Our Own.”  In 2009 after being caught using lobbyist-written speech, Terry said, “In the future, our office will make sure our words are clearly our own and not the result of cutting and pasting someone else's comments.” [Omaha World Herald, 11/17/09]

2013: Congressman Terry Broke Pledge and Plagiarized a Policy Statement from Congresswoman Ellmers. In 2013, Terry had a policy statement on jobs and the economy that, “was essentially a reworked version of a speech [Rep.] Ellmers delivered in 2011, with large chunks of identical text that Terry's site presented as his own words,” according to the Omaha World Herald. [Omaha World Herald, 11/18/13]

Congressman Terry Broke His Promise to Protect Social Security

2010: Congressman Terry Signed a Pledge to Oppose Efforts to Privatize Social Security. According to the Omaha World Herald, “during a rally that included AARP Nebraska and others, U.S. Rep. Lee Terry abandoned his support of a proposal President George W. Bush once made to overhaul Social Security, and signed a pledge to back no efforts to privatize Social Security “in whole or in part.” So his decision last month to sign onto a Texas congressman's proposal allowing people to opt out of Social Security and divert their paycheck contributions into individual accounts produced some head-scratching back home.” [Omaha World-Herald, 7/11/11]

2011: Congressman Terry Broke Pledge to Protect Social Security from Privatization. In 2011, Terry broke a 2010 pledge to oppose all efforts to privatize Social Security “in whole or in part.” Terry co-sponsored a proposal written by Rep. Pete Sessions that would allow people to opt out of Social Security and instead divert payroll contributions into individual accounts. “What was attractive to him is that, if I have an option, and secondly, that if I can control my own destiny without giving it to somebody who's going to spend it, then that's far better than seeing somebody go spend our future away,” Sessions said. [Omaha World-Herald, 7/11/11]

  • Headline: Terry Flips on Social Security [Omaha World-Herald, 7/11/11]

Congressman Terry Broke Promise to Serve Only Three Terms

1998: Signed Pledge to Limit Tenure to Three Terms, Reneged After Winning Election. During Terry’s primary election campaign in 1998, he signed a pledge to only serve three two-year terms if elected. The pledge read: “I, Lee Terry, declare and pledge to the citizens of Nebraska - I will not serve in the United States House of Representatives for more than three two-year terms.” Terry would change his mind on term limits in early 1999, saying he could better serve his constituents without a limit on terms. [Omaha World Herald, 3/19/98; 4/14/99]