Lech Walesa on the world's need for American leadership

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If you were paying attention to world news in 1980 and 1981, you know of Lech Wałęsa, the man who turned an illegal independent trade union into a force for freedom in communist Poland. Although his efforts directly resulted in his imprisonment and the imposition of martial law, in 1988 he and his allies pushed the communist government into allowing semi-free parliamentary elections, and by the following year, Poland had its first non-Communist prime minister since before World War II. He served a five-year term as President of Poland from 1990-1995.

This past week, Wałęsa came to Chicago to campaign on behalf of Adam Andrzejewski, a Republican candidate for Governor of Illinois. This eight-minute video features excerpts from his speech at a fundraiser for Andrzejewski and from an interview with FoundingBloggers.com. Worth noting:

1. Wałęsa's concern about the weakening of American leadership and what it means for the rest of the world:

The United States is the only superpower. Today they lead the world, nobody has any doubts about it, militarily. They also lead the economically, but they're getting weak. But they don't lead morally and politically any more.

The world has no leadership. The United States was always the last resort of hope for all other nations. This was the hope, that when ever something was going wrong, we could always count on the United States. Today we've lost that hope.

2. Wałęsa's concern about corruption and waste in government -- bureaucrats increasing governmental power for its own sake, wasting money, at the expense of entrepreneurs. He also expressed concern that the bank bailout showed a "little bit" of America moving toward socialism.

3. Andrzejewski's plan to use an executive order to put government spending online in real-time "from the appropriation to the subcontractor level, where the systemic corruption exists." Without knowing the specifics of Illinois' situation, this suggests a scheme where contracts would be awarded to companies with no apparent political connections, but those prime contractors would then award all the work and most of the contract value to politically connected subcontractors, where it would be harder to trace.

Andrzejewski's plan to issue an executive order for a forensic audit of Illinois state government's $55 billion budget. He calls it "a deep audit, an evidentiary audit. It actually follows the money. If you think about it, it's how we caught Al Capone." He estimates it would save taxpayers $3 to $5 billion.

He mentions that Kathleen Sebelius, as Governor of Kansas, ordered such an audit. Here's the mention on his website:

Good government relies on forensic auditing. The governor of Kansas- kept her promise to "perform a top-to-bottom audit of state government--an effort that to date has uncovered $159 million in wasteful government spending, and led to new efficiencies that produced over $1 billion in budget savings on behalf of Kansas taxpayers."

Adam Andrzejewski has an inspiring background. He and his brother saw a need -- phone books focused on small communities, so that local merchants could reach local customers -- a proceeded to build a successful nationwide business. Read more about Adam Andrzejewski at RedState. And here's a 2006 article from Success magazine about the Andrzejewski brothers. (The article is about balancing the long hours required to start a business with time for family -- worth reading even if you're not interested in the political angle.)

The election is Tuesday, and the latest Republican primary polls have Andrzejewski surging within 2 points of the leader, State Sen. Kirk Dillard, a political insider who endorsed Barack Obama for president. It's a crowded field of six candidates, and there is no runoff. Someone may very well win the primary with 20% of the vote.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 31, 2010 9:23 PM.

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