White House Petition: Congress Should Follow NASCAR Dress Code

NASCAR look-alike gear may invade congressional public appearances and campaign events in the near future.  

A new petition popped up on the Obama administration’s “We the People” website Monday requesting that members of Congress be transparent about which financial sponsors may be influencing their views and hence their votes by prominently displaying the names of their individual, corporate, lobby financial backers “much like NASCAR drivers do.”  

This petition would give constituents a clearer sense whether their lawmakers' views are influenced and funded by prominent industries — without having to Google it.

Congressional candidates would wear company logos at all campaign events.

“Once elected, the candidate would be required to continue to wear those “sponsor’s” [sic] names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation,” the petition says.

The size of the logo patch would vary based on the size of the monetary contribution, for example, a $1 million dollar contribution would call for a patch of about 4” by 8” on the chest, while a free meal from a lobbyist would entail a quarter-sized button.  Individual donations less than $1000 dollars are exempt.

Some people have pointed out that in order to accommodate the petition, the congressional formal dress code that requires men wear a coat and tie and women wear “appropriate dress” would have to be reformed.

Others have noted that some members of Congress would have to wear robes with extraordinarily long trains in order to display all of their corporate sponsors.

It is difficult to imagine how many handlers would be needed to carry the trains of congressional members as well as how much time it would take for them to process in, which potentially would take away precious time from actually conducting their duties.

According to the Huffington Post, it is unlikely that such a change in rules would actually lie within the executive branch ‘s purview; however, the petition is an example of the site’s de facto function, to serve as a clearing house for a wide variety of proposals of original variety.

The “We the People” program invites citizens to submit their ideas and gather signatures. The White House will respond to an idea that gathers 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

The White House increased their signature count from 25,000 to 100,000 after it received an onslaught of outlandish petitions calling for everything from a state-to-state secession from the union to the construction of a Star Wars inspired “Death Star” to calling for President Obama to change the national anthem to R Kelly’s 2003 hit, “Ignition” (Remix).

While the NASCAR outfit petition still has a long way to go, it has garnered 9,378 signatures in just four days.

GOOD magazine first explored this idea, producing mock up photos of New York Senator Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sporting logo patches of their financial supporters on their suit jackets. 

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Erin C.J. Robertson

Recently, she earned her master's degree in international communication and lives in the D.C. metro area. In addition to .Mic she has written for USA TODAY and The Root. Prior to pursuing her advanced degree, she lived in northern Japan for two years as an Assistant Language Teacher with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She is a University of Notre Dame graduate. Go Irish! She is interested in topics related to the intersection of arts and culture and popular culture, including fashion and beauty. She can't live without purple, desserts, and music.

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