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Archive for September 14th, 2012

How my congressman, Tom Reed, lost my vote: He sent me a franked letter he shouldn’t have

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Image you are a freshman member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Unless you’re an idiot, you want to be re-elected. It’s a cushy gig — it pays $174,000 a year. It’s likely you already have a net worth in the high six figures — nine times that of the your constituents — so you’re not hurting for coin of the realm. In debates, the moderator calls you “Congressman” and your opponent “Mister” or “Ms.”

People line up to give you the $1.3 million that you, on average, need to spend to get re-elected. How cool is that?

Re-election rates to the House are high — at or above 90 percent 18 times in the last 24 election cycles. But in 2010, when you washed ashore on the congressional beachhead in that tea-party wave of slash-government insolence, the re-election rate fell from 94 percent in 2008 to 85 percent.

Still great odds, but you’re a tad worried. Time to wield one of the best of all congressional perks: the frank. Therein lies the tale of why I will not vote to re-elect my freshman member of Congress, the honorable Rep. Tom Reed (NY-29). It’s not because he’s a Republican; Democrat members, friends on the Hill assure me, do what he did. What he did with his frank satisfies the letter of House rules — but not their intent. There’s a verb that describes this — weasel: to achieve something by use of cunning or deceit.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized