Met with Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack from Riverside County’s Coachella Valley. While a social moderate, Sonny Bono’s widow is a solid conservative. Talked to her about Obama’s $780 billion stimulus legislation. She’s outraged that the plan has “$1 billion wasted on a magnetic-levitation train from L.A. to Sin City” – all at Nevada Sen. Harry Reid’s doing.
After expressing my doubt that the Las Vegas line was actually in the bill’s language, Bono Mack directs her staff to “get him the bill, it’s right there, show him.” A few minutes later, a staffer emerges with a copy and quietly says “it’s not in the bill.”
So does Rep. Mack’s first statement ($1 billion wasted…) qualify as another boldface lie to the American people? No, she qualifies for an even more anti-
republican (note the small r) award: being a stupid and careless representative to the US Congress! This is a Congresswoman, one of only 435 people in the whole country who are called upon to make our laws. Her whole job, then, is to know what is going on in the lawmaking process – perhaps what major, controversial items are or are not in the Stimulus Bill, for example. But as the above quotation illustrates, she couldn’t even take the time to do her job and know what is in the laws that she, as one of those elite 435, are responsible for! This is why I’m so mad about people like Boehner, Franks et al. going on Fox News and lying – if this Congresswoman was convinced this easily, we can assume that the many people who have seen this lie being spread are eating it right up as well. At least she knows now, some two weeks after she voted on behalf of her district in the House of Representatives, what was actually in that bill. Kudos, Rep. Mack. You are a pinnacle of our representative democracy, and exactly what Madison, Jefferson and the rest had in mind.
Update on yesterdays HSR post: I was pretty mad about the whole thing, so I called up Rep. Trent Franks’ office (he lied on Fox News about the existence, and Harry Reid’s “public” support of the Vegas-LA HSR provision in the stimulus). I got a person on the first or second ring, and began to explain that I was disappointed to see Rep. Franks saying things that were untrue to the American people on Fox News. After trying to catch me off guard a few times,
Franks’ rep: So you’re saying there was no HSR in the Stimulus Bill?
Me: No, there was $8bn in the bill for HSR, but there are no plans for any rail connection between California and Nevada, and Rep. Franks said there was. The HSR money was not allocated to any particular project, and there are no plans for anything in Las Vegas.
FR: But it was put in there by Harry Reid.
Me: No, it was put in by Rahm Emanuel.
FR: Ah, Rahm Emanuel.
Franks’ rep thanked me for calling and said he’d pass the message along. I thanked him: he did hear me out, and was polite about the whole thing. I only wish that I had pressed the issue a little more – demanded to hear an explanation, or a justification for why it’s ok to lie to Americans on TV when you’re speaking as a Representative of the people – but I kinda lost my nerve. Maybe next time.