I write this for the benefit of those who, by the good fortune of geography and decent Congressional representation, are spared exposure to the nakedness of "changing" Republicans in their mailboxes.
I knew I’d be seeing it up close and personal at some point, living, as I do, in the district that threw out Speaker Tom Foley, had the 5-term- term-limited-turned lobbyist, George Nethercutt, and currently enjoys the "service" of our very own cute (39 year old) Cathy McMorris Rodgers. I have now received a fourth glossy mailer from my misRep since the announcement of her re-election campaign around St. Patrick’s Day 2008. And with that the new "Agenda"!
So below the fold ...behold!
First, for those unfamiliar with McMorris Rodgers, here is a picture from a couple of years ago with her guest, coming off Air Force 2 for a fund-raiser in Spokane.(not the best photo but you get the idea)
She is part of the minority Whip team and Steering Committee. She worked closely with Richard Pombo and was assigned by him as chair of the NEPA hearings. She still clings to $5000 of Tom Delay ARMPAC money "because he hasn’t been convicted", but had to divest herself of some other tainted PAC money from such charmers as Duke Cunningham...and who could forget Bob Ney?
The Plan-"Assuring Freedom for America’s Families"
From the shiny, color-picture filled mailer:
"As a new mom, I can tell you it has given me a renewed perspective on the issues that come before me in Congress. That is why I have worked with other women in Congress to put together a plan to give greater freedom to working women and our families."
You can sense the enthusiasm with which she tells us,
"Serving . . . in Congress has opened my eyes to the tremendous impact women are having within our families,...our communities, and in our economy."
On May 14, alongside Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Rep. Kay Granger unveiled her "American Families Agenda" on the East Steps of the Capitol joined by the tanned and rested John Boehner and others of the Republican leadership.
Here is a link to the slide show(or side show?)from her website.
Roy Blunt, in describing the announcement, said:
"The American family is the backbone, the fiber, and the engine of our great nation. Yet this Democrat-controlled Congress is more focused on pleasing special interest groups at the expense of tackling the real problems facing our families today ranging from internet predators to the scourge of drugs and violence in our schools. These are the issues that our constituents sent us to Washington to address..."
Huh? I thought the Republicans were sent to thwart efforts to address the issues the rest of us are dealing with in the real world.
"Republicans are not only aware of the challenges American families are facing, but we are prepared to act so these families achieve their American dream."
oh... joy.... They are "AWARE" and "PREPARED TO ACT!"
The Plan "is focused on five main areas" :
1.) "Allowing More Time and Money for America’s Families"
"What families need is more flexibility"
...to help achieve this she has introduced her sixth piece of legislation, in this, her second term, described in her press release:
The "Family-Friendly Workplace Act" (H.R. 6025) gives families the option to make choices that work best for them... It gives employers the option of offering employees the choice of paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours worked if the employee prefers to take compensatory time instead of overtime pay. Instead of paid overtime, that employee could choose comp-time and take that time to care for an elderly parent or meet the needs of their kids. An employee would always be entitled to opt for overtime cash wages.
Great choice -overtime pay or "free time" to take care of family needs...assuming you get overtime.
"Time is one of our most precious resources. We all want more of it and yet we only have 24 hours in a day. That means we have to figure out how to work a full day, run errands, pack lunches, make dinner and spend quality time with our kids, spouse, or elderly parent," McMorris Rodgers says.
Very insightful, sounds a bit like an ad for a headache pill. Many, especially in the Spokane area, which has some of the poorest families in the state, are more likely trying to figure out how to pay for lunches, dinners, and the gas to run those errands.
"Giving employees more flexibility in their workweek is key to increasing retention as well as attracting great employees."
That way they can work those second and third jobs more easily.
Under this heading, not in bold type, she also mentions, "We must reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower gas prices."
I know she is aware of the gas prices, because she mentioned that in one of the earlier at taxpayer-expense campaign mailers she sent out before this one. Don’t remember whether it was the last one or the one before that.
2.) "Protecting America’s Kids" (sometimes they are children, sometimes they are kids...)
To summerize, accomplishing this means we have to crack down on child predators and gangs and provide health care for our neediest children.
She voted for the SCHIP demonstrating her sensitivity to the plight of the needy. However, looking up some info on Project Vote Smart, I found that on a more recent resolution, H Con Res 312, she voted NO. The resolution passed, but the vote was close. Included was authorization to increase funding for SCHIP (and money for veterans). She introduced legislation regarding online sex offenders that was referred to committee last August. She also worked closely with Rep. Mark Foley a couple of years ago, but no need to talk about that.
3.) "Assuring Health Care and Retirement Security for America’s Families"
In this section she suggests benefits need to be more portable, and "We must make health insurance available for all..."
The word "available" is key here. She solidly supports health savings accounts and wants us to have "choice" in our health care. (I learned that from another taxpayer-paid mailer just a couple of weeks ago) She wants to "make prevention a national priority" (I know she means preventative care, but when you have so many mailers to prepare it can be difficult to get things right). Taking care of our aging parents and grandparents is also a "must".
No indication as to any legislation that she is introducing or supports that would accomplish these goals.
4.) "Assuring Quality Education for America’s Children" (not Kid’s)
"We’ve introduced legislation that:
Reduces the cost and burden of college tuition
Ensures every child in America can read and write
Increases local control"
I do not know of, nor does she reference any legislation that "they" have introduced.
And last but not least ...
5.) "Supporting America’s Military Families" To that end:
"Take care of our troops, veterans, and their families
Win the war on terror
Secure our borders"
"In the "Agenda" mailer she tells us that "Our nations’s top priority is to protect our homeland" and so an "essential element of this is to take care of our troops," etc. The above "war on terror" is the only mention of war in the mailer.
In yet another very recent taxpayer-expense mailer she covers some of her concerns about military families and veterans. And she will be hosting a "Resource Fair" at the end of this month that includes a panel discussion on "Deployment Effects on Children". There is no specific mention of war in that mailer either. She also says she supported the "largest veterans’ health care funding increase in history", but according to Project Vote Smart her recent votes do not demonstrate her support of veterans’ as mentioned in the link above. Also,following her leaders,she voted against the GI bill.
I’m not clear as to what securing our borders has to do with supporting "America’s Military Families." I guess it sounds like something sort of military related, so what the heck.
So, that’s it- The Plan that proves to us all that the Republicans understand and are prepared to fix our country’s problems! As Roy Blunt says:
"This agenda, a subset of Republicans’ broader message of delivering real change in a broken Washington, is more than the empty rhetoric we’ve seen in spades since the last election..."
Making sure this seat will be permanently McMorris Rodgers’ or at least Republican seems to be the goal as far as I can tell at present. I don’t have the sense that they feel threatened in our district this year, but they sure are slicking up her image. And as the state Republican convention will be held in Spokane this weekend, McMorris Rodgers seems to be raising her profile substantially. In addition to the military fair mentioned above, she will be having a "5th District Women's Conference". This requires an rsvp and,as was pointed out by the local Planned Parenthood folks, it's being held at 8am tomorrow,a Wednesday morning. What a great time for those hard-working women she's had her eyes opened up to! She is a seat warmer with slimy connections and the very essence of the emptiness of the Republican brand. If this is all they’ve got, then I am encouraged for the districts with strong Democratic challengers.
Anyone else received similar mailers in your district?
A footnote, from John McCain’s website back in the middle of February upon receiving McMorris Rodgers’ endorsement for president:
"Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers added, "John McCain is an American hero with the experience necessary to lead our great country. I am confident that he is the one candidate who can keep our families safe, ensure our economic prosperity, and promote the conservative principles we believe in."
Good to know!
UPDATE: Under the heading of OMG!!! I went to check the mail and have received yet ANOTHER mailer "prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense"!! This one includes the photo from the slideshow with her at the podium with Boehner. Quotable quote "Congress needs to get serious about fiscal responsiblity"