Monday, March 22, 2010

Morgan Griffith Running in the Ninth District

I recently submitted the following letter to the editor to a number of local and regional papers...

Dear Editor:

Morgan Griffith (R-Salem), the current Majority Leader for the Virginia House of Delegates, has decided to run for Congress. And he wants to represent us here in the Ninth District, even though he’s never actually lived in the Ninth District. I guess after getting little Willie Morefield elected out here with their money, Republicans from the Eastern part of the Commonwealth think they can just start sending us their candidates! Well, as a resident of the Ninth District, I resent it.

Why does Morgan Griffith believe the people of the Ninth are incapable of representing themselves? The Census hasn’t even been taken yet and state GOP leaders are already preparing to redraw our lines to fit their political needs. They can’t find a resident Republican in the Ninth District to run for Congress here, so they’ll import someone.

Morgan Griffith is a city boy who will serve the region poorly. He has little insight into our needs or our values. We don’t need his hypocrisy out here; Griffith is one of those GOP ideologues who likes to talk about how much he hates the stimulus and then show up at ribbon cuttings for projects funded with stimulus money. His home town of Salem has benefited more from Stimulus money than any place in Virginia outside Richmond. He’s gotten $1287 per person in Stimulus dollars for the people he represents there.

We don't need a political opportunist from outside the Ninth District to represent us in Congress. If Griffith wants to run for Congress, let him run in the Sixth District, where he lives. We don't want a stranger representing us.

Greg Cruey
Adria, Virginia
Since submitting the letter, I've realized that the US Constitution allows any resident of Virginia to represent the Ninth District - regardless of where they reside in the state. Griffith doesn't need redistricting to redraw the Ninth around his house, after all.

Boucher's Vote on HR 3940 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)

HR 3940 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 219 in favor to 212 against. My Congressman, Rick Boucher, voted against the bill. I'm told that he waited until after the bill had its required 216 "yes" votes (and had passed) before he cast his "no" vote.

Boucher published a statement on the reasons for his vote. Takes some time to read ther, here.

I understand Boucher's complaints about cuts to Medicare funding. I'm sure there are a number of people in Congress who are now looking around and thinking that it would be nice to find ways to restore those losses within the budget process. There will be time to do that; maybe it will happen. As the economy continues recovery, Federal revenue will increase. Budgeting is an ongoing process...

Did the original Senate Bill include some distasteful deals? Yes. But it was also clear that the reconciliation package would remove those.

It is disingenuous and problematic for Rick to say that he is voting against the bill (HR 3590) because it doesn't include meaningful tort reform or relieve the disparity in Medicare funding between urban areas and rural areas. It is disingenuous because we certainly wouldn't get either of those things if the bill hadn't passed. It is problematic because Rick will probably be provided with many more opportunities now to vote against other bills because they don't contain those things. In fact, if he continues to use those criteria he may never vote in favor of another bill for the remainder of his time in Congress.

I was asked repeatedly by one of Rick's people if I'd be unhappy with a "no" vote from him if the bill passed anyway. Wonder what Rick would have done if it hadn't passed without his vote - 215 to 215 with his vote left to cast...?