Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Video That The Wisconsin GOP Doesn't Want You To See
This was reposted from crooks and liars, March 31, 2011
This complete video, once on YouTube and then on the Talking Points Memo website, has been yanked from both, simply because of the heat a rookie republican congressman (and former reality tv star) got for daring to mention he's having trouble getting by on "only" $174,000, partly due to higher health care costs because of worse federal coverage than he was used to from Wisconsin as a District Attorney.
First the Republican Party in Polk County, Wisconsin, pulled the tape of Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) fretting about making ends meet on his $174,000 a year salary from its own website. Now they want it gone from the whole Internet.
For a couple hours, the local county GOP was successful. But we've put an excerpt of the video back up.
A day after TPM posted the video we obtained of Duffy talking about his salary at a Polk County town hall meeting earlier this year, the Polk County GOP contacted the video provider we used to host the video, Blip.tv, and demanded the video be taken down.
The tape caused a stir for Duffy, a first-term conservative best known for his past as a reality TV show star on MTV's The Real World. Democrats flagged the comments about his taxpayer-funded salary (which is nearly three times the median income in Wisconsin) and criticisms began to flow Duffy's way.
In the clip, Duffy is asked whether he'd support cutting his own salary. Duffy says he would, but only as part of a plan where all public employees' salaries would be cut. He then said that the $174,000 in salary (not including benefits) he receives is a squeeze for his family of seven to live on:
I can guarantee you, or most of you, I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you. With 6 kids, I still pay off my student loans. I still pay my mortgage. I drive a used minivan. If you think I'm living high on the hog, I've got one paycheck. So I struggle to meet my bills right now. Would it be easier for me if I get more paychecks? Maybe, but at this point I'm not living high on the hog.
Crooks and Liars think they will begetting a similarly worded cease and desist letter, but I think if enough of us share it, it will be impossible for the Wisconsin GOP to make it go away.