News Leader story this morning with the headline "Hartzler a top spender on mailers"
Rep. Billy Long, R-Springfield, ranked 87th in his spending on taxpayer-funded mailers, compared to other House lawmakers. He took the No. 2 slot within the Missouri delegation, spending about $115,000 in the last nine months of 2011.
Long said that when he arrived in Washington, GOP leaders encouraged freshman to take advantage of the franking privilege. “They said ‘you need to frank, you need to keep your constituents informed and involved so people you know you’re the congressman’.”
He didn’t send out any mailers for the first few months, but now he’s a convert to the practice. One of his first missives was a newsletter that told constituents about disaster recovery efforts after the tornado in Joplin. Included in the newsletter was a survey that voters could fill out to weigh in on various national issues.
“We were overrun with surveys,” Long said, estimating that 1,200 to 1,500 residents took the time to fill out the survey and mail it back.I've gotten Billy's surveys before and been a participant in his telephone town halls also. The Turner Report filed this report on Billy's first teletown hall:
So he has sent out other newsletter-surveys. And he has held telephone town hall meetings, too.
Anyone waiting for an opportunity to ask Seventh District Congressman Billy Long about the issues that affect southwest Missouri and the nation might as well forget it...Long's aides are letting it be known that the Congressman feels he reached more people through his recent telephone town hall meeting than he could reach through in-person meetings.The latest teletown hall Billy did was on Israel/Iran issues, somewhere around the garage I got the notes I took from that phone call. I do remember there was a lot of talk about bombing Iran.
Left unmentioned is the obvious: With the telephone meeting, Long may have reached thousands of people, but all they had a chance to do is listen to Long reel off folksy one-liners and take questions from carefully pre-screened listeners. I might add that in the one hour town hall meeting, Long only fielded five questions, with one of those being specifically about one man's problems with the Veterans Administration.
And that newsletter survey? I saved that too.
I liked Question #7: What is the single biggest impact government has on you and your household?
*Lack of meaningful employment
*Health care costs
*Health insurance availability
*High energy prices
*Paying for education
Just about what one would expect from the congressman who has been described as a loud, opinionated person who’s thinly veiled racism and misogyny is only superseded by his not-so-thinly veiled hatred of gays.
He says he’s a Christian, but never misses the opportunity to cheer for war, judge his neighbor, applaud the death penalty, and bloviate proudly about how merciless he is.
He fights anything that challenges his fantasy of earned superiority, even if Liberal socialism of Social Security, Medicare, etc. allows him to live in dignity.
He regales you with factually incorrect tales of American history.
He disdains “intellectuals,” and perceives science as a “liberal plot.”
It tickles his brain to hear Paul Ryan paint a picture of millions of lazy bums swinging in the cushy hammock of our social safety-net.
He fears the end of liberty if the government confiscates rich people’s money and they stop “trickling down jobs” on us.
His fear, inflated sense of self-worth, and bigotry cause him to pander to an ideology that opposes progress and places him squarely on the wrong side of history. Here is a list of issues where, from a historical perspective, he is or will be dead wrong:
• Equal rights and opportunity for all races
• Equal rights and opportunity for women
• Equal rights and opportunity for LGBT people
• Minimum wage, child labor laws, sick leave…
• Conservation of natural resources
• Austerity as a path out of recession
• Environmental protection
• Humane treatment of animals
• Freedom of religion
• Reproductive health rights
• Deficit reduction and taxes
• Social Security
• Affordable health care
• Deregulation to produce economic growth.
It would seem to me that if Billy's going to spend in excess of $115,000 on surveys---(“We were overrun with surveys,” Long said, estimating that 1,200 to 1,500 residents took the time to fill out the survey and mail it back) and this survey went to every voter's household in MO7 -- and he only got 1,200 to 1,500 replies-- I would think that someone in his office would tabulate or should tabulate the responses and Billy should know exactly how many he received back.
But that would involve work. It is much easier to brag about your votes on repealing healthcare, repealing funding for Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio, his support of the Fair Tax (thanks Bill Phelps), the Sanctity of Life bill (from fertilization an egg is a person-personhood amendment) and a bill to reduce frivolous transportation lawsuits- than it is to actually govern.
Billy and surveys... what a joke. Frequent bus riders may also remember Springfield News Leader reporter Cory DeVera giving us Billy's response to his written answers on the 'jillions of surveys' he receives: "That's just another out-of-state survey," said Republican candidate for 7th District Billy Long. "We get a jillion of them. There are a bunch of others I don't fill out. I've got my positions listed on my website."
"Just another out-of-state survey" in which Billy Long expressed his support for privatizing the U.S. Postal Service, killing medicare and social security (he voted for the Ryan budget bill, remember) .
I went to Billy's website to read his positions, they are different than what he signed on those surveys.
I wonder if Billy pays the same amount of attention to our survey responses as he says he gives to his survey responses. Remember this? I do.
Let's take a ride on the bus back to September 25, 2010:
The problem here is that Long told the three of us that he is not for raising the Social Security age right now at all. He didn't answer when we asked for clarification.In tonight's debate Long said he never filled out a survey, the group didn't have a survey.
So we turn to other sources of information about Long, surveys and questionairres he has answered and who he accepted donations from. If he accepts money from NARAL, that is a pretty good indicator his is pro-choice. If he receives an endorsement from PROMO, that is a pretty good indication he is in favor of gay marriage.
Look now at a story in this morning's SN-L about political surveys:"That's just another out-of-state survey," said Republican candidate for 7th District Billy Long. "We get a jillion of them. There are a bunch of others I don't fill out. I've got my positions listed on my website."
Researchers at Project Vote Smart were "unable to determine how Long stood on privatizing Social Security, capital punishment and regulations to affect climate change."
While we don't know how many surveys or questionnaires the auctioneer/political candidate didn't answer (somehow the number "jillions" seems to be quite the exageration), he did find time to respond questions from two groups that a simple google search picked up: "Citizens Against Government Waste" who said "Billy Long responded to CCAGW’s questionnaire and signed CCAGW’s ‘No Earmark Pledge'.
The auctioneer also answered a survey for "Conservative Congress". He received this group's endorsement also. Conservative Congress supports candidates who seek to dismantle the Department of Education and Social Security.
From the Conservative Congress website:Conservative Congress supports candidates who are committed to de-regulating and dismantling wasteful federal social agencies and programs. Specifically, Conservative Congress supports candidates who seek to dismantle the Department of Education and Social Security, by and through constructive reforms, and who firmly oppose the expansion of federal control over our nation’s healthcare industry.In endorsing Billy Long, the Conservative Congress says he is an approved candidate and fully in line with their mission statement.
Long also is a of 'vanguard' member of John Boehner's Freedom Project
By looking at these groups and their positions on Social Security, and their endorsement of Billy Long and his acceptance of their endorsements (remember how Long was all over Goodman for accepting casino donations? I do.) can only mean one of two things:
I guess when Billy Long says he gets "jillions" of surveys it is easy to forget which ones he answered and how he answered them.
Are you "Fed Up" now?