"Long has taken a low-profile path in his first year. He has joined the Republican Study Committee, a group of House conservatives, as well as the Songwriters Caucus and the Sportsmen's Caucus. But he declined an invitation to join the more high-profile Tea Party Caucus." Luckily he did have the time to join the "Cowboy Hat Caucus"
Low profile? You bet! Long is hard to find No live town hall meetings, screened press briefings, screens visitors to meetings, doesn't return phone calls. And in contrast to what Long told you, (The first-term lawmaker doesn't attend many news conferences or blast out a blizzard of press releases) he or someone in his office IS firing out press releases: http://long.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=49§iontree=6,49
Long appears to be gearing up for a re-election campaign, using the theme of "I spent a year learning the ropes, you got to send be back up there because I know what to do now."
Last January, Billy Long gave to the F.B.I. the names of 6 bloggers who, in the words of the Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, "were worrisome to Long". Arnott and an F.B.I. agent started visiting the bloggers, all of whom had written posts critical of Long. http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2011/01/fbi_visits_missouri_blogger_wh.php and http://bus-plunge.blogspot.com/2011/01/now-that-billys-got-those-pesky.html
Last March, Long co-sponsored a bill because Peter King asked him to, Long later said he didn't know what was in the bill. When bloggers broke the story, the SN-L interviewed Long: "But when asked about the provision in the bill that would sell off the frequency used by amateur radio operators, Long said that was news to him. He said he co-sponsored the bill because King, the homeland security chairman, asked him to and because the bill is supported by many organizations that are committed to public safety, something he values."
Last April, "The National Auctioneer's Association called the office and they said, "We want you to proclaim the third Saturday in April, which a lot of states already have an auctioneer's day, a lot of cities already have an auctioneer's day. They say, "We'd like for you to 'drop that bill'." The NAA was a major contributor to Long's campaign, giving $5,000 in June 2010 and another $5,000 after Billy dropped the bill. http://bus-plunge.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-much-does-it-cost-to-drop-bill.html
The day after chastising fellow representatives who are just there for "window dressing", Long, following a series of meetings with PGA officials (Professional Golf Association), Long spoke on the House floor about the benefits of playing golf. http://bus-plunge.blogspot.com/2011/04/pga-salutes-billy-long-for-his-speech.html and http://bus-plunge.blogspot.com/2011/04/billy-long.html
Long has the time to have a 'series of meetings with PGA golf lobbyists and then bars members of the press from meeting with him at a press briefing in Springfield http://bungalowbillscw.blogspot.com/2011/04/member-of-missouri-press-association.html
Long has a reputation for 'tweeting' --- two most glaring examples were his tweet on the death of Amy Winehouse. Comparing what he thought was her addiction to drugs to Congress' addiction to spending money http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2018730/Amy-Winehouses-death-compared-US-debt-crisis-congressman-Billy-Long.html and his mocking of the NWS tornado warning tests that are broadcast on the radio. http://bus-plunge.blogspot.com/2011/05/joplin-congressman-bill-long-r-made-fun.html Long also made Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" list ..... twice. http://youtu.be/Ht3xYnAGgYU and http://youtu.be/I3Rugf19f10
Just yesterday he posted this tweet: auctnr1 Billy Long
"Congress won't be home for Christmas - a lot of our Troops won't be either - I think we can handle Christmas in DC - God Bless Our Troops" Long likes to wrap himself in a flag, up to the point of lacing up combat boots.
Then, there's that chicken business..... http://bungalowbillscw.blogspot.com/2011/12/update-on-usda-tyranny-of-dollarhite.html
But of course, Long is in his element when he explains to Sarah Steelman how you keep a free market free:
Last April, both Long and Senator McCaskill held meetings in MO7-- I attended both meetings and wrote about what I saw: http://bus-plunge.blogspot.com/2011/04/whats-difference-between-duck.html
As for Billy ---"Despite his lack of political experience and his outsider status, Long also seems comfortable in Washington. He's already made a half dozen or so good friends in the first year and seems to enjoy kibitzing with his colleagues (although he avoids Washington's night-time social circuit, preferring to go home for another sandwich and some rest.)" What Billy says he does and what Billy does are sometimes not the same: http://bus-plunge.blogspot.com/2011/04/long-spends-1333-in-campaign-funds-for.html and http://bus-plunge.blogspot.com/2011/06/million-dollar-billy.html
Our "smack talking auctioneer" who boasts of carrying around a dog-eared copy of the constitution in his pocket showed his true colors on the very first day the House was in session when he skipped the reading of the constitution to meet with a lobbyist.
It looks as if Long is getting himself in gear for a re-election campaign, It's an easy job, pays $14,500 a month, you only work two weeks a month and summer's off and great benefits. As Billy told you: "This job is not hard, It's not hard work. But it's long hours, and they keep you hopping all day."
Not too shabby of a quote from a guy who talks large and knows how to bluff.
If I were interviewing Billy, I would have asked him if he protested the fact that the congressional calendar has scheduled 145 days to not work in Washington. (Source: Congress At Your Fingertips, available in Long's office).
Then I would have asked what Long had done with all of this free time and what did his hand-picked group of 17 staffers do during that time.
Billy, being 'fed up' and all, I would have asked him to give specific details on how many times he met in his committee assignments and for copies of the speeches or his remarks or documents submitted outlining the specific cuts he recommended to downsize government and spending.
After all, he serves on the Homeland Security Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees, both big spenders. Why hasn't the fence been built between usn's and them's. Did he take a trip since he had 145 days off to investigate?
I would have asked Billy about his support of the Ryan budget plan which, despite Long's assurances that "we've got to honor our committment to our seniors, effectively kills Medicare and Social Security as we know it.
Billy Long's salary is $14,500 a month, plus benefits. The average Social Security recipient in MO7 doesnt' receive anywhere near $14,500 a year with no benefits from Social Security. But Billy, despite his assuring us "I ain't afraid of nobody" has phalanx of young men surrounding him, protecting him from those who are 'fed up' with Billy Long.
I would have suggested to Billy that if you are going to stand in front of a group of your constituents and tell them not to believe what they read in the paper,(as he did at Experience Works in April) you should at least tell them why. You should be well versed enough in the budget you voted for to explain what the misconceptions are and what the effects will or might be.
I would also ask Billy if this article in today's SN-L "A year later, Long is still 'fed up'" is an example of one of those things we read in the newspaper that we shouldn't believe.
For another perspective on Billy Long ascension to political office, read Do what you can, have fun with what you are doing for as long as you can, and don't let that place screw you up too bad."