Friday, October 19, 2007

Ohio senators vote for Rangel's 'Monument to Me'

Amanda Carpenter, National Political Reporter for, included this interesting item in her column today:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.) tried to persuade his fellow Senators to remove a project sponsored by New York Rep. Charles Rangel (D.) that would give $2 million in federal money to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Policy, the Rangel Conference Center, and the Charles Rangel Library at the City College of New York.

Freshman Rep. John Campbell (R.-Calif.) has sarcastically called the earmark Rangel’s “Monument to Me.”

Promotional literature describes the project as “kind of like a presidential library, but without the president.”

Final vote on the earmark was 61-34 with 13 Republicans voting to keep it in the bill. The wording was to "provide a limitation on funds with respect to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service" so a NAY vote was a vote to keep the $2 million earmark...Ohio's Senators Brown and Voinovich both voted nay. Perhaps they have plans for their own personal monuments at some point in the future?

I just hope they both remember this when they complain about a lack of funds for their own pet projects - remember the Corp of Engineers, Sen. Voinovich?


Gordon said...

This is very disappointing.

Monday I'm going to phone the offices of these these two Honorables and ask their staffs if they can offer the rationale.

I fully expect them to claim ignorance on the matter.

To which I will respond with a request that they look into the matter and get back to me ... "after all, don't you think that I, as a constituent of the Senator, have a reasonable right to know why he votes as he does?"

Of course they won't want to contradict this and so will make some vague assurance to send me some information.

THIS IS THE PATTERN whenever I inquire with them.

Perhaps if MANY OF US started asking such questions, we could get the Senators' attention. Else, we just invite them to cultivate their insulated arrogance.


Gordon said...

... Tyical ...

The staffs of both Senators Brown and Senators conveniently plead ignorance of this amendment. They both claim that the Senator has no position on the matter of the DeMint Amendment.


I point out that the Senator DID IN FACT VOTE against "this anti-earmark amendment", so he clearly has a view on it, and I'm just wondering what the rationale is. I'm not being unreasonable, am I? as a voting citizen of Ohio, to ask my Senator to explain his rationale?

Throughout, I'm trying to be as courteous and clear as possible. Inwardly, I'm remembering how much I hate this sort of disingenuousness.

Anyhow, from Voinovich's staffer I get redirtected to someone's voice mail. We'll see if I get the callback on that one.

From Brown's staffer I first get obfuscation in the form of a recitation of the merits of the overall appropriations bill, to which this amendment was just that -- a mere amendment. When I note that, no, I'm not asking about the broader bill, but just this anti-earmark provision and why Brown is opposed to it, I get a promise that they will "formulate" something and send it to me via snail-mail.

As I say, "Typical". I've been through this pattern before, on matters having to do with Iraq and with the Border. Always the same result: Nothing. "The Senator does not have a position ...". Right. What great leadership. What great representation!

Sadly, I believe the simple truth is that these Senators don't WANT to have to explain themselves to average-Joe's like me, and feel that they don't HAVE to.

It's frustating, but I want to keep doing this sort of thing and get as many people as possible to do the same. Maybe if enough of us Little People ask for a modicum of accountability from our Honorable Senators, we can begin to penetrate their arrogance.


PS: Maggie when are you running again! -just kidding. mostly. :)

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