A Tale of Two GOP State Representatives

Tsk, tsk. Frank Foster, a very young freshman state represenative (who is my rep.), is at the top-of-the-list for taking free meals from lobbyists.

Rep. Foster excuses his behavior thusly: "It's a part of being one of the only freshman chairs that we have to work with the DNR* and the DEQ* on a lot of issues to do with small business to streamline those departments, and often we work into lunch and dinners."

That's weak, Frank.

In contrast, my friend, Rep. Jason Murphey, of Oklahoma, has not only donated a portion of his legislative salary to a pro-life organization, he has never taken a dime from lobbyists and consistently scores a 100% conservative rating.

"When I campaigned for office I ran on a platform of representing conservative values. I believe this ranking shows that I am keeping my word," Murphey said.

That's right, Jason.

*Department of Natural Resources
*Dept. of Environmental Quality

Frank Foster (L) and Jason Murphey (R)


Ed said...

Izzy, I am of three minds on this. Yes, it is ideal to never take a penny from anyone, including the taxpayer, ever. Ted Kennedy could afford to do that.

Do we want to be in a world where only the rich can afford to be in politics? Years back, I wrote a paper about the issues of a part time legislature (like Maine) where the reps have other jobs and that also often smells to high heaven.

And there is the old issue best identified by if a boss makes his secretary work late (this in the city), he has to pay for the cab or limo to get her home because he can't expect her to be alone on the subway at a late hour. He made her late, he fixes the problem.

Is it "pay to play" or is it that they caused him to miss the meal and they are showing the same courtesy. I don't know.

Know why the school bus coming back from a game always stops at McDonalds? Bus driver gets a free meal -- it is not easy getting a bus into and out of some of those parking lots and driver would do it otherwise. I still can't believe I actually got a 40' bus into the Freeport ME McDonalds lot.

I did this more than once -- was it wrong? Like I said, Ted Kennedy had so much money it didn't matter and his faults were things like "waitress sandwiches" -- but if someone is of limited means, what is right?

TCC said...

Hiya Ed, FYI: When Jason is not serving in the legislature, he works as a prison guard and a security guard. He supports a wife and two sons. His wife is a homemaker and homeschool mom.

Frank is single and his dad owns a construction company.

You do the math.

Ed said...

Point well taken.

I just hesitate to be kneejerk in this -- remember the Congressman who was killed by the Jim Jones nut crew in the late 1970s -- he was on the top of someone's watch list for junkets because he would do stuff like go investigate on behalf of concerned constitutients like he was doing there.

I just have seen some really iffy calls on this sort of stuff, like you want people to come to your meeting, it is snowing so you go get them with your 4x4 truck knowing otherwise they won't come.

And what people don't realize about lobbyists -- the good ones -- is that they essentially are reference librarians -- they are the technical experts in their client's side of things. And the good ones (and I know a few) simply won't answer a question if they don't know -- everyone knows that their reputation is riding on the accuracy of their (albeit one sided) information.

So if you are already on their side, you go to them for info. If you are undecided, you go to the lobbyist for both sides. It is like asking NASA when they expect that satellite to fall -- a whole bunch of research gets summed up into a few sentences.

And the good lobbyists don't need to have the cute girls and free meals and the rest -- the good ones have something far more valuable, information...

John said...

Seriously?! Almost 3 grand. That's a lot of Big Macs.

TCC said...

Indeed, John! Although I suspect with this crowd it's frou-frou food.