I’ve really had to wrestle with my conscience on this subject. On one hand we have a Congressman that is well known to me and I consider a friend. We go back many years in GOP circles and we’ve had a number of personal conversations. I know he is honest and means well, but on the other hand he really hasn’t done much while in office.
This was the problem I had with his predecessor, Congressman Herger. I liked Wally Herger and Mr. LaMalfa is every bit as likeable as Wally, but neither man accomplished very much in Congress. They seem to be the “go along, to get along” types that silently voted with the majority in their party or they became a co-sponsor of somebody else’s bill so they could have bragging rights for the folks back home. Co-sponsoring a bill is often just adding a signature, it doesn’t necessarily mean you did any work on the bill. As a voter I expect more than lip service, photo ops and fund raising.
We’re paying $174,000 a year, plus lavish benefits for a Congressman, we need and deserve results. On the other side, I can see why someone would like this job and want to hang on to it, no matter what. They only work 126 days a year. There isn’t a single five day work week on the schedule and they don’t work week-ends. They get a month’s paid vacation in August and two weeks’ vacation around Easter, how does that compare to your job?
The Bible says, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
All total, we probably spend about a million dollars a year or more for one Congressman to represent us. Don’t we have a right to expect this man will stand up and be heard on major issues like cutting the deficit, weeding out waste, exposing corruption, coming up with immigration reform, working on bills to fight terrorism, or keeping America financially competitive? Don’t we have the right to expect that a congressman, even a new congressman, to take some political risks and get something done? And I’m not talking about helping some stupid Indian casino get federal approval to build a Rancheria. Building casinos is not why we voted for him!
Doug’s campaign just put out a horrible hit piece on his opponent (Joe Montes) and insinuated the man is a crook. He said, “fraud follows him wherever he goes.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Somebody Montes worked with years ago got into legal trouble, a company he once worked for long ago also had legal troubles, so what? If that’s the litmus test I guess we’re all crooks. We’ve all known someone that had legal trouble, didn’t mean we had anything to do with it. Fact is, Montes stayed honest and was never implicated with any wrong doing. To prove it, a thorough background investigation was done before he was appointed to be a federal court judge! What does that say about Doug’s implied accusations? When it comes time for election I want to see a candidate stand on his record, not sling mud.
I never thought Doug would bend the facts in order to attack a good man’s character. If I were him I would step back now and ask myself, have I become what I said I always hated? Is my job in Congress that important to me that I am willing to win at all costs?
These are some of the reasons why I’m supporting Joe Montes. I don’t know Montes personally and nobody pressured me to do this, I just weighed the performance of our Congressman and compared that to Montes outstanding qualifications in education and experience and Montes looks so much better able to represent us. Doug and I aren’t likely to be friends after this election, but that’s a risk I felt I must take to call it like I see it.