A homeowner in Waukesha for 20 years, Steve is president of the Waukesha Dog Parks Organization and enjoys motorcycling, fishing and staying on top of politics.
I like to visit the Mequon/Thiensville website and read Warren Stumpe's blog from time to time. He has a good deal and variety of life's experience under his belt and it makes for thought provoking opinions. I suggest you check him out too.
His most recent blog is an observation that the more removed the representative is from the constituents, the more freely the representative spends the tax dollars. Washington DC is a long way from Wisconsin. Our representatives generally are pretty steady people, partisanship aside. So it makes sense that the goofy ones are furthest from Washington. Harry Reid is from Nevada and Nancy Pelosi is from San Fransisco. President Obama is from Hawaii. Hmm. Yeah, I know Alaska is really far away but Sarah isn't in a Federal office, yet.
The point of Warren's blog was that Alderman, being just a few blocks away from their constituents, are usually pretty Scotch with the peoples money. County representatives, a little looser. State reps and senators now jump in a car and drive some distance from their people and the Governor, unlike the Mayor, lives in an unapproachable mansion.
Alderman, when they meet on Tuesday nights, often have several neighbors sitting behind them. That's good, it helps keep them focused and honest. Senators and Congressmen might as well be meeting on the moon. Few constituents can mess up the day and phone calls, emails and letters are filtered by aids. This helps to keep things on the personal agenda until election time. Provided enough pork or earmarks are sending stuff home, they are generally safe for reelection. If not, they will get dumped sooner or later like the good people of South Dakota did to Tom Daschel and his 1971 Pontiac.
In Abe Lincoln's time, there was no choice but for a congressman or senator to pack up several suitcases and settle down in the Columbia area for the next four or six years. But is that necessary today? I will be flying across the country for business meetings shortly. I do that every year. However, the length of them and the frequency of them have been greatly reduced by use of the Internet. When I attend a conference, mostly I watch a bunch of PowerPoints and listen to speeches and discussions. This is greatly suited for the various "WebEx" Internet meetings.
I can't help but wonder if this mess of a stimulus bill would have been better thought out had each senator and congressman been sitting on an auditorium stage with the meetings being projected via a WebEx, while hundreds of constituents sat in the audience?