Chris Bowers at Open Left has a post about Democratic Congressman Eric Massa (NY-29) and his vote against the recent housing bill. Here is his statement on why he voted against it:
"I campaigned on a platform of standing as an independent voice and voting in the interests of my constituents, not a political party. Today I did just that because I didn't think the Housing bill delivered a proportionally fair amount of relief to the families of my district," said Congressman Massa moments after the vote. "With this in mind, I could not rationalize further deficit spending in the face of minimal assistance to the working families in our district. While there are a number of things that I did like in this bill, the projections in it demonstrated that it was largely targeted to States like California, Nevada and Florida where the housing crisis has hit the hardest, not Western New York. I support helping families refinance their adjustable rate mortgages to stay in their homes, but compared to many other states, Western New Yorkers would not benefit enough to warrant my vote."
Wow. That is an amazingly obnoxious and ignorant point of view. I have no problem with politicians who vote against their party leadership. If you genuinely feel that doing that helps your constituents and gives them what they need, so be it. As a matter of fact, Rep. Cao of Louisiana would have done well to go against his Republican leaders on the stimulus bill. However, Massa knows the bill would help his constituents. He voted against it because in his view, other districts get a better deal than his. He admits that these districts were hit harder and could use the help but that doesn't matter to Massa. This guy voted no because he feels his district is in need of more help than offered. Seriously.
Here is Chris's take:
Someone who thinks like this should not be in Congress. Members of the legislative branch should not only vote for legislation that disproportionately benefits their own districts. If you say that a piece of legislation will help people, but you oppose that piece of legislation because your corner of the country does not disproportionately benefit from it, then you have displayed not only an abusive relationship to members of your own district, but a rather shocking level of antipathy toward the residents of the other 434 congressional districts. Does Eric Massa actively dislike the people who live outside of his district? Given that he said that the housing bill will help them, but that he voted against it anyway, it is hard to conclude otherwise...It is more than a little hypocritical for someone who raised $386K from Act Blue, and $554K from PACs to be so willing to give people outside his district the middle finger. If even 5% of that money came from the NY-29, it would be a shock.
Great point. It will be interesting to see how well his future fundraising efforts go. In the meantime, Rep. Massa proves that hypocrites are not only on one side of the political aisle.
24 minutes ago