Sunday, July 25, 2010

Higgins and Lee: fat cats in Washington

Republican Chris Lee and Democrat Brian Higgins have taken part in a rare bipartisan effort to waste your tax dollars, according to an article in today's Buffalo News. They are far away in Washington blowing your money on flashy literature and no show jobs for their ethically challenged friends.

Lee has spent over $250,000 on mailings promoting himself, which he sent out to voters in his district. If he wanted to spend his own money on this, it wouldn't be a problem. The problem is he is spending our hard earned taxes:

It's all part of what's call the "franking privilege," which allows lawmakers to mail information to their constituents at government expense.

Lee's spending on franked mail and printing totaled $256,448. His slickly produced fliers -- in full color and on thick glossy paper -- feature headlines such as "Congressman Chris Lee -- Fighting for Western New York jobs and workers."

This all coming from a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative. I guess Lee's not as conservative when he's spending your money to promote himself.

Not to be outdone, the article goes on to document Congressman Brian Higgins' bloated, overpaid staff of hooligans:

Meanwhile, Higgins, a Buffalo Democrat, spent $300,000 more on staff salaries than either Lee or Slaughter.

Higgins' office spent slightly more than Lee's overall -- and far more on staff than either of the other Western New York representatives.
In fact, Higgins paid more than his colleagues did for many staff positions. Most notably, Higgins' chief of staff, Chuck Eaton, earned $152,310 in 2009 -- $28,609 more than Brian Schubert, Lee's top aide.

"I believe I have the best staff in the United States Congress," he said. "Our folks both in Washington and Buffalo are extraordinary. I hear it all the time ... I wish I could pay them more."

You won't hear it from me! Brian wishes he could pay them more? $152,000 isn't enough? Contrast that to the average person working in Higgins' blue collar district-if they are lucky enough to have a job. How would Higgins know anything about them? He's been given one white collar job after another since birth.

People in Higgins' South Buffalo district work very hard to make ends meet and pay their utility bills on time. Eaton makes about 4 times what he is worth. Bonnie "I gave you your user fee when I was a Councilmember" Kane Lockwood makes over $80,000 to carry Higgins' clipboard for him.

The "employee" Brian Higgins has yet to respond to his neighborhood blogger about is Richard Finnigan. Records show we pay Finnigan $20,000/yr in federal taxes to "work" for Higgins. Finnigan already works full-time for the Buffalo Board of Education and part time for Erie County at the Flickinger Center. I would love to ask Brian Higgins what hours Finnigan works and what his duties are, and when he could possibly have the time to perform them. He's a known political hack. Brian obviously doesn't want to talk about him, but don't worry-we will. These people should all be in jail.

Study reveals local lawmakers' spending - The Buffalo News

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