When we are elected state reps we understand that we really don’t get paid, about $87 a year after taxes plus mileage. The mileage helps to off set the travel expenses and, if you have a little left over, a $6.99 buffet at Tandy’s, a little restaurant across the street from the state house.
Most state reps are not rich people and many are retired and live on a fixed income, many are both dedicated and caring for the people they represent and serve. They need their mileage checks to off set their expenses for travel etc.
We all know that we may get called back for a session day for “important business”, about every year we could be called back for one day; after the first of July we don’t get paid for that day so past speakers have been careful to keep these down to an absolute minimum. This year we have been called back twice, the third will be Nov 30th and the fourth will be Dec 14; all because of the maniacal obsession on the part of Bully O’Brien to defeat the governors veto of the right to work (for less) bill. What he is doing is cost shifting the expenses of the legislature on the backs of the state reps.
I was told it costs about $14,000 a day to be in session. Some reps drive from the western part of the state, the northern part of the state and the eastern part of the state to fulfill their responsibility as a state rep, that could cost them a $100’s or more a day. The speaker is purposely trying to keep people who don’t support RTW from showing up.
The senate has said they will not return to session until Jan. So the speaker is just playing the power game of “I’m in charge and do whatever I want”.
Nov 30th, is also the day for two national legislator conferences that are usually pretty well attended so for those who scrimped and saved to buy air line tickets will have to pay extra to change them to be in this session which we don’t need to have. Let’s make it clear; there is nothing that we have done or are going to do that can’t wait until Jan.
So to put it another way, because of this game playing we have to pay the state to go to work; how many of you would like having to pay your employer to work for them. I don’t think this is a very good example of capitalism; but is a good example of bullyism, bad leadership, and a lack of respect on the part of the speaker.
Unfortunately, the Bully does have a cult following claiming to be republicans that will follow the speaker. The good news is it appears to be getting smaller with more people questioning what the speaker is doing and saying, “It is wrong”. The freshmen who are in the house right now never served under a well organized and respected leadership team so they seem to be having a hard time understanding the difference between right and wrong which is why they are following “wrong”, that will be between them and you the voters on Election Day.
I have the greatest respect for those reps who are leaders not followers; I have to believe that even if you disagree with some of the issues we support or vote against, that you respect them for their independence and willingness to work across the isle to get the job done and do what we think is right.
The political fights in Concord are not just between republicans and democrats; but, between republicans and rino (non republican free stators) which seem to comprise the radical wing of the Republican Party while professing to be republicans and attacking anyone who disagrees with them.
Thanksgiving is just a day away and I can tell you that the two loneliest holidays of the year for those in uniform is Thanksgiving and Christmas; it is lonelier for those in combat. So on Thanksgiving Day, if you’re so inclined to thank the lord for what you have and also by being together with family and friends don’t forget the Vets, it can be very cold and lonely on top of a mountain on a combat mission.