Congressman Says to Constituents: You Don’t Pay My Salary
An Oklahoma congressman was caught on video telling constituents that the notion that they pay his salary is “bullcrap” — a remark that has not exactly boosted his popularity.
Responding to a question at a Tuesday town hall in Jay, Oklahoma, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (shown), a Republican who represents the eastern portion of the Sooner State, took exception to his questioner’s assertion that taxpayers are responsible for his upkeep.
“You say you pay for me to do this,” Mullin said. “Bullcrap. I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got there [Congress] and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go.”
That response did not go over well with the crowd. Some attendees began shouting back at Mullin, who added, “I’m just saying this is a service for me, not a career, and I thank God this is not how I make my living.”
Video of the incident has since been posted to social media, where it has not done much to enhance Mullin’s image.
As a member of Congress, Mullin earns $175,000 per year plus benefits, every penny of it extracted from taxpayers. His spokeswoman told the Tulsa World that he was not trying to say that his pay did not come from taxes, only that he has paid more in taxes than he will receive in congressional salary and benefits.
“The congressman is referencing the federal taxes that he and his businesses have paid to the government over the years, prior to his being in office,” said Amy Lawrence. “Like all business owners, Congressman Mullin pays his taxes, which contribute to congressional salaries.”
According to the paper, “Mullin owns several companies under the Mullin Plumbing umbrella.” McClatchy reports that he earned at least $610,000 in 2015. Thus, the 39-year-old congressman, who took over the family business when he was 20, may well have paid (and be paying) more in taxes than he receives in salary and benefits. That does not, however, negate the fact that his constituents are also forking over taxes that may be used to pay him.
Nor does it negate the fact that, as Mullin said, his work in Congress is supposed to be a “service” to his constituents. “His aspiration is to be a career legislator and not a career politician,” Lawrence told the Tulsa World. “He is not, nor does he ever aspire to be, a career politician. His priority will always be to serve his constituents to the best of his ability.” His attitude in the video suggests otherwise.
To be fair, the thrice-elected Mullin has encountered a great deal of (often organized) opposition at recent public events, a problem common to Republican elected officials since the election of President Donald Trump. According to the Tulsa World, he also had an altercation with an attendee at a March 31 town hall in Pryor, Oklahoma, when that person insisted on holding up a red piece of paper to indicate her disagreement with his comments. Although at first it appeared that Mullin was going to have her ejected from the premises, he ultimately backed down, realizing he was “play[ing] right into their [protestors’] hands.” He canceled a Tuesday-evening town hall, citing safety concerns, although “attendees had already entered the building,” noted McClatchy.
His frustration is therefore understandable. Unfortunately for Mullin, words uttered in frustration often reveal the true character lurking beneath the speaker’s carefully crafted public persona — and what Mullin’s remark reveals about him isn’t pretty.
Photo: Rep. Markwayne Mullin
NBC Sports: U.S. Flag at Baseball Games Too Political
Everything is political to the overly sensitive mind of today’s leftist. When the Atlanta Braves unfurled a gigantic flag for the playing of the national anthem, it prompted an ultra sensitive member of the partisan media and his Twitter followers to express a whole host of ridiculous claims.
In a Twitter post this weekend, NBC baseball writer Craig Calcaterra complained that the presentation of Old Glory evoked overly political tones. He and his like-minded comrades used the occasion to attack the flag, the military, President Trump, conservatives and the singing of God Bless America:
“Will you keep politics out of sports, please? We like sports to be politics-free.”
That was the first shot fired in what became a lively Twitter free-for-all between conservative patriots and hate America snowflakes. He also blogged about it here, stating the government had paid pro sports teams for the opportunity to promote patriotism and recruitment (of the people who will protect our freedom). He said his Tweet was an attempt to troll the “stick to sports” crowd. He said flag waving is a political strategy.
“How is the flag political? Matthew Weymar Tweeted to Calcaterra. The NBC writer responded that maybe a flag “in and of itself isn’t always political. A two-acre flag with a military flyover is saying something very specific, however.” Chris McAllister asked Calcaterra what an American flag for Democrats looks like?” Touche!
Rick Krahn commented, “I think there was a time when love for country wasn’t considered political. And a lot of people would like to return to that time.”
Calcaterra said it’s not so easy doing that: “Getting there requires people to accept that those who question our leaders and do not support all military ventures can still be patriots.”
Krahn told Calcaterra that those who oppose “often do so by cutting down country or those who serve it.” Joseph Daher added, “You can disagree with the leaders and still support the soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen who died under that flag.”
Calcaterra countered, “And you can support them in ways other than flying a two-acre flag, yet we routinely fail to.” He attached a photo of veterans protesting at a VA hospital along with the link to a story in The Nation about a lack of VA resources for vets. Daher called him out by asking: “Baseball shouldn’t have a flag because the VA is in shambles?”
Additionally, Calcaterra said “if you criticize their (sports teams’) use of the military you’re called unpatriotic.” And by not standing for the singing of God Bless America, Calcaterra dialed up his inner snowflake and said the reactions around him made him feel bad.
Mark Simon hit the NBC lib right between the eyes: “This is a left-wing screed. It is not about patriotism, rather what offends your politics.” Ryan Kantor explained to Calcaterra how his complaints are viewed: “You should applaud apolitical patriotism or everyone will mistake your criticisms for anti-American rhetoric.” Cameron Darnell argued, “People die for our rights in this country, so yeah we’re gonna layout the flag. We’re also gonna have a military.”
Calcaterra said, “Wrapping oneself in the flag is a common means of achieving political ends.” That may be true for the rainbow flag.
Calcaterra complained that his criticisms “in this realm will always, always be considered anti-American regardless of what else I say.” Without citing examples, he added: “Conspicuous patriotism is often used as a cudgel to silence/shame those who question our leaders.”
Using that logic, Krahn schooled Calcaterra by saying it was unfair to label criticisms of Obama as racism. “Cuts both ways.”
Additional Tweets further demonstrated the Hate America mentality. Mark Rittle wrote, “I’d like to attend sporting events without romanticizing the war machine.” And Shawn Drotar griped that at the average NFL game “jingoism comes with the ticket.”
What are we left to assume from Calcaterra’s remarks? For one, if we removed everything that offends leftists in the public square, it would be a bland, barren scene. Secondly, many in the partisan media are perfectly fine with organizations pushing far Left politics in our faces. Like withdrawing sports events due to religious freedom laws and with LGBT promotions at their games.
As Gary Deaton tweeted to Calcaterra, “stick to sports.”
Editor’s Note: Jay Maxton is a contriubting writer for Newsbusters.org. See original post here.
UC Davis Student Senate Makes US Flag Optional at Meetings as to Not Offend
According to The Sacramento Bee, the student senate at the University of California, Davis has ruled that flying the American flag at meetings is now optional since some view the flag as offensive.
The previous law that required the flag to fly at every meeting has been amended to include a 24-hour period wherein a petition must be signed before the flag can be on display. At that time, the senate pro tem has the ultimate authority in deciding if the flag flies or doesn’t.
The resolution gives the reason behind the amendment: “[T]he concept of United States of America and patriotism is different for every individual, it should not be compulsory that the flag is in view at all times during Senate meetings.”
The student who introduced the legislation, Jose Antonio Meneses, said he wanted to follow federal law which doesn’t mandate flying the flag. The move was also non-political, he said:
“It wasn’t political in any way, but because it is the United States flag … it’s a touchy subject to talk about. We want to make sure we are not sued…
“The opinion in that case is that you can’t force people to pledge your allegiance, by (the flag) being there; by extension, you are pledging your allegiance to a symbol that you don’t relate to or that you don’t equate yourself with.”
Michael Gofman, a student senator who opposed Meneses’s bill, said, “It was a purely political issue from the start,” and added that all U.S. government bodies display the flag without apology.
Yet, Meneses maintains the decision is “not a ban on the flag.” During his two years on the student senate, he claims the flag has never been on display and no one has said anything about it until now.
Gofman says he “was shocked and embarrassed” to learn there was a law in place that made displaying the flag mandatory but wasn’t being followed. He wants to introduce a proposal that would allow student senators to bring their own U.S. flag for display.
“I have a much closer connection to places outside of America,” Gofman said. “I understand what the alternative looks like. I don’t think members of the senate know what it is like to live in a totalitarian country.”