Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tammy Baldwin Shutdown: Nobody's Senator

Tammy Baldwin is nobody's senator.

She shut down. She closed for business.

From The Capital Times:

If you have a problem and need your lawmaker’s help in Washington, D.C., you’ll have no luck reaching U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

“Due to a lapse in government funding, federal law and Senate rules require that my website and Senate offices shut down,” reads a notice at the top of Baldwin’s official website Tuesday. “I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Please know that I am working with my congressional colleagues to find a responsible way to end this shutdown as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin”

Baldwin, alone among the Wisconsin congressional delegation, closed her office Tuesday because of the U.S. government shutdown. The freshman Democrat’s counterpart, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, is maintaining a skeleton staff to handle constituent calls, and the state’s eight representatives in the House are open for business.

...Balwin’s office phone invites callers to leave a message. Her website contact information contains the following message:

“Thank you for visiting my website. Due to a lapse in government funding, my website and Senate offices have been shut down.

“This means that:

• My offices are closed and phones will not be answered.

• Emails sent to individual staff members will be responded to at the conclusion of the shutdown.

• Letters and Emails sent to me will receive a response when my office is opened.

• My staff will be unable to assist you during the shutdown.

“Although my office is currently shut down, you may still email me and I will be sure to respond to any inquiries as soon as my office is able to open. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and I will continue to work with my colleagues to find a responsible way to end the shutdown as soon as possible.”

Needless to say, Baldwin and her aides were unavailable for comment.
"[F]ederal law and Senate rules require that my website and Senate offices shut down."


Apparently, some of Baldwin's colleagues and all members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation have decided to break federal law and/or Senate rules and remain on the job, working for their constituents.

Although Baldwin holds a U.S. Senate seat, representing Wisconsin, she doesn't represent me whether the government is up and running or in this state of suspension. She works against me, not for me.

Still, it bugs me that she took the stand of completely skipping out on her responsibilities.

I guess she considers herself "nonessential."

Tammy Baldwin claims she won't take her paycheck during the shutdown/vacation.

So, her pay will be withheld, but is that a temporary thing and she intends to rake it in after the partial shutdown ends?

After word of Baldwin's total shutdown spread, she went on damage control, claiming to be tending to "essential" business on a limited basis.

On Wednesday, her press office said Baldwin's staff is operating on a "bare bones" basis.

"For us, offices in Milwaukee, Madison and Washington, D.C. are operating with a limited staff," said an email from Baldwin's press office to Newsline 9. "Although our office is currently operating at a limited capacity, people can still call or email. Given the limited staff available, we are doing our best to answer phone calls. Requests for assistance are being monitored for emergency needs and we will be sure to respond to any other inquiries as soon as the shutdown ends and the government is opened."
What a load!

First, federal law and Senate rules forbade Baldwin from working.

Time to disregard those laws and rules, Tammy?

Don't worry, fellow Wisconsinites. We have Ron Johnson.

Sen. Johnson is also maintaining a limited staff in his offices, according to spokeswoman Melinda Whitemarsh Schnell.

"Members of Congress are allowed to delegate a number of their staff as essential to work during the shutdown," said Schnell in an email. "Senator Johnson chose to make sure his staff is available to attend to his constitutional duties and respond to his constituents during this time."
There's a difference: Johnson never told his constituents to go to hell the way Baldwin did.