Friday, May 8, 2009

Time for REAL Representation! (Part III)

Here is part III in my series illustrating why our Representatives and Senators seem so out of touch with most of the country. As you view the occupations they had prior to getting to Congress, you will see that nearly all of them were in elevated income brackets or jobs paying much higher than those most Americans hold today. It is no wonder, then, that our Congresspersons do not really understand many of us, our concerns, or our needs. If you're a cosmologist, carpetlayer, bartender, illustrator, bus driver, stockboy, telephone salesperson, pipefitter, or draftsman, chances are your won't find a kindred spirit in the halls of Congress. I hope you will think about this next time you are set to nominate or elect a candidate for U.S. House or Senate.

I continue this series, going alphabetically state by state, district by district. The numbers refer to the state's congressional district number, D=Democrat, I=Independent, R=Republican, A=Attorney, S=Senator, and P=Politician (one who has always been in politics rather than having worked in the "real" world).
1. Pete Visclosky D A
2. Joe Donnelly D A
3. Mark Shouder R Sm. bus. owner
4. Steve Buyer R A
5. Dan Burton R Insurance agent, Real Estate broker
6. Mike Pence R A, Talk Show Host
7. Andre Carson D Law Enforcement Officer
8. Brad Ellsworth D Law Enforcement Officer
9. Baron Hill D Financial Analyst
S. Richard Lugar R Maufacturing Exec
S. Evan Bayh D A, P
1. Bruce Braley D A
2. David Loebsack D college Professor
3. Leonard Boswell D Farmer
4. Tom Latham R Sm. bus. owner
5. Steve King R Construction Contractor
S. Charles Grassley R P
S. Tom Harkin D A
1. Jerry Moran R A
2. Lynn Jenkins R Accountant
3. Dennis Moore D A
4. Todd Tiahrt R Aerospace Exec
S. Sam Brownback R A, Farmer
S. Pat Roberts R Newspaper Publisher
1. Ed Whitfield R A, Railroad Exec
2. Brett Guthrie R Military Officer
3. John Yarmuth D Newspaper Publisher
4. Geoff Davis R Manufacturing Consultant
5. Harold Rogers R A
6. Ben Chandler D A
S. Mitch McConnell R A
S. Jim Bunning R MLB Pitcher, P
1. Steve Scalise R Systems Analyst
2. Joseph Cao R A
3. Charlie Melanson D Sm. bus. owner
4. John C. Fleming R Physician
5. Rodney Alexander R Insurance Agent
6. Bill Cassidy R Physician
7. Charles Boustany R Surgeon
S. Mary Landrieu D Real Estate Agent
S. David Vitter R A
1. Chellie Pingree D P
2. Mike Michaud D Factory Foreman
S. Olympia Snowe R P
S. Susan Collins R Businesswoman
1. Frank Kratovil D Prosecutor
2. Dutch Ruppersberger D A
3. John Sarbanes D A
4. Diana Edwards D A
5. Steny Hoyer D A
6. Roscoe Bartlett D College Professor, Farmer
7. Elijah Cummings D A
8. Chris Van Hollen D A
S. Barbara Mikulski D P
S. Ben Cardin D A
1. John Oliver D College Professor
2. Richard Neal D High School Teacher
3. Jim McGovern D P
4. Barney Frank D A
5. Niki Tsongas D A, Social Worker
6. John Tierney D A
7. Ed Markey D A
8. Mike Capuano D A
9. Stephen Lynch D A, Union leader
10. Bill Delahunt D A
S. Teddy Kennedy D A, P
S. John Kerry D A
1. Bart Stupak D Police Officer, A
2. Pete Hoekstra R Marketing VP
3. Vern Ehlers R College Professor
4. David Lee Camp R A
5. Dale E. Kildee D High School Teacher
6. Fred Upton R P
7. Mark Schauer D P
8. Mike J. Rogers R Investigator
9. Gary Peters D Professor
10. Candice Miller R Sm. bus. owner
11. Thaddeus R. McCotter R A
12. Sander Levin D A
13. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick D High School Teacher
14. John Conyers Jr. D A
15. John Dingell D A
S. Carl Levin D A
S. Debbie Stabenow D Social Worker

Part IV (to come late next week) will include 8 more states: Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. Just prior to that I will do a little blurb on corporations bankrupting our Treasury by ducking taxes offshore.


SJ said...

So far my favorite?

"Aerospace Executive"

Jack Jodell said...

I know---some of those descriptions ARE vague and bizarre!

Vigilante said...

A good piece of research here, Jack. My one caveat is not to diss a legal education as a professional preparation for legislating which is, after all, law-making. After the last eight years, one could make the same point about executive government, too. Of course, there are incompetent lawyers, just as there are incompetent plumbers.... (Take, for example that guy named "Joe".)

Vigilante said...


mud_rake said...

The other reason that legislators care so little about whom they represent is that they owe their souls to the large corporations who finance their campaigns.

This could be clearly seen last week when 14 Dems voted DOWN the Durbin amendment that would have given new hope for about 2 million families in bankruptcy.

These Dems [and ALL of the 40 Republicans] are vote-slaves to the banking industry, pure and simple.

Show me the money and I'll show you the votes.

Jack Jodell said...

Great points, Vigilante and mud_rake! We do indeed need good legal minds and sound legal advice to properly legislate and not come up with further Bush/Chenyisms. But I don't think we need to have more than 35% of the legislative branch composed of attorneys! We wouldn't stock our automotive repair shops with 4 exhaust men and only 1 tune up guy. Clearly, we have a surplus of attorneys and not enough average folks representing us. (Of course, a Congress filled with dopes like Joe the phony Plumber wouldn't be good either).
mud_rake, you make a convincing case for total federal financing of elections. I, too, am disgusted by the high cost of running a political campaign, seeing millions spent on distorted or Hollywood-type pieces of propaganda (lies) presenting image rather than substance for each candidate. This high campaign cost prostitutes candidates and makes them beholden to the big money pigs. THAT is why you no longer see Democrats like were once prevalent in the 1930s-1960s, and that is a huge reason we have been getting collectively screwed by them as well as the Republicans! I'm with ya, my good man---it's disgusting!

Vigilante said...

Jack & Mud R.:

Corporations are one gripe. But I think that's a proliferal fact of life. The major reason the people are locked out of the process is:

Safe Districts

Because of Gerrymandering, political parties get to secure/reserve for themselves safe seats. If parties had to contest more seats every elections, their candidates would have to appear less partisan and more reasonable. A nonpartisan authority should be created to redraw Congressional districts.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks for subscribing, Vigilante, and I think you hit the nail right on the head there! The parties themselves have also become corrupted and dominated by big money and have enacted numerous ways to keep themselves in a continual two-way tug of war. There are tremendous burdens placed on third parties or unaffiliated independents to even get on a ballot. Things being what they are, I am advocating that progressive-minded independents flood their local Democratic Party caucuses, as they'll at least find SOME like-minded people there. That may not be a perfect solution, and they will meet organized resistance, but it's a start. We are being strangled by concentrated capital, corporations, and narrow special interests. We may be blue in the face, but we're not going down without a damn good fight! People need to get off their apathetic asses and grab back what is rightfully theirs! We need REAL representation!

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Hey Jack! you know... you put so much vital info into your posts that I now have you double bkmarked for research also.... ! ta for that!
and ty for the little note on the 'empathy' piece. Been a couple of very difficult weeks round here and writing more of the heart than the to think I always combine the two. What I'm seething over at the moment, and prob u 2... Darth Cheney. I just can't over the frickin' audacity of the monster. And I blog up to keep harping on 'prosecutions!' All there is for it is to grab the board and hit the waves...keepin on keepin on...right??? Keep your board waxed Jack! You catch some real fine curls out there... I love reading the waves you ride!

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Gwendolyn, and I hope things improve for ya real quick! Meanwhile, writing is good therapy, so keep it going. Darth Cheney is vile and thoroughly evil. I have never seen a man so bitter, frustrated, controlling, or arrogant. Satan's best pal, for sure!