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Part-time senator still gets full-time pay & bennies


Seems Hanoi John F'in' al-Qerry believes it's better to have practically no voting record at all than to give American taxpayers their money's worth.

ero. That's how many times al-Qerry bothered to show up and vote on anything in the Senate before March. Of the 77 Senate roll call votes this year, this political truant (as the Boston Herald calls him) has missed all six votes held in January and all sixteen in February. Forty-two were held in March and thirteen in April. But the only times he bothered to show up and vote was in March, and only because (not surprisingly) he wanted to gut the ban on frivolous lawsuits against lawful gun manufacturers (roll #24-#30), cover his butt on tax cuts, national defense, the budget, and Veterans' healthcare (roll #36-#40), and sink Laci and Conner's Law (roll #61 and #63). That's 14 roll call votes out of March's 42. He participated in none last month.

Contrary to what his advisor Michael Meehan claims, voting is the largest part of being a U.S. senator. It is the only part that actually matters to the citizens who elected him. Bills and nominations aren't decided by the whole Senate without such voting.

If a senator ups and decides to never, ever vote on the Senate floor, the state he or she represents is effectively deprived its equal suffrage in the Senate. Not even an amendment to the Constitution can do that without that state's consent.

But does this apply to Qetchup Qing Qerry? He apparently doesn't think so. No matter that Article V of our Constitution clearly says, "no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate." To him, representing himself on the campaign trail is obviously more important than representing The Children™ and other people of his state in our Senate.

As a U.S. Senator, Qerry is compensated by us taxpayers "for his services" at the tune of $158,100 a year, or $13,175 a month. Voting "Aye," "No," or at least "Present" on legislation and other business before the full Senate (hat tip: lgf & andthenblammo) is the sole reason the people of Massachusetts hired him, and why all us Americans pay his salary. Sitting in a plush office making phone calls to special interest groups and lobbyists, popping in to make a speech for C-SPAN2's audience then disappearing, or standing on the Capitol's steps and using them as taxpayer-funded props for a campaign ad is not earning your keep. If I hired you to dig a hole and you did little more than lean on the shovel, there's no way I'm going to say you're entitled to any payments from me.

In 2003, part-timer Qerry was paid $154,700 but attended 36% of the Senate's roll call votes. On bills President Bush took a position on, the figure drops to 28%. This year he missed every vote in January, February, and April, and attended one-third of March's votes, while being paid $13,175 a month. That comes to $99,000 he should reimburse us taxpayers for the work he was supposed to do but didn't (or wasn't properly excused from) in 2003—plus $48,300 he should reimburse us for the same reason this year (so far)—for a grand total of $147,300 in unearned pay during the 108th Congress which he now owes us back.

Hanoi John, you haven't earned your senatorial pay and benefits. You aren't doing the people's business.

It's time for you to resign your Senate seat and let the governor of your state appoint a person who will represent the people of Massachusetts there full-time.

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