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View Diary: CT-04 Himes vs Shays: Round 1 and 2 (11 comments)

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  •  Not sure about that (0+ / 0-)

    Of course, Shays is no freshman; he had two decades and gobs of seniority with which to gain the exact committee assignment he desired.  And Himes, were he to be elected, given his swing district vulnerability, would probably be granted his first choice by Pelosi.

    I would also beg to differ on the lack of consequence for committee assignments.  Under the Republicans, the funds assigned to each congressman from TEA-LU, the recently renewed federal transportation bill, were accorded according to seniority, but transportation committee members received the biggest share of the allocations.  Shays received only as much as a freshman congressman from the minority party.

    So I would suggest that his refusal to join transportation has had a major effect on the lack of funding and overcrowding in this part of Connecticut.

    •  There may be correlation... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but that does not indicate causation.

      Shays has put his focus elsewhere and in statements has indicated transportation isn't a big priority for his agenda.

      Again, the district, like all 435 districts have a broad range of needs, it is expected that congressmen will tend to all needs of the district regardless of their committee assignments.

      Shays made the point in the 2nd Debate that the district is overburdened by only getting 69 cents on the dollar paid in federal taxes.  21 years of seniority, he surely could have done better than a freshman on the most recent bill, but what about all the transportation bills when his party was in the majority?  He got little because it wasn't a priority for him, his committee assignment is hardly a poor choice for the district and the current times.

      But all of this is pretty far beside the point.  In elections voters matter, and voters don't care about this kind of thing - being part of the this committee or that committee...only a small part of the population has any concept of how Congress functions and what the committees do.  The key isn't which committee he is on, or which committee you would want to be on if elected and if you got your choice - the key is that Shays did not find this issue to be a priority for the district, which differs from the view of the people in the district.  That is the piece to highlight, there is a problem, he isn't concerned about fixing it.  69c/$1 with 21 years of seniority.

      Also the evaluation of the district as a swing district is speculative and not likely good speculation at that.  The district went for Gore, Kerry and Clinton both times and is looking like it will go big for Obama, Shays took the seat in a special election back in 1987 when the Democratic Brand was weak in the region (S&L, Contra, Reagan, Defense Contractors suffering federal budget slashes, etc).  Once a Dem takes this seat, it will likely be strong D until the next major shift occurs.  With 20-25 incoming Freshman Dems, and very few vacating Dems, expecting any of them to get first choice at a committee assignment is silly.  There has to be an open seat for them to fill to start, and then there has to be no one with a prior request to move in that direction that leadership chooses to honor.

      Personally, I'm hoping the leadership changes in the next Congress (in both Houses).  More Backbone, more Progressive.

      This space for rent

      by mp on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 05:59:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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