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On the evening of September 4, 2013, in my tiny town of Wilson, Texas, I had a chance for a quick and informal talk with Congressman Neugebauer at a fundraiser for “Tractor Drive 2013, Drive Hunger out of Rural Texas.” Normally given such an opportunity I would salivate at the chance to get in a few hard hitting questions such as his vote against reining in NSA data collections and his views on NSA Truth Tellers. However, a fund raiser for hunger at a high school, where an open forum for formal questions has not been set up, is not the appropriate time and place. But the Congressman was kind enough to speak with me with no prior warning, so out of respect for the event I kept it light.

Tractor Drive 2013, Drive Hunger out of Rural Texas

On the evening of September 4, 2013, in my tiny town of Wilson, Texas, I had a chance for a quick and informal talk with Congressman Neugebauer at a fundraiser for “Tractor Drive 2013, Drive Hunger out of Rural Texas.” Normally given such an opportunity I would salivate at the chance to get in a few hard hitting questions such as his vote against reining in NSA data collections and his views on NSA Truth Tellers. However, a fund raiser for hunger at a high school, where an open forum for formal questions has not been set up, is not the appropriate time and place. But the Congressman was kind enough to speak with me with no prior warning, so out of respect for the event I kept it light.

I introduced myself as the Whistleblower against Peanut Corporation, Program Manager for Drum Majors for Truth, and a fellow Graduate of Coronado High School in Lubbock, Texas, and he agreed to answer a couple of questions. Never hurts to use a little high school pride to break the ice.  Congressman Neugebauer is a staunch Conservative Republican as most in this area are, so I stated up front that I did not agree with many of his views as I consider myself much more moderate. As the Congressman is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance and has expressed support of the PATH ACT, which would deregulate much of the legislation of the Dodd-Frank Act, I expressed my concern with the PATH Act and  how it would change current Whistleblower rights. Congressman Neugebauer stated that the current legislation “went a little overboard with regulation” but Whistleblower Provisions of Dodd-Frank, “was not one the issues of concern.” I do hope the congressman meant that the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Act will remain intact as many Truth Tellers have come forward based on this legislation whom the False Claims Act did not cover. The 2012 SEC Annual Report on the Frank Dodd Whistleblower Program shows just how effective this provision has been, and I hope the major provisions and protections remain intact.

On September 10, 2013 a hearing titled “Reducing Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Housing Programs: Inspector General Perspectives.” is set to take place. I asked Congressman Neugebauer, given his historical stance of deregulation, if he expected Whistleblowers to still receive protection for reporting fraud, waste, or abuse within the Department of Housing and Urban Development in light of the hearing. I was pleasantly surprised when he responded with “of course, there has to be accountability.” Once again I hope that is the case not only in legislation but in practice.

Although I do not agree with Congressman Neugebauer on many issues, I do appreciate him giving me a few moments of his time at this worthy event. His words seemed genuine, as those of most politicians do, but I do hope his support of Whistleblowers, at least in these areas, remains genuine.

Kenneth Kendrick - Food Safety Advocate,  
Acclaimed Peanut Corp. of America Whistleblower,
and Program Director, Drum Majors for Truth

Originally posted to The Law Project on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Whistleblowers Round Table.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    Visit THE LAW PROJECT at www.njcdlp.org

    by The Law Project on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:58:46 AM PDT

  •  your first hand report (0+ / 0-)

    from Texas is appreciated; Tx is a dark forboding place in my mind land of Kennedy killers and Bush neocons and Perry insanites! (is that a word:-)... I've only driven through it on the way to someplace else; you seem to be holding down the fort congrats

    It’s not going to be easy to reverse the forces that have conspired for decades against working Americans. - President Obama

    by anyname on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:22:46 AM PDT

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