Saturday, December 22, 2007

Beautiful But Empty

From the Battle Creek Enquirer:

With wrapped boxes in hand, nine people walked up the stairs in the Commerce Pointe building to U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg's Battle Creek office on Wednesday.

Chris Simmons, field representative for the Tipton Republican, greeted the group who handed him the six empty packages.

"These gifts are like Congressman Walberg's promises," said Dale Bennett, speaking on behalf of the group. "They're beautiful and they're empty."

Bennett, a member of the Joint-religious Organizing Network for Action and Hope (JONAH) Clergy Caucus, was accompanied by five other members of the caucus, three members of the Kalamazoo-based Michigan Citizen Action and a representative of the national environmental organization Clean Water Action.

Erin Knott, Michigan Citizen Action assistant director, said the empty boxes represented Walberg's support for critical domestic priorities, including education, children's health care and veterans' benefits.

(Emphasis added.)

Beautiful and empty. Honestly, I wish I had thought of that. If you've ever heard Congressman Walberg speak, his rhetoric sounds great, but means nothing. Beautiful and empty.

Walberg's website reads:
The Great Lakes are a treasure essential to both Michigan and the entire nation.
Beautiful, isn't it? But how does he really feel?
“I don’t know how many of you realize that here in this state in the United States, we do not allow even the slant directional drilling under the Great Lakes... Our environmental lobby has done so well in lobbying efforts from keeping us from doing that, that we don’t drill in ANWR, we don’t drill under the Great Lakes... I don’t understand that.
On Iraq, Walberg says:
Without a doubt, mistakes have been made in Iraq, and these mistakes are important to acknowledge, but we must go forward with a new strategy in Iraq based on quantifiable goals and measurable results.
That sounds pretty good to me. "A new strategy," with "quantifiable goals and measurable results" is a reasonable policy. But when Congress considers legislation that
Directs the President, by January 1, 2008, to transmit to the congressional defense, appropriations, and foreign relations committees a comprehensive U.S. strategy for Iraq. Requires the President to update such strategy no later than July 1, 2008, and every 90 days thereafter, including a description of the number of Armed Forces deployed to Iraq and the missions for which they are so deployed.
Tim Walberg votes No. A beautiful promise, but, apparently, empty.

For that matter, Congressman Walberg promised $500,000 for W.K. Kellogg Airport, which was a particularly beautiful promise. We weren't supposed to notice that it was an empty promise, as he went ahead and voted No on that funding.

When given these symbolic gifts, what was Congressman Walberg's response?

Walberg was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday when the gifts were delivered, but he responded via e-mail, saying excessive government spending and tax increases have delivered a recession and job losses for Michigan families.

"I voted for the largest increase for veterans care in American history, while consistently working to eliminate wasteful spending to balance the budget and prevent more tax increases on struggling Michigan families and small businesses," he said.

Matt Lahr, Walberg's press secretary, said the congressman was expected to vote in favor of State Children's Health Insurance Program legislation approved Tuesday by the U.S. Senate that extends the program into 2009 without the $35 million expansion sought by Democrats.

Lahr said Walberg also supported reasonable education initiatives such as the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007.

Yep. More empty promises.

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