Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sensenbrenner a Spanish curse word?

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has become a Spanish curse word for his vicious anti-immigrant legislation, which could imprison nearly 12 million immigrants and anyone else kind enough to serve them food at a soup kitchen.
-- Joel McNally, in a Capital Times column about Wisconsin politicians cashing in on anti-immigrant sentiment.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Town hall meeting: Speak truth to power

Your chance to tell F. Jim Sensenbrenner what you think about what he's doing to embarrass his constituents on immigration and other issues:

Town hall meeting

Sunday, June 25, at 7 p.m.
Thiensville Village Hall
250 Elm Street
Phone: 262/242-3720

Be there or be square.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Spending money to save money

F. Jim Sensenbrenner -- advertising how he saves taxpayer money -- in a taxpayer-paid mailing.

Watchdog Milwaukee has the story.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sensenbrenner: Lying with impunity

Xoff beat me to the punch on Sensenbrenner's continued abuse of taxpayer money through "junkets." (Aside: If F. Jim is so big on not wasting taxpayers' money for things like hurricane relief, why is he ok with traveling on our dime?) So I'll pick up on a tip from a reader instead.

I heven't spent a lot of time following F. Jim's press releases, but once you get into them, you can find them riddled with lies--lies no one in the Milwaukee-area press seems to be calling him on. For example, from May:
Over the past several months, organized anti-war protests have taken place around the country, including in Wisconsin, at the funerals of servicemen and women killed while fighting in the war against terrorism. These extremist demonstrators harass family members and friends with chants and signs that read, ‘Thank God for dead soldiers,’ ‘God hates you,’ and ‘Thank God for IEDs.’ This behavior is revolting and deeply disrespectful.

Whatever your political persuasion, or stance on the War on Terror, I think we all can agree that family members and friends should be protected during military funerals. [. . .] As a result, I, along with over 100 Republican and Democrat House Members, cosponsored HR 5037, the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act. The bill would prohibit demonstrations on national cemetery grounds, unless specifically approved, and would silence all demonstrations one hour before and one hour following a military memorial service within a 500-foot radius.
Lies. Sensenbrenner clearly labels the protesters targeted here as "anti-war," and with his reference to "political persuasion," implies that said protesters are liberal. This is not true: The resolution came about as a direct result of protests at military funerals by Fred Phelps, an ultra-conservative who is not anti-war, but anti-gay, and feels that the US deserves to have its servicemembers die beczuse of our liberal policies regarding homsexuality in this country. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered Phelps when he brought his circus to Wisconsin, and if F. Jim had bothered to read the paper, he'd know that the protests are not anti-war or liberal in nature.

The New York Times ran an op-ed just this week (behind their stupid subscription wall) in which the writer claimed that liberal anti-war protesters were disrupting military funerals. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) investigated and found that, in fact, it was all Phelps's group, not liberals.

Google all you want; you will not find that liberals--or anyone anti-war--are protesting military funerals.

(Tip on that one from Green opponent to F. Jim, Bob Levis.)

One example ought to be enough, but there's more. This release, for example, lies about what's in the Senate immigration bill. My favorite is possibly this one, which may not be a lie, but is certainly dripping with irony:
The National Taxpayers Union (NTU), an independent tax watchdog group, has awarded Menomonee Falls Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner the ‘Taxpayers’ Friend Award’ for 2005 because of his voting record to reduce and control the tax burden on American taxpayers. Congressman Sensenbrenner, the only Member of the Wisconsin delegation to get an ‘A,’ received the ninth highest score in the House of Representatives. [. . .]

“Ultimately, this is the taxpayers’ money we’re talking about and we’re the ones entrusted to spend it responsibly,” Sensenbrenner concluded.
Who is it being irresponsible with taxpayers' money again?

Travelin' man just keeps on travelin'

-- Stuart Carlson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Spivak and Bice:

Sensenbrenner still traveling on your dime

There he goes again.

Travelin' Jim Sensenbrenner has made it near the top of yet another congressional perk list.

And this time it's the taxpayers picking up the tab so the multimillionaire Republican can see the world

"It's a wonder he has the time to stay in Congress to vote," snapped Tony Raymond, co-founder of Political Money Line, a D.C. watchdog group.

Data compiled by the group shows that since 1994, Sensenbrenner has gone on junkets costing taxpayers $149,248, placing the Menomonee Falls congressman ninth among the 600-plus pols who have been in the House or Senate during that time.


Most recently, Sensenbrenner went on a weeklong trip costing just under $10,000 to visit Poland, Lithuania and Amsterdam in January.

Last year, he traveled to France for 10 days, a trip that again cost a little less than $10,000.

Over the years, he also has used tax dollars to see Vietnam, Russia, China and Istanbul, among other places.

No other member of the Wisconsin delegation comes close to matching Sensenbrenner for cavorting on the taxpayers' dime. U.S. Rep. Mark Green, the Republican candidate for governor, finished second in the delegation and 173rd overall for taking publicly funded trips worth $24,436, including two jaunts to Africa.

These fact-finding missions, of course, come on top of all of the worldwide excursions Sensenbrenner and his aides have gone on in recent years at the expense of lobbyists, corporations, non-profits and other private interests.

Another Political Money Line study found that since 2000, Sensenbrenner is No. 1 among all federal lawmakers in the total cost of the trips he has accepted from private sources. And earlier this month, yet another report said the combined value of the privately funded junketeering by the veteran Wisconsin congressman and his staff over the past five years placed his office 12th on Capitol Hill.

Overall, Sensenbrenner - often accompanied by his wife - has gone on 33 trips at a total cost to taxpayers and private groups of more than $266,000 since January 2000.

Not a bad perk for a guy who's an heir to the Kimberly-Clark fortune.

Asked specifically about his boss' taxpayer-funded globetrotting, Sensenbrenner chief of staff Thomas Schreibel responded with exasperation: "Here we go again."

Schreibel said Sensenbrenner had to travel more than others in the Wisconsin delegation because he has been the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee since 2000 and was the head of the House Science Committee before that.

"Travel is a part of the job," he said, "where members of Congress learn of problems that other countries are having and problems the United States is experiencing with other countries."

You do have to wonder why being Judiciary chair requires more travel than chairing any of the other many House committees. International Relations is one that comes to mind.