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Congressman Wants YouTube Video Covered Up 884

Posted by timothy
from the played-by-ben-afleck-I-hope dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Wisconsin Republicans claim that no one else can republish a video of United States Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) complaining about how he is 'struggling' to get by on his $174,000 salary without their permission, even though they originally released the video on YouTube for the whole world to see. Now the GOP is trying to take legal action to stop anyone else from republishing the video. The tape caused a stir for Duffy, a first-term conservative best known for his past as a reality TV show star on MTV's The Real World after Democrats flagged the comments about his taxpayer-funded salary, which is nearly three times the median income in Wisconsin, and criticisms began to flow Duffy's way. Here's a one-minute clip, excerpted from roughly 45 minutes of video of the public Duffy townhall, that the Polk County GOP doesn't want anyone to see."
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Congressman Wants YouTube Video Covered Up

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  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:40PM (#35679820) Homepage Journal

    ... champion of traditional American values like free speech and personal responsibility!

    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:44PM (#35679866) Homepage Journal

      Even though I personally think the Republican party is worse there is little integrity from any political party right now. They are for openness until it runs against their own interests then they are against it. They want cuts until it hurts their re-election in their district. They will take any side they are paid to take. Our system has totally broken down and is beginning to resemble the systems that people in the middle east are currently protesting about. It's very sad... the whole thing is going to hell.

      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:55PM (#35680020) Homepage Journal

        The Democrats have done plenty of nasty stuff, to be sure, but I honestly can't think of anything they've done lately, all on their own, that's so blatantly anti-American as this. It's not Duffy's statement itself that gets me, as dumb as it is, as the attempt to use legal means to remove information that's already been deliberately released to the public, which is the exact definition of censorship. The Wikileaks frenzy is similar, but that's a bipartisan madness. This one is all on the Republicans.

        • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:54PM (#35680860)

          The Democrats have done plenty of nasty stuff, to be sure, but I honestly can't think of anything they've done lately, all on their own, that's so blatantly anti-American as this.

          I'm an independent. I hate Republicans for acting like Republicans and I hate Democrats for acting like Republicans. The stuff I'm furious at Obama for isn't all left and socialist; I'm furious at him for all the Bush league stuff he's doing. Unitary executive, expanded wars, expanded deficits, passionate fellation of big business interests, disregard for civil liberties, the plight of the common American, and all the goddamn promises he made when was running for office.

          American People Hire High-Powered Lobbyist To Push Interests In Congress
          OCTOBER 6, 2010 | ISSUE 46â40

          Americans hope lobbyist Jack Weldon will finally give them a voice in Washington.

          WASHINGTONâ"Citing a desire to gain influence in Washington, the American people confirmed Friday that they have hired high-powered D.C. lobbyist Jack Weldon of the firm Patton Boggs to help advance their agenda in Congress.

          Known among Beltway insiders for his ability to sway public policy on behalf of massive corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, and AT&T, Weldon, 53, is expected to use his vast network of political connections to give his new client a voice in the legislative process.

          Weldon is reportedly charging the American people $795 an hour.

          "Unlike R.J. Reynolds, Pfizer, or Bank of America, the U.S. populace lacks the access to public officials required to further its legislative goals," a statement from the nation read in part. "Jack Weldon gives us that access."

          "His daily presence in the Capitol will ensure the American people finally get a seat at the table," the statement continued. "And it will allow him to advance our message that everyone, including Americans, deserves to be represented in Washington."

          Enlarge Image

          Weldon says he hopes to spin the American public, above, as a group worth Congress' time.

          The 310-million-member group said it will rely on Weldon's considerable clout to ensure its concerns are taken into account when Congress addresses issues such as education, immigration, national security, health care, transportation, the economy, affordable college tuition, infrastructure, jobs, equal rights, taxes, Social Security, the environment, housing, the national debt, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, nutrition, imports, exports, foreign relations, the arts, and crime.

          Sources confirmed that Weldon is already scheduled to have drinks Monday with several members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss saving the middle class.

          "If you have a problem, say, with America's atrocious treatment of its veterans, you can't just pick up a phone and call your local congressman," Weldon told reporters from his office on K Street Monday. "You need someone on the inside who understands how democracy works; someone who knows how to grease the wheels a little."

          Weldon said that after successfully advocating on behalf of Goldman Sachs and BP, he is relishing the opportunity to lobby for the American people, calling it the "challenge of a lifetime." The veteran D.C. power player admitted that his new client is at a disadvantage because it lacks the money and power of other groups.

          "The goal is to make it seem politically advantageous for legislators to keep the American people in mind when making laws," Weldon said. "Lawmakers are going to ask me, 'Why should I care about the American people? What's in it for me?' And it will be up to me and my team to find some reason why they should consider putting poverty and medical care for children on the legislative docket."

          "To be honest," Weldon added, "the American people have always been perceived as a little naÃve when it comes to their representative government. But having me on their side sends a clear message that they're finally serious and want to play ba

        • by Greyfox (87712)
          They're all pretty much the same, just protecting their position of privilege and generally being incompetent at the jobs they were hired to do. They have the sweetest possible health plan, six digit salaries most Americans will never see, automatic raises every year, a goddamn concrete bunker somewhere in case a nuclear war or zombie invasion ever happens and they're completely worthless when it comes to actually showing leadership and running the country. Meanwhile, many of them are on record as saying un
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DriedClexler (814907)

        I agree. Someone please tell me: which is the anti-bailout party? Which one says, "Yes, I'm willing to risk a supposed economic upheaval rather than be perpetually held hostage to plutocratic, incompetent banks that want to keep our society in the dark ages of entrepreneurship by having privileged access to ultra-cheap loans and government backstops." (And most Americans would be with such a party that said as much.)

        Bush started the bailouts and Obama went right along and continued the same policy. Appa

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:55PM (#35680010) Homepage Journal

      ... champion of traditional American values like free speech and personal responsibility!

      The difference between the Democrats and Republicans - In a nutshell:

      When the Democrats do something stupid, it's because it's expected from the diverse, working class roots they largely come from.

      When the Republicans do something stupid, they deny it happened at all and is a liberal conspiracy.

      • This is the great story here, for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it, is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.

        -Hillary Clinton, 1998, talking about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

        Uh, no, Hillary, your husband simply wanted to bang women that weren't you.

        • This is the great story here, for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it, is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.

          -Hillary Clinton, 1998, talking about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

          Uh, no, Hillary, your husband simply wanted to bang women that weren't you.

          I guess you forgot the whole 7 years of Whitewater investigations, which the right wingers immediately lost interest in the moment they found something else they could impeach him for.

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:41PM (#35679834) Homepage

    It's OK if you use FOIA to threaten academics, but it's not OK if the GOP gets caught with their pants down?

  • republicans (Score:4, Interesting)

    by polar red (215081) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:45PM (#35679874)

    maybe the GOP should let the top 10% income pay even less taxes ?

  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:45PM (#35679878) Homepage

    There's currently a charitable food and clothing drive designed to assist our indigent struggling Republican Senator.

    WON'T YOU PLEASE HELP!

    http://upt.org/misc/SeanDuffyCharity.jpg [upt.org]

  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:47PM (#35679908)
    isn't video/audio of a public servant saying/doing something automagically made public domain?
    • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:51PM (#35679954) Journal

      Nope. Copyright still belongs to the person who made the recording. (The Zapruder film, for instance, which showed the assassination of President Kennedy is owned by the Zapruder family.) However, there is a pretty good case for fair use in this case, especially since this Duffy video is being used for news reporting/commentary purposes.

  • 7 kids? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @01:50PM (#35679940) Homepage Journal

    Having 7 kids without the way to pay for them is living outside of your means.

    Isn't that what the GOP hates so much? Why is it so righteous to have so many kids? It's not. It's as bad as the welfare mom that has a Cadillac.

    • Didn't you hear from all the bible-thumping god-fearing right-wing Republican idiots? Birth control is a sin!

    • Re:7 kids? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:43PM (#35680708)
      Uh, old Cadillacs are dirt cheap. You can pick one up for around $500. Turns out nobody wants an old, beat-up luxury car.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867)

      Why is it so righteous to have so many kids

      It's because he's white silly. Having too many kids and not being able to pay for them is only bad if you're a minority!

      Oh and look I don't even have to wait for a lulz-packed response, look at this gem:

      http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2063208&cid=35680422 [slashdot.org]

      Straight from the horse's mouth.

    • Also, having to maintain two houses is living outside your means. Congress members usually have to maintain their home in-state, and also find a place to live inside DC when Congress is in session.

      Considering he was already making $150k before being elected, the bump to 175 isn't a whole lot. He's spending more than he needs to, certainly, with a 5-acre house and another vacation home.

      Here's the take-away. He probably is struggling, but he also represents the typical American more than any other Congress

      • by Roogna (9643) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @03:39PM (#35681584)

        And that is probably half the problem right there. Perhaps instead all members of congress/senate/president should be forced to have -no- salary and live in taxpayer provided dorm housing w/ meals. With all upgrades to housing and/or meal plans must be voted on on the national level by the registered voting public -not- by the members of congress themselves.

        Perhaps if it was a actual sacrifice to serve your country in that particular capacity again we might get some people who are half decent running.

        Ahh so much for wishful thinking...

      • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @03:52PM (#35681800) Journal

        It's called rent. And for $1000/mo ($12k/yr) he can easily rent a studio apt in DC that he'll use less than 30 weeks a year (congress has about 22-24 weeks of recess each year). It may even be deductible as a business expense. So for that $25,000, he's got to shell out $12,000 in rent and $3k in utilities.

  • Mortgage (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:35PM (#35680540)

    In the distinguished and comely congressperson's defense, no matter how much money you're making, all you really need to do to cripple yourself financially is buy a house. My wife and I make decent money and went ahead and purchased a small but expensive (well...it *was* expensive...) home in a quiet neighborhood with a tennis club we could walk to. We have extra income still, but we think of how much more of it we might have if our monthly bills for the house hadn't tripled compared to the last house we owned. But it's a choice, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. Same as this guy in the article.

  • "The Examiner reports that Wisconsin Republicans claim that no one else can republish a video of United States Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) complaining about how he is 'struggling' to get by on his $174,000 salary without their permission, even though they originally released the video on YouTube for the whole world to see

    Well, I have to say the GOP may have a case here. Releasing it on You Tube 'for the whole world to see' does not mean giving up their rights under copyright. (Yes, there are fair use exceptions - but political attacks don't fall under fair use.)

    • by Catbeller (118204)

      Reporting news is fair use. And reporting his actual words is not a political attack. Any damage done to him is done by his own mouth, not by the reportage. He said he was barely capable of surviving on his salary and benefits, which easily top 200K a year. He wants to cut the pay and compensation of teachers, who make 50-60K a year at most, calling them overpaid spendthrifts and cheats. That is NEWS. He is a blatant hypocrite by word and deed. And a destructive one - he is directly responsible for the dest

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:55PM (#35680868)

    Of course, you can criticize the party....once.

    Welcome to the new conservative USSA, now with exciting new political correctness!

  • I mean, teachers work 6 hour days for 180 days a year, right? For less than 4x a teacher's salary, the WI legislature is in session for almost 60 days (http://legis.wisconsin.gov/leginfo/session.htm) every single year. I don't know how he ever has a chance to spend time with his family.

    • My bad - he's a US rep - they are in session almost 30 weeks a year - that's closer to 150 days a year. Still, whatever you do, don't throw me into that briar patch.

  • Out of contextish (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 31, 2011 @04:07PM (#35681996)

    The guy isn't saying hes struggling on his 174k salary, the guy just started getting this level of pay, and if you watch the video hes saying hes only had one paycheck at this salary so far and hes still got alot of debt and what not from his education/family situation. He says once he gets more paychecks he'll probably be doing alot better.

    Can we not do the same type of stupid out of context/deliberate misinterpretation slanderous crap that everyone with a brain is already really tired of?

    People talking about hypocrisy and integrity about this story are just as bad as the people they are complaining about.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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