How Local is Local?

A long, long, time ago Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil, remarked… “all politics is local.” Now, as the good, God fearing Liberal that I am, I hang on just about every word Ole Tip said. So when I hear that there is some $8.2 billion of “pork” in a $410 billion budget, I’m not troubled. I mean a few million dollars to investigate pig odor and manure removal doesn’t seem so important to me, but to the guy that lives around them, it’s a different story. Congressmen get elected based in part by what type of bacon they bring home to their district. So, if a few million goes to local pet projects, that’s fine. They all do it…..politics is local, remember.

But when Ms. Pelosi’s definition of local moves from helping the district, to helping the bedroom or the board room (or maybe in this case bored room, as I can’t imagine an evening with Ms. Pelosi being the romantic equivalent to a ride on Space Mountain), she has gone too far. It is as if I’m watching a rerun of that game show where Allen Ludden would give his panel a word in an envelope as an offstage voice would tell the viewers at home, “ the password is hypocrite.”

When the minimum wage act was passed, Ms. Pelosi, said “After nearly a decade, 15 million hard-working families will finally receive the pay raise they have deserved for so long. With the passage of this crucial legislation, we will reward work, paying America’s workers a decent wage so they may join in our nation’s prosperity.” This is nice, unless you happen to be one of those hard working American families who live in American Samoa, the only US Territory exempt from the minimum wage requirement, an addendum to the bill which Ms. Pelosi sponsored and endorsed.

You see, American Samoa is the largest producer of tuna fish for the Star-Kist Company. 75% of the workers in American Samoa work for Star-Kist. Star-Kist is headquartered in San Francisco. Star-Kist’s parent company, Del Monte foods, is a major contributor to Ms. Pelosi. To add to the questionable ethics, Paul Pelosi, Nancy’s husband, owns $17 million of Star-Kist stock. Even the most devout liberal has to be appalled at this. Lord knows I am.

Somehow, I don’t think this is what Ole Tip meant when he defined all politics as local. Local means bringing home a pet project that will benefit the district, not keepingthe corporate giant happy by keeping wages down. Nor is it defined as adding to the bottom line of hubby’s portfolio. Pelosi is a disgrace. She owes the workers of American Samoa an apology, and a more substantial apology than just a simple…“sorry Charlie”

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