Daily Caller, the gay-hating, climate-change denying website published by Swanson Foods heir Tucker Carlson, conducted a non-scientific (naturally) survey of House members asking if whether they would be willing to forgo their salaries while the government was shut down.
Result were skewed to make Democrats look feckless (naturally!), even though no Democrats voted to shut down the government. The Daily Calling reporting also produced a couple of unintentional bloopers, however — one that made a North Carolina tea bagger look like a wanton hypocrite and another that exposed the Daily Caller’s apparently casual approach to fact checking and out-of-date knowledge of who actually serves in the 113th Congress.
The North Carolina tea bagger was Rep. Rene Ellmers, a nurse by profession who won election in 2010 based on her opposition to the Affordable Care Act (naturally!). Her response was priceless: “That’s honorable for those individuals who are doing that, but I need my paycheck.” Rep. Ellmers presumably believes that the 800,000 military service personnel, NIH cancer researchers, Headstart workers and other federal employees she voted to furlough do not “need” their paychecks.
But the Daily Caller’s blooper came when reporter Chris Moody, or someone working on his behest, queried Dan Lungren, former California attorney general, former chair of the House Administration Committee and possibly the second least popular Republican in California, below Rep. Darrell Issa and slightly ahead of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lungren gamely played along:
Dan Lungren, Republican of California
TheDC: “A couple members are talking about giving their salaries to charity in case of a shutdown. Do you have any plans like that?”
“God bless them!” Lungren said and walked away, ignoring a follow-up question asking if he would do the same.
Lungren no longer serves in Congress. He was defeated in 2012 by Rep. Ami Bera, a Democrat, who represents the 7th District.