Thursday, January 10, 2019

To be fair, Liz Cheney never said she'd drain the swamp

As the government shutdown moved through its 19th day, Liz Cheney’s 2020 campaign brochure appeared in every mailbox in Wyoming. While 800,000 federal employees remained uncertain about whether they would see a paycheck any time soon, there it was.

Liz Cheney made a big deal of asking that her congressional pay be suspended during the government shutdown. Review her Financial Disclosure Report at and ask why an elected official with that much personal wealth is drawing a taxpayer-subsidized paycheck in the first place.  

This multi-millionaire wants us to think she is making a sacrifice akin to that of federal workers whose lives she and her colleagues have thrown into disarray. Interestingly, her sacrifice doesn’t extend to paying for her own campaign material.

The glossy, multi-color tri-fold brochure was, it said in the tiniest print known to humankind, paid for by you and me. “This mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

At the same time the government has no money to pay workers who still have to show up for every shift, it had the funds necessary to pay for Liz’s fancy campaign brochure.

In fairness, the taxpayers should be proud of this piece of work. It is beautifully laid out with a picture of the mountains on one side and an “Official White House Photo” on the inside. It’s a photo of President Trump at his uniquely empty desk, scribbling his signature on a piece of paper while surrounded by adoring lawmakers.

Blue as the Wyoming sky background to a lengthy text tells us how great she is.

There is even a card, perforated around the edges so you can answer her poll questions and return it. I couldn’t help but note the brochure advertises Liz’s “Telephone Town Halls.” That’s the mechanism Liz uses to avoid actual contact with voters who may disagree with her. If you’ve ever taken part in one, you know the time is taken up with fawning supporters telling them how great they are and never is heard a discouraging word.

In any event, Liz’s brochure gives you an opportunity to join the so-called Telephone Town Hall. Just sign your name on the dotted line and send the card back to her. But, you, unlike Liz, will have to pay for the postage out of your own pocket.

I suppose Liz will take umbrage at the document being called “a campaign brochure.” Most politicians who abuse taxpayers take umbrage when we take notice. But we know a campaign brochure when we see it, and that is exactly what this is.

It’s Washington at its usual. They would much rather use your money than their own. And it’s not like Liz doesn’t have enough campaign cash on hand in addition to her personal stash to pick up the tab for this blatant campaign tool.

To be fair, no one ever heard Liz Cheney promise to drain the swamp and clean up Washington’s “politics as usual.”

Her final 2018 campaign spending report discloses she raised $858,530 in 2017-1018. Inexplicably for a candidate who was virtually unopposed, she spent $695,260 of that. At the end of the day, she had a surplus of nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

These reports tell voters more about Liz Cheney than this fancy brochure. For example, of all thousands of dollars she raised, 1.04 percent came from small donors defined as giving $200 or less. But, 36.95 % came from “Large Individual Contributions” and 57.88% from Political Action Committees.

Inasmuch as the campaign brochure she mailed to us expends a great deal of space touting all she’s done for the oil and gas boys who gave her $69,000, and wealthy individuals who benefited most from the Cheney-Trump tax cuts, it would not have been inappropriate for her to spend some of their money or her own on the document rather than stiffing us with the whole bill.

At the very least, she could have charged it to the people of her home state…Virginia.

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