Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hoekstra Misses Insurance Antitrust Repeal Vote to Campaign

Before the Republicans get their panties all in a bunch here, I'm sure the Democrats do this as well - but the irony on this vote was all too funny to just let this slide by unmentioned.

Pete Hoekstra was one of eight US House members to miss the vote to repeal insurance industry antitrust exemption, a move that, of course, has overwhelming bipartisan support. Via Kos:

By a vote of 406-19, the House passed the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act (HR 4626), introduced by Reps. Tom Perriello (D-VA) and Betsy Markey (D-CO). This bill is designed to restore competition and transparency to the health insurance market – by repealing the blanket antitrust exemption afforded to health insurance companies by the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. Under this legislation, health insurers will no longer be shielded from legal accountability for price fixing, dividing up territories among themselves, sabotaging their competitors in order to gain monopoly power, and other such anti-competitive practices....

Where was Twitter Pete today? Along with Mike Cox, he was getting paid to campaign in Grand Rapids, calling for unionized state employees to join the race to the bottom...

Two Republican candidates for governor -- state Attorney General Mike Cox and U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra -- said today that unionized state workers, rather than getting raises, should take pay cuts like many have in the private sector.

"There ought to be a sense of shared sacrifice," Cox said.

The candidates also said the state's tax structures should be revised to attract businesses and jobs. Hoekstra said taxes and government policies "stifle investment, stifle entrepreneurs."

They spoke at a conference of Michigan Association of Insurance Agents at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Working people should sacrifice, but business shouldn't have to follow regulations or pay taxes. Seems to be the prominent theme this year from the Republican gubernatorial candidates. They don't even make it a pretense anymore that this will trickle down to regular folk - they are all about serving business needs only. Besides the irony of missing an insurance industry vote to campaign in front of insurance agents, you have the added bonus of Hoeskstra, on salary mind you, missing work today to apply for his next job - which he then tells us will consist of demanding that other people take a pay cut.

Don't know whether to laugh or cry at these guys anymore, but I do know one thing - I don't want to pay them to campaign. Arrange these appearances outside of working hours, please. I'm sure the private sector frowns on paying its employees to look for another job during a work day, don't they?

Obviously, when it comes to Cox and Hoekstra on the campaign trail though, "sacrifice" is for other people, and stealing from your employer, in this case the taxpayer, is OK If You're A Republican Candidate for office.