Badlands Journal editorial board
"You can buy half the town for $420,000," said Adam Guthrie, chairman of the county Board of Equalization and the only licensed real estate appraiser in Prescott. -- Marcus Stern, ProPublica, Sept. 22, 2009
Rep. Mike Ross, Blue Dog-AR, is the chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition Healthcare Task Force, which also includes two Californians, representatives Mike Thompson and Loretta Sanchez. Ross is also accused of having taken bribes from a drug-store chain as part of the sale of a pharmacy he and his wife owned in his district.
This story is of interest to Merced and the San Joaquin Valley because Valley representatives Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa are Blue Dogs. Former Rep. Gary Condit, D- Ceres, was a founder of this group of Boll Weavil Democrats, created when the Republicans took over the Congress in 1994 in the rightwing counter-revolution.
Like Ross' Arkansas district, as we know, Cardoza's and Costa's districts are chronically low-income, high- unemployment districts, where, due to the fiscal collapse of the state, public medical services are being cut back daily. They are also districts, again as we have recently seen, whose politicians are bought and paid for by large landowners at home and lobbyists in Washington. Costa has at least taken a position against a public option for healthcare insurance. Cardoza continues to ride the fence, with palms outstretched to both sides for "balance".
The free market in votes by members of Congress is on full display in the debate on healthcare reform. Read More »