Republicans, Tea Party — August 21, 2013 at 4:01 pm

UPDATED: Rep. Bentivolio rants about wasteful spending, wastes money on partisan attacks


You can’t have it both ways, Congressman.

UPDATED: Based on the tweet below from Matthew Chisholm, I have made updates to this post, including the headline, in an effort to be as fair as possible. However, questions remain unanswered by the Congressman’s office. If those are answered, I’ll update further.

At a Republican club meeting in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District this week, Congressman Kerry Bentivolio told attendees it would be a “dream come true” to impeach President Obama. In fact, he’s gone so far as to call lawyers into his office to discuss it.

According to Politico, here’s what Rep. Bentivolio had to say:

I went back to my office and I have had lawyers come in, and these are lawyers, well — Ph.D.s in history — I said, ‘Tell me how I can impeach the president of the United States. What evidence do you have?’ You’ve got to have the evidence.

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to impeach, so technically Rep. Bentivolio is allowed to discuss this in his Congressional offices — on the taxpayer’s dime. [Update] But does that really serve to represent the best interests of the Congressman’s constituents — especially if this meeting took place during working hours when the Congressman is paid to serve the people he was elected to represent?

Considering that he devoted a fair amount of his address to the Republican club ranting about wasteful government spending, Rep. Bentivolio has a lot of nerve wasting the taxpayers’ dollars on what amounts to unfounded witch hunts.

During the same presentation, he bragged about how he was “enjoying going after the IRS” and insisted the ongoing investigation into Benghazi was yielding good information although, of course, he couldn’t provide details. He also boasted about the “success of the sequester” in cutting spending (forget about all those people it put out of work, on furlough).

I put a call in to the Congressman’s office to ask if he or someone on his communications staff would like to comment on the use of taxpayer dollars to investigate impeachment, if the meetings were in fact held at the Congressman’s office in D.C. or Michigan. If I hear back, I’ll update this post. UPDATE: Right after posting this, I saw a tweet to me from Matthew Chisholm, who I was told is the Congressman’s Communications Director by the person who answered the phone in his D.C. office. Chisholm’s tweet said, “He did not use the taxpayers dime” in response to a tweet I posted earlier raising that question. I’ve asked for clarification and will update further if I get a response.

In the meantime, here’s what Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Party Chair, had to say about Rep. Bentivolio’s dream of impeachment.

Rep. Bentivolio showed that he’d rather wage tired ideological political battles and give us more Washington dysfunction than do anything to create jobs or focus on Michigan’s middle class. Bentivolio can try to distract from what he said, but the fact remains that he’s been nothing more than a rubber stamp for an extreme agenda that favors the wealthy and well-connected over Michigan’s middle-class families.

Bentivolio’s extremist record shows he’ll do whatever he can to avoid working together to get things done for his constituents. This outrageous statement is just another sign he’s not fit to serve – because he’d rather make inflammatory statements than drop his support for out-of-touch Republican proposals that hurt the middle class.

Rep. Bentivolio has supported legislation that would raise Medicare costs on Michigan seniors while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Oh, and he’s on the “let’s defund Obamacare” bandwagon. So far, the U.S. House’s 40 failed attempts at repeal have cost taxpayers an estimated $54 million.

Are you a fiscal conservative or not, Congressman Bentivolio? If you’re only worried about spending money when it’s an issue you want to raise a ruckus about to fight with President Obama or the Democrats, I’m pretty sure that’s called being a hypocrite.

You can watch the video of Rep. Bentivolio’s entire presentation below. Unless you’re a Republican constituent, it’s probably your only chance to see him speak while he’s in the district this month. He still has not announced any public events on his website or to constituents.