WNY’s Enemy Within
Brian Higgins has been hailed in Buffalo for his uncanny ability to score
federal cash for Western New York. Four out of the five most recent press
releases visible from his homepage are about pork for WNY (“Higgins Announces
$4 Million More for Defense Projects,” “Higgins Announces $6 Million in Federal
Funding for Electronic Warfare Training Simulators,” “Higgins Announces $500,000
for Main Street Bridge Design,” “Higgins Secures $100,000 for Brush Mountain
Park”). All of this money is surely a boon for the local economy, but how
is a first-term congressman bringing it down?
selling his votes. At least that’s what we hope it is, because otherwise he’s
just an ass.
This month alone,
Higgins voted to increase fines for broadcast indecency tenfold, so that now,
theoretically, a single poop joke can get a radio or TV show fined $325,000
(because, after all, a society crumbles when its people are allowed to talk
openly about their lower bodies). And he voted against net neutrality.
some confusion regarding net neutrality, as the corporate interests involved
have utilized general public distrust of government regulation to spread misinformation
about it. But all net neutrality would do is keep the internet as it is, an
equal-opportunity medium. The ease with which all can access any website has
made the internet broadly diverse in a way that the conglomerate-dominated
formats of television and radio cannot be. But Higgins voted against it, and
against 78% of his fellow Democrats in the process. The bill passed in the
House (luckily its prospects in the Senate are not very good). So, if he’s
not selling his votes, Brian Higgins thinks the internet would be better if
it worked more like cable TV. Anyone else feel that way?
As many know
by now, these are not isolated incidents for Higgins, who has voted with the
Republican majority and against the Democrats on many bills, ranging from
vital to frivolous. He voted for the vile Bankruptcy bill. He voted for the
pointless flag-burning amendment. He voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act.
He voted yes on the ludicrously extralegal Terri Schiavo legislation. It’s
obvious by now that if the Democrats want to win back a majority of House
seats this election season, they had better win two extra to counteract Higgins’
As a fundraising
politician, Higgins is proving quite adept. But as a representative of the
political intent of those who voted him into office, he’s a cruel joke. Now,
with his next election on the way, we’re caught in the Democratic Leadership
Council’s triangulation trap—vote for more of this shameless betrayal, or
even worse, for a Republican. Higgins is a textbook example of how the two-party
system robs voters of the ability to adequately express their will.
Well, we’re not
standing for it. We sure hope there’s a third choice for Higgins’ seat this
November, because we’re not voting for him. But hey, he sure can bring home
the bacon, huh? Just like Tom Reynolds.