Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
April 20-May 4, 2005 Issue #73
 As Seen on T.V.
Hollywood Egomaniac Threatens Beast Over Alleged "Need for Speed"
On The Campaign Trail with The Democrats
by Matt Taibbi
Primary Challenge Raises Secondary Concerns
by Allan Uthman
The Impossible Physics of Thomas Friedman's Brain
by Matt Taibbi
New Representative Jettisons Principles in Record Time
by Paul Fallon
The BEAST Investigates
A Totally Original Idea

by N. Sorrenti
BEAST Story and Clip on Celebrity Justice


Read Controversial List
Cover Page
Buffalo in Briefs
Separated At Birth
Blind Date Scenario
Kino Corner
Audio Files
NEW! Angry Voicemails
[SIC] - Your Letters
Advertiser Index
New Representative Jettisons Principles in Record Time
By Paul Fallon
Looking through the Buffalo News on Sunday I noticed a report about how our local representatives voted recently in Congress. I knew some Democrats had voted for the notoriously bad Bankruptcy Bill (pretty much the same one Bill Clinton vetoed), so I looked to see if any of the traitors were from around here. To my astonishment, Brian Higgins was listed as having voted with the Republicans.

This is a bill dedicated to giving aid and comfort to the credit card and banking industry at the expense of the ordinary person, who may have fallen seriously into debt because of catastrophic illness or an extended reserve deployment in the military. The only kinds of Democrats that vote for this sort of bill are phony androids like Joe Lieberman. I couldnít believe Higgins would do such a thing.

My initial thought was that it might have been a misprint, so I looked up the Congressional roll call on the official website. There was no mistake; he actually voted that way. This is horrible, I thought. How could he sell out the people that elected him so soon? Did it take only three months for Brian to turn from being a man of the people to being a bought-and-paid for political hack? Brian was supposed to be a guy we could count on in Washington to put the interests of the voter ahead of the special interests. What happened?

I was sure there was an explanation. Maybe he made a mistake in casting his vote. Heís a rookie, for Christís sake! Maybe the sun got in his eyes and he pushed the wrong button. I figured Iíd better call his office and try to get to the bottom of this.

I looked up Congressman Higginsí official website and got the local number. It was Sunday evening, so I figured I would call and leave a message. To my surprise, a woman answered the phone. I told her who I was, that I was with a Buffalo paper called The Beast, and that our readers and I wanted to know how the Congressman could have voted for this horrible bill. "How," I asked "could he vote for a bill that was so blatantly directed at hurting the little guy and protecting the financial interests of the banking industry and wealthy investors? What happened to the man of the people shtick?" The woman on the phone became a little indignant, saying, "itís no shtick; Iím one of his aides and Iím here working hard on a Sunday night. That should tell you something, that he has aides working so hard."

What I thought was that this stupid aide had a boss that takes her away from her family on Sunday night, but I said, "OK, maybe itís not a shtick, but this bill is awful. I would like someone to explain how he could do this." She took my information and said she would pass it along to the "appropriate person."

On Monday morning I was anxious to hear from Higginsí office, but as noon approached I had not heard anything from them. The woman I spoke to Sunday said Higgins would be in Washington on Monday, so I called his Washington office. I was connected to one of his aides, some public relations type by the name of Suzanne Anziska. I told her who I was and why I was calling and she promised to get back to me.

Tuesday morning I received the following email from Suzanne:

Congressman Higgins voted for bankruptcy reform that will better protect the vast majority of our nationís families by fairly holding men and women accountable for the debts they are legitimately able to pay, promoting financial literacy, closing loopholes enabling homestead provision abuse, and imposing new transparency requirements on credit card companies. This legislation represents years of fair and bipartisan negotiation, and will ensure that the our nationís debtors are not penalized by the few who manipulate the system for their own personal gain.

Suzanne Anziska

What a load of shit. I really donít know what I was expecting to get from his office. I was hoping to speak to the Congressman or at least get some press release they had worked up to answer questions about this bill, like they thought about it before the vote was cast. I did not expect to get what I got, some aide regurgitating a paragraph of lies and meaningless rhetoric that equates to squirting some whipped cream on a dog turd instead of scooping the damn thing.

If Higgins was going to screw the public for his own gain, he should at least have the decency to be honest about it. He should have had his aide tell the truth; at least I would have respected that on some level. Hereís how that email should have read:

Congressman Higgins voted for bankruptcy reform that will better protect his seat in Congress by insuring that the banking industry will aid him in filling his campaign coffers with money just as they have done with so many Senators and Congressmen for so very long. The industry is the number one giver of aid when it comes to campaign contributions, and Congressman Higgins doesnít want to miss out on that.

The Congressman realizes that the vast majority of our nationís families are deep in debt and even allowing a small portion of them off the hook would deprive the hugely profitable credit card industry from getting every last dime it can out of you suckers.

This bill helps the credit car industry in promoting financial literacy because when you are a slave to the credit card company you have been taught a very important lesson, which is that your life means nothing.

We could have closed loopholes to prevent the ultra-rich from abusing the Homestead Provision to protect their multi-million dollar homes, or prevented them from setting up expensive asset protection trusts, but we didnít, because rich people wouldnít like that. Instead, we made it harder for senior citizens living on a fixed income to protect their homes when faced with crushing debt.

By allowing credit card companies to say they are explaining the way your balance grows exponentially on your statement, it will make it easier for them to just hang up on you when you call asking why you keep paying but your balance never seems to go down.

This legislation took the credit card companies a lot of time and money to write, and if we didnít pass it then we might have to write our own bills. That would require learning about issues and doing work thereby depriving us of sufficient time for fundraising, campaigning, and golf.

This bill will ensure that the our nationís creditors are not penalized by the few who manipulate the system for their own personal gain, because thatís what credit card companies do and it was their idea first.

Suzanne Anziska

I guess its no big news flash to find out Brian Higgins is just another lying politician. We knew that his years in Albany had exposed him to the virus of political prostitution, but when we found out he sided with the credit card bastards, we were just caught a little off guard by the speed at which Higgins had dropped to his knees and started sucking once he got to Washington. Itís astonishing really; the man is a machine.

Of course, Higgins has to run again next year, and then weíll have the lovely choice of voting him out of office in favor of an even worse Republican whore, and this time it will probably be the intolerably dim-witted Jim Kelly. You know Republicans love dipshit sports stars, and they certainly have been grooming Kelly for something. You saw him at the Republican National Convention, acting like the choke-happy douchebag he is. Heís their dream candidate: Bushonian intellect, great name recognition and all he has to do is talk about the Bills, throw in a few sports metaphors and nobody will bother him about anything like issues.

So what did we expect from Higgins? Nothing, really. Heís just another bit player in the farce called American democracy. The system is not functioning, and too many are unable or unwilling to see that the people in office are tools, and whether a tool is a Democrat or a Republican is largely meaningless.

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