Under a little pressure, Republicans are letting their smug freak flag fly.
So it was that at a town hall in Jay, Oklahoma, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) said the taxes his companies have paid pay his salary, not the taxpayers in the audience. “You say you pay for me to do this? That’s bullcrap!”
In fact, this is a “service,” the Republican told the audience. This is not how he makes his living.
Here’s video of the event posted to Facebook, first published nationally by The Hill:
Rep. Markwayne Mullin went off on his constituents at a recent town hall, letting them know that he doesn’t work for them. He works for himself, because he pays his own salary with the taxes he paid before he got into office.
“I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got here and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go.”
The crowd wasn’t buying it, so Mullin tried to prove his superiority by claiming that even though he takes that salary, this isn’t really his job. It’s not how he makes a living. “I’m just saying, this is a service for me, not a career, and I thank God this is not how I make my living.”
The audience wasn’t impressed.
This is the same Representative who blamed the Cherokee Nation for canceling a town hall just 15 minutes before it was to begin, citing threats and yet no threats were brought up by Mullin’s security team.
His Chief of Staff released a statement citing “safety concerns published in the Tahlequah Daily Press, “Due to safety concerns, tonight’s town hall in Tahlequah was cancelled. Over the past few weeks, we have seen an escalation of protesters at congressional town halls across the nation. We have even seen them right here in the Second District. I have continued to hold town halls and answer questions from constituents across the district, including those who have been vocal in their disapproval of my positions. It is my intent to provide a safe environment for all attendees which is why we have established protocols at each of our town halls to ensure each person’s voice can be heard. Despite working with the venue, we could not reach an agreement using our protocols that guaranteed the safety of everyone, so I chose to cancel the town hall after much consideration. As soon as we can secure a new venue and date, we will reschedule the town hall in Tahlequah, OK.”
The concern seemed to be about letting people with squares of paper in, and signs. These are the “safety” concerns for the Republican. Sean Rowley in the Tahlequah Daily Press quoted Sherry Wallis, a member of Cherokee County Indivisible, as saying that the Marshal Service told them, “They indicated to us that Mullin’s office called the day before and said they didn’t want any signs or any red or green paper.”
Captain Danny Tanner said that he had heard nothing about threats and he was in constant contact with Mullin’s security team until the event was canceled. Furthermore, “We have never had an event cancelled due to security concerns. We had one cancellation due to weather, but never for safety until this one.”
Well, Mullin doesn’t need to meet with you people anyway, because ignoring you is a service he provides. Sure, you’re paying for it, and it’s technically his job, but he feels entitled to ignore that because he paid taxes previously. Following this logic, all of us who pay taxes are now entitled to be paid by the taxpayers to do nothing.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.