Radical Republican Ernie Scott Garrett has taken an unusual step; he's paid one of his Capitol Hill interns. Michael J. Inganamort, III was a rising senior at American University in Washington, D.C. when he received a congressional internship on Capitol Hill during the summer of 2005.
Unlike most internships, this one was paid. It was paid to the tune of $2,201.38 over a seven week period. In fact, as anyone who's ever interned in a congressional office knows, paid internships in a Capitol Hill office are almost unheard of, and almost never go to someone who is not a graduate or law student, let alone a college student.
So what's so special about Michael J. Inganamort, III. His father, Michael J. Inganamort, Jr., contributed $500 to Scott Garrett's campaign for Congress in 2004. And between 2002 and 2006, Michael J. Inganamort, Sr., Michael's grandfather, contributed $3,000 to Scott Garrett's campaigns.
Scott Garrett had other interns during this period. Michael J. Inganamort, III was the only one who was paid.
So why is this important? Scott Garrett takes campaign contributions from contributors and then gives their progeny a cushy Capitol Hill internship with some money to go with it. Well, there's one thing that makes this absurd. This is taxpayer money. And we all know how Scott Garrett feels about taxpayer dollars.
Garrett voted against Hurricane Katrina aid to victims devastated by the disaster. He was one of eleven in the House of Representatives out of 435 to vote against it.
Garrett voted against extending unemployment benefits to those on the unemployment rolls. He was one of four out of 435 in the House of Representatives to do that; it was his first vote in the House too.
And why does he hate helping poor people, and middle class families struggling from capricious natural disasters and the whims of unemployment?
On Garrett's reelection website, he notes that he has "been an outspoken advocate for fiscal restraint, having consistently called for more sanity and accountability in government spending." I guess paying off your campaign contributors with taxpayer money is pretty sane and accountable.
He goes on to say that "the Federal government must stop taking irresponsible liberties with your hard-earned tax dollars." Spending that $2,201.38 on education or health care is far less responsible than giving it to a contributor's kid. Boy, if only we could pay every silver spoon fed child some hard-earned dollars, we could just eliminate Social Security.
Garrett also makes clear that "as [our] Representative in Congress, [he] will continue to work for spending restraint and a shift it priorities away from the federal budget and back to the family budget." Clearly the family budget he's talking about is the Inganamorts' budget. At least he's looking out for some of his constituents.
Scott Garrett is a disgrace. Let's elect a real Representative.