Tim Huelskamp only listens to Tim Huelskamp
Last week, Congressman Tim Huelskamp (KS-1) went on record as saying that the Pope should stick to the “non-negotiables like abortion, gay marriage and the like”. This is an ironic turnabout for the Kansas Congressman who only last spring demanded that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts “Follow his Catholic Doctrine” when making rulings in the highest court in the land. A devout Catholic such as Huelskamp is well aware that Catholic Doctrine dictates that the Holy Father is both infallible and is the chief representative of God Almighty. To suggest that the Pope is wrong or to limit his speech to topics the Congressman is more comfortable with strikes firmly in the face of Catholic Doctrine and respect for the Holy Father. This disrespect is ironic since prior to serving his entire adult life in political office, Huelskamp studied to become a member of the clergy, having attended seminary in New Mexico after high school. He never became ordained however, having been asked to leave in his second year of attendance. Huelskamp went even further in his critique of the Holy See by saying that “there is not a Catholic (solution for hunger and poverty) contrary to the arguments of certain economists that work at the Vatican.”
This should come as no surprise to many Kansas voters who have watched their congressman repeatedly get into confrontations and ultimately lose credibility and high profile positions. He was summarily ejected from the House Agriculture committee during his first term, a seat which has forever been occupied by the representative from the Big First due to his behavior on the committee. While he brags to constituents incessantly that it was a decision made by Speaker of the House John Boehner, it is common knowledge on the Hill that every sitting member on that committee demanded Huelskamp’s ouster because he lacked the ability to listen to other members and behave in a manner appropriate to a U.S. House committee. Ultimately, Speaker Boehner had very little to do with the action which was decided by the Republican House Steering Committee. Huelskamp also lost his seat on the House Budget Committee, a very prestigious and influential committee for a freshman congressman. This wasn’t even Huelskamp’s first round of committee ejections. He lost several key committees while serving in the Kansas Senate for exactly the same behavior. Huelskamp is quite proud of the fact that “many folks in D.C. don’t want me there”, something that most colleagues in Topeka tend to agree with.
In ag circles, Huelskamp is famous for making enemies and refusing to listen to others who may have more knowledge on policy. Shortly after winning the House seat, Huelskamp waged a very public attack on Professor Barry Flinchbaugh, a K-State Professor Emeritus, author of multiple Federal Farm Bills and America’s leading authority on Ag policy. Flinchbaugh was given notice that his days of influence were officially over and that he had no voice in Huelskamp’s policy. He also had a very aggressive battle with leadership in the Kansas Livestock Association and last year was officially un-endorsed by the Kansas Farm Bureau, something which has never happened to an incumbent congressman. He even got into a very public fight with the CEO of one of his district’s largest ethanol processors over support and policy matters and was quoted as saying, “I’ll make you pay when I get back to D.C.”
Huelskamp famously brags that he doesn’t work for anyone in Washington D.C., he works for hard-working Kansans, which begs the question: Which Kansans? Certainly not the farmers. He also is noteworthy for his record number of Kansas town hall meetings, over 280 at last count. What Kansans ought to know though, is that they pay for each and every one of those meetings. Huelskamp receives over $1.4 Million dollars annually, in addition to his $174,000 salary, in a Member Representation Allowance. The majority of this money goes to flight coupons to and from D.C. every Thursday night and Monday morning. It also pays for travel expenses and refreshments that Huelskamp provides at these sparsely attended events. Anyone attending is confronted at the door by young staffers collecting personal contact information so that they can be solicited for donations weekly and bombarded by robo-calls for the Congressman’s reelection. These meetings work far better as campaign events in that no new topics seem to ever be discussed other than how corrupt Washington is and how our Congressman is the only honest member on Capitol Hill fighting for liberty. To date, Congressman Huelskamp has cost taxpayers well over $6 Million in ‘Representation’ money and this does not include his six-figure salary, the ObamaCare coverage his family currently has, the cost of his U.S. House access nor the million’s raised and spent by the Congressman for re-election. It is well worth questioning if he’s worth the price tag considering the 3 term Congressman has neither been personally responsible for passing a single authored bill nor for repealing any others.
Now, for the our nation’s strongest defender of Religious Liberty, Faith and Family Values to be dismissive of His Holiness, the Pope, unquestionably the highest authority on the Catholic Faith, one must question whether Tim Huelskamp is capable of listening to anyone anywhere on anything.
Concerned voter and practicing Catholic.