Steve Southerland's Fine Whine

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 26 2011 9:03 AM

Steve Southerland's Fine Whine

The freshman from Florida, who upset a Blue Dog Dem to win his seat, joins the pantheon of congressional bellyachers.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

He said his $174,000 salary is not so much, considering the hours a member of the House puts in, and that he had to sever ties with his family business in Panama City. Southerland also said there are no instant pensions or free health insurance, as some of his constituents often ask him about in Congress.
"And by the way, did I mention? They're shooting at us. There is law-enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?"
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There's more, including Southerland's Steinbeckian pining for his old funeral business.

Southerland said most people don't know that doctors, lawyers and financial advisers are required to sell their businesses, when elected to Congress, and that others are forbidden to have any contact with their private employers or businesses.
"They cut me off from my small business, a business that my grandfather started 60 years ago and that I'm the president of, that I've worked my career to build," he said. He added that "if you took the hours that I work and divided it into my pay," the $174,000 salary would not seem so high.

Is there any good answer to this nudge from a voter?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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