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Grassley becomes hypocrite as he blasts costs to taxpayers for judicial conference in Maui

Editorial by Matt Marquardt –

Charles Grassley, Iowa’s respected long-time Senator, is talking out of both sides of his mouth today.

Grassley blasted the costs to the taxpayers for a 9th Circuit Judicial Conference in Maui on his website, saying, “the taxpayer-funded conference… features opportunities for numerous recreational activities not related to any official judicial business, and that the expense of travel and accommodations will be significant.”

He goes on to slam the fact that the court neglected to use other forms of technology instead of taking the trip. “Technology is so advanced that people are earning college degrees online and soldiers serving halfway across the world use Skype with their families at home,” Grassley said. “Likewise, a judicial circuit court should be capable of using technology to share information without requiring a trip to an island paradise.  It’s especially tone-deaf to plan a pricey conference.”

These words come only a few months after Grassley publicly backed the need for local governments to team up with their Chamber of Commerce outfits for lavish trips to Washington, D.C., for an audience with him.

Grassley told the Globe Gazette in a March 8, 2012 story that the chamber trips were necessary and that “There’s no substitute for talking with us face to face,” in the nation’s capitol.

I guess they don’t have Skype in Washington.

It was also written in the Globe that Grassley mocked the use of technology in order to skip face to face meetings.  “Grassley said that kind of working relationship can’t be done in an email or telephone call or when senators come home to hold town meetings and attend events,” it was written in the Globe.

Senator, waste doesn’t just occur at the Federal level, it has and is happening right now at the local level as well, right here in Mason City, and you are on the record standing for it.  In case you or your staff should happen to read this story, here is the NIT editorial I wrote about the wasteful trip the Mason City Chamber of Commerce took our Mayor, City Administrator, County Supervisor, and others, on earlier this year.  That story outlines the costs North Iowans had to pay just so our local leaders could come out and sit in your office, all the while taking orders from the Chamber of Commerce, a right-wing group notorious for hating the common person.

Senator, this is a shameful situation, and I would hope you would recognize that your criticism of the court’s trip to Maui is similar to this chamber-sponsored trip for our local leaders.  One would hope that you would criticize both trips for what they are: A wasteful joke on the taxpayers.

Your local government abandoned you last March and went to work for the Chamber of Commerce.  They were told who to meet with and how to dress.

They stood in hallways and sat in saloons and restaurants for hours.

North Iowa taxpayers paid for it.

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