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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 10/ 8/2010

Fimian should try playing Connolly's game

By Paige Winfield Cunningham

Taking your opponent's words grossly out of context is par for the course in politics, but Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly pushed that tactic to the brink of absurdity this week.

The Democratic incumbent launched a new TV ad that takes literally a statement made by Republican challenger Keith Fimian -- one that Fimian says was merely a "quip" illustrating how members of Congress could be incentivized to balance the federal budget.

Speaking in front of a white board at George Mason University, Fimian said that congressional salaries should be cut to $50,000 until members balance the budget. He added that once that happens, he would want a $250,000 bonus.

In his ad, Connolly slams Fimian for supposedly supporting bonuses for members of Congress -- an allegation that seems absurd given that the context of Fimian's statement was a larger rant against government spending.

But if Fimian wants to play Connolly's little game, he could offer a good comeback.

If you take Fimian's "$250,000 bonus" suggestion literally, the government would have to dole out $109 million in bonuses to the 435 voting members of the House once they balance the budget.

But until that's accomplished, cutting members' $174,000 base salaries to $50,000 would save $54 million each year. Given that a Republican takeover of the House is likely and even greater legislative gridlock appears imminent, it seems extremely unlikely that a balanced budget will be approved within two years -- the amount of time necessary to make up that $109 million in bonus payouts.

Best case scenario, Congress does pass a balanced budget by 2012, and we save $54 million for each of two years, then pay it back in bonuses. Zero net impact.

Worst case scenario, the government saves $54 million annually as it continues spending beyond its means for years on end.

In answering Connolly, looks like Fimian can use the tactic of misapplied literalism, too, and look pretty good doing it.

Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | October 8, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia  
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Comments

Keith Fimian is above this frey . . . matching records side-by-side, he's a successful businessman that knows how to create jobs.

Gerry Connolly is a career politian that never met a budget he couldn't bust.

Posted by: WeThePeopleofVirginia | October 9, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Fimian is too much of a gentleman to run ads highlighting the extent to which his opponent was bought and paid for by extremist Muslim and Saudi organizations before he ever got to Congress. This year's campaign finance report will doubtless be similarly interesting. Nor will Fimian ask why the people at the Fairfax County Courthouse referred to Fimian's opponent as "the Mafia."

Posted by: LaLydia | October 9, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I thought Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida was the most embarrassing incompetent to try to lie and twist his way to reelection, but with this ad Gerald Connolly has proven me wrong. Gerald Connolly will be knocked off his self-designated "morally and ideologically superior" perch on Capitol Hill by a better man and a Virginia gentleman, Keith Fimian.

Posted by: mirabeaulamarr | October 9, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Connolly is nothing more than political scum. Every time I watch his ads on TV they make me want to work that much harder to see him removed from Congress. Those ads are so dishonest they are sickening. Connolly thinks he can make his constituents think he is a conservative?!?! What an idiot he must be. I hope to be able to call all his offices on November 3rd and leave a message for old Gerald that goes like this, "HaHaHaHaHah!!!!!!" then hang up. Losing a House race couldn't happen to a more deserving person. Maybe he can get a job licking Pelosi's boots clean when he loses. We all know he has had plenty of practice at it over the past 22 months.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | October 9, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

If you didn't know better you'd think Connolly was trying to run as a Republican. He calls himself an independent and doesn't mention his party in any ad. Only problem is he served as one of Pelosi's lap dogs voting for everything she told him to vote for. He tried to get in so many pictures with her that you'd think he was carry her purse.

Posted by: archie521 | October 9, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Connolly's voting record tells it all. He has voted for increased government spending time after time. He has ignored the will of the Virginia people and it is time for him to GO!! I look forward to voting for Keith Fimian in November. Praise the Lord the day is coming very soon.

Posted by: kdjinvirginia | October 9, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Connolly is another of those that signed some of the largest money bills in the nations history without reading them, he and others like him is the cause of the Trillion Dollar budget. If they sign anything put in front of them, why not just get a monkey and pay it banana's rather than a salary. Whether Democrat or Republican, if they don't read the proposed legislation get rid of them. "We have to sign it first before we can see what's in it." Anyone that subscribes to such drivel has to be kicked out of Congress.

Posted by: rnord | October 10, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Connolly can't win on the positions he's taken so he's decided that he needs to do or say anything to get elected, no matter how little it resembles the truth. From his perspective, the best interests of his constituents are served by him representing them. Generally this level of narcissistic behavior doesn't happen until Members of Congress have been in office for 10-12 years.

Posted by: ArlingtonRed | October 10, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The Fimian campaign is trying to pawn off this blogger as a "Washington Post Investigative Reporter" in its characterization of her attack on Gerry Connolly.

In fact, she works for a conservative-leaning private foundation that pays her salary and funds her blog.

Cunningham's opinion, further falsely amplified by Fimian's handlers, stands in stark contrast to the Post's own reporting, which validated Connolly's TV ad and caught Fimian's spokesman in an out-and-out lie.

Fimian's keeps compounding his string of lies on this issue as he tries to backtrack on his statement that congressmen should each get a $250,000 bonus if they vote to balance the budget.

The REAL Post reporter saw the full version of the video of Fimian. Cunningham didn't, so she made up her own story, as bloggers often do.

Posted by: spatrickbe | October 10, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The Fimian campaign is trying to pawn off this blogger as a "Washington Post Investigative Reporter" in its characterization of her attack on Gerry Connolly.

In fact, she works for a conservative-leaning private foundation that pays her salary and funds her blog.

Cunningham's opinion, further falsely amplified by Fimian's handlers, stands in stark contrast to the Post's own reporting, which validated Connolly's TV ad and caught Fimian's spokesman in an out-and-out lie.

Fimian's keeps compounding his string of lies on this issue as he tries to backtrack on his statement that congressmen should each get a $250,000 bonus if they vote to balance the budget.

The REAL Post reporter saw the full version of the video of Fimian. He saw the context of Fimian's remarks. Cunningham didn't, so she made up her own story, as bloggers often do.

Posted by: spatrickbe | October 10, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The Fimian campaign is trying to pawn off this blogger as a "Washington Post Investigative Reporter" in its characterization of her attack on Gerry Connolly.

In fact, she works for a conservative-leaning private foundation that pays her salary and funds her blog.

Cunningham's opinion, further falsely amplified by Fimian's handlers, stands in stark contrast to the Post's own reporting, which validated Connolly's TV ad and caught Fimian's spokesman in an out-and-out lie.

Fimian's keeps compounding his string of lies on this issue as he tries to backtrack on his statement that congressmen should each get a $250,000 bonus if they vote to balance the budget.

The REAL Post reporter saw the full version of the video of Fimian. He saw the context of Fimian's remarks. Cunningham didn't, so she made up her own story, as bloggers often do.

Posted by: spatrickbe | October 10, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The Fimian campaign is trying to pawn off this blogger as a "Washington Post Investigative Reporter" in its characterization of her attack on Gerry Connolly.

In fact, she works for a conservative-leaning private foundation that pays her salary and funds her blog.

Cunningham's opinion, further falsely amplified by Fimian's handlers, stands in stark contrast to the Post's own reporting, which validated Connolly's TV ad and caught Fimian's spokesman in an out-and-out lie.

Fimian's keeps compounding his string of lies on this issue as he tries to backtrack on his statement that congressmen should each get a $250,000 bonus if they vote to balance the budget.

The REAL Post reporter saw the full version of the video of Fimian. He saw the context of Fimian's remarks. Cunningham didn't, so she made up her own story, as bloggers often do.

Posted by: spatrickbe | October 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

wow spatrickbe, you posted that three times - it must be true!

Posted by: manvacamp20001 | October 10, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

wow spatrickbe, you posted that three times - it must be true!

Posted by: manvacamp20001 | October 10, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

wow spatrickbe, you posted that three times - it must be true!

Posted by: manvacamp20001 | October 10, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

my bad - you actually posted it four time - your intellect is truly unmatched!

Posted by: manvacamp20001 | October 10, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of Fairfax County for over 40 years I can attest to the fact that Gerry Connolly never met a tax that he didn't love. The first time I saw Gerry Connolly's lie "The Tax-Cutting Democrate" I almost threw my coffee cup into the TV screen.

Posted by: priveye | October 11, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I would like to know what it takes to be an "investigative journalist" because this article is written by someone who is so obviously slanted the typeface should be left block. A true investigative journalist would balance both sides, not give her own personal opinion. It would be refreshing to hear or read news without a slant. Someone who reports the facts, doesn't give her own slant.

Posted by: jeannie611 | October 15, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I just read spatrickbe's post. As I suspected, a Finnian plant.

Posted by: jeannie611 | October 15, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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