Kevin McCarthy profiled in LA Times

November 14, 2010

Cong, Kevin McCarthy, whose district includes much of San Luis Obispo County, lands on the front page of the Sunday paper. [LA Times]

Political observers believe that McCarthy, 45, will be elected this week to serve as House majority whip for the Republicans, his party’s No. 3 leadership job, after winning only his third term in Congress.

“It’s pretty stunning for a third-term member to rise as quickly as he has,” said GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak. It’s also surprising given that the new whip was once turned down for a congressional internship.

McCarthy spent the fall election season traveling to Frog Jump, Tenn., Lake Oswego, Ore., Sioux Falls, S.D., and dozens of other places to help elect fellow Republicans. His ascension to the House leadership position is considered a reward for his work on behalf of Republicans.

The former California Assembly GOP leader will be responsible for counting noses and enforcing party discipline on important votes. He also will carry to the airwaves his party’s messages for a smaller, less costly federal government

With McCarthy in the No. 3 leadership position and California Republicans expected to lead more committees than members from any other state, the Democratic-leaning Golden State will wield considerable clout in the new Republican-controlled House.

Drawing on substantial contributions he received from financial and insurance industries he oversees as a member of the House Financial Services Committee, he provided about $1.6 million from his own political war chest this cycle to the party and more than 100 fellow Republicans.

McCarthy’s legislative achievements are limited by the fact that he spent his eight years in Sacramento and Washington in the minority, but he promises to wield greater influence once Republicans take over the House in January.

McCarthy is among a group of Republicans who have drawn criticism for voting against the economic stimulus and then seeking stimulus funds for local projects. He has repeatedly used the line that more people believe Elvis Presley is alive than believe the stimulus created jobs.

Yet he wrote the Transportation secretary seeking $30 million in stimulus funds for truck lanes on Interstate 5, saying the project would “quickly put people to work,” according to the Center for Public Integrity. McCarthy shrugged at the criticism. “I still don’t believe the stimulus worked … and I’m proud of my vote against it,” he said.

Also, the Times reveals a little-known fact about the Republican congressman: McCarthy, in a page perhaps taken from Jerry Brown, sleeps on an air mattress in his Washington office.

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McCarthy used to work for Bill Thomas who was one of the most powerful if least known people in Congress. So he may only be a third term Congressman, but he learned from one of the best (worst?) in the business. Indeed, Thomas hand-picked McCarthy as his successor.

If you go to his Congressional Web site, look at the map of the district. It’s clearly a Gerrymandered cushy seat in Congress (like Lois Capps’ district and too many others).

It will be interesting to see how McCarthy is affected when the new citizen’s committee takes over drawing the next district lines (Congress AND state offices).

In the meantime, those in the 22nd District (including Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles and Templeton) should squeeze him for as much as he can bring home before he gets re-districted out of this area.

There could be some really big advantages to having the majority whip in the House be from your district. And as I see today (Nov. 16) he got the job.

It used to be that people wanted their Congressman to be powerful and influential, holding down leadership positions. The more powerful they got, the more benefits (i.e. bacon) they might bring home. But now a days, power in Washington is seen as corrupting (probably rightly so too) and wrong.

But compare McCarthy’s short tenure with Capps’. She just won her seventh term and who is she? She does not chair a committee or even a subcommittee, and this after 12 years in Congress?

I’m not knocking Capps, who I think is a wonderful, conscientious and caring person. She just doesn’t play the political game as well as many others do and so in my opinion she has been somewhat ineffectual in taking care of us folks back home.

McCarthy, say what you will, but I’d bet a Wall Street bonus that he’s more effective for his home district than Capps is.

I say what’s good for McCarthy has the potential to be good for us back home too.

Okay, what specific “good” do you imagine McCarthy might do for us folks “back home”?

I’m betting that any “good” McCarthy might do for the average citizen will simply be a smokescreen and be far out-weighed by all the GOOD he will do for very specific business interests that he is tied to and whatever else he is asked to do by the folks with the purse strings he is so eager to please.

I also don’t know what you are referring to when you say Capps has been “ineffectual in taking care of us folks back home.”

What is it, specifically, that you think she should have or should be doing for us “folks back home” that she isn’t already doing? Unnecessary pork barrel projects that waste taxpayer money for the benefit of a tiny segment of our community? Vote to allow BP to construct poorly run, oil drilling operations along our coast?

What exactly do you want Lois Capps to do for you/us?

Notice that the L.A. Times “profile” on McCarthy fails to note anything of significance McCarthy has accomplished as a “public servant,” other than recruiting other politicians to vote for him or with him. He’s a smooth talker, that’s for sure. And an eager beaver, quick to demonstrate to the lobbyists that their money is well spent on him

His qualifications for office? He was a deli owner. The joke around the McCarthy office is that going into politics was a more profitable way for McCarthy to sell his baloney.

I’ve already seen the L.A. Times article…in the L.A. Times. Since Kevin McCarthy seems to be such a polarizing figure in our region, it sure would be interesting if Cal Coast News would consider conducting its own interview to hear what the congressman has to say, including matters specific to his district.

In addition, perhaps Mr. McCarthy might be interested in addressing various accusations made by commenters in this forum by answering such questions as:

1) “Rep. McCarthy, is it true that you would ‘turn (your) own mother out as a street hooker if it meant garnering a single crucial vote?’ ”

2) “In what year did you become ‘a complete, dangerous phony who is a pawn for the Heritage Foundation, which, in turn, is hell-bent on turning the U.S. into a fascist nation where the interests of big business and the military industrial complex rule?’ ”

Yep, those are some questions CCN could most definitely get to the bottom of.

Granted that McCarthy did not serve in congress the during the entire George W. Bush presidency, but during the time he did serve, Kevin McCarthy supported every single disastrous George Bush policy that even Republicans these days agree were disastrous. McCarthy was right there cheering on Bush as he drove our nation over a cliff while becoming one of the biggest spending presidents in history, bloating our government while enriching folks at Halliburton, Blackwater, etc., etc., etc.

Check McCarthy’s voting record in Congress. He sided with Bush on the worst fiscal and military actions and policies in U.S. history, things we are paying for today and will for generations to come.

These days McCarthy doesn’t even have the integrity to admit his horrendous mistakes in judgement. As folks like him enjoy saying, “There ain’t a mistake in politics that can’t be prettied up with a $50 haircut and a smooth southern drawl and a few go ’rounds kissing babies.”

Check McCarthy’s voting record. It ain’t purty,..but it was bought and paid for!