There is nothing I can say that will add to this, so I will let freshman Representative Sean Duffy and one of his constituents do all of the talking. From Wispolitics:

Duffy’s exchange with a constituent at his townhall meeting in Amery Wisconsin follows:

Constituent: I’m a builder. I haven’t been building too many things in the last couple years with the economy down. My wife is a teacher. I’m fortunate enough to take a bus driving job. Love it. Just love it. But it’s not very much money of course. It’s working for us. I’m just wondering, what are Congressman’s, Senator’s wages? My wife is going to have to take a cut if this bill goes through and I’m just wondering what your wage is and if you guys would be willing to take a cut?

Duffy: So the question is, what is my wage? And I’ll answer your question and I’ll get to it in one second. I was the Ashland County DA and uh I decided to run for Congress. And as this race heated up in the first part of June, I resigned as the Ashland County DA because I didn’t want to campaign on your tax dollars and so I didn’t and I resigned. I have 6 children and I’ve gone for roughly 7 months with 6 kids and no paycheck. It was worth it for me to do that because I believe in what I was doing. I get the Congressional salary is 174 thousand dollars. I didn’t vote on that . I got there on January 5th. I came into it without a play in it.

Constituent: But a hundred and seventy-four thousand, that’s three times — that’s three of my family’s — three times what I make.

Duffy: Well our budget…I moved to cut by 5 percent. I did. You know what, I have no problem..let’s have a movement afoot. I walked into this job 6 weeks ago..um that I worked incredibly hard for. And I can guarantee you or most of you, I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you. With 6 kids, I still pay off my student loans. I still pay my mortgage. I drive a used minivan. If you think I’m living high off the hog, I’ve got one paycheck. So I..I struggle to meet my bills right now. Would it be easier for me if I get more paychecks? Maybe, but at this point I’m not living high off the hog.

Background:

Average Wisconsin family earns just above $39,000. According to the US Census Bureau, the median income of a household in Wisconsin is $39,026. [US Census Bureau Fast Facts]

Duffy earned over $90,000 in 2009. In 2009, while serving as Ashland County District Attorney, Duffy received a salary of $93,123. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2009]

Duffy earned nearly $90,000 in 2007. In 2007, while serving as Ashland County District Attorney, Duffy received a salary of $88,258. [PostCresent.com, 2007]

Duffy announced his run for Congress in July 2009. In July 2009, Duffy announced he would run for Wisconsin’s seventh congressional seat. [WAOW, 7/08/09]

Duffy did not step down as Ashland County D.A. until July 2010. In June 2010, nearly a after having announced his run for Congress, Duffy announced he would be resigning from his office effective at the end of the month. [WSAW, 6/04/10]

Duffy reimbursed himself more than $10,000 for expenses during the campaign. According to FEC reports, Duffy was reimbursed a total of $10,402.72 from his federal campaign account for “mileage.” The reimbursements occurred during a time period dating from September 30, 2009 through March 10, 2010. [Duffy FEC reports, 2009-10, www.fec.org]

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38 Responses to Has Sean Duffy ever been in the Real World?

  1. graeme says:

    I like that you tagged this “class warfare.” There are plenty of people with big families who live in his district who don’t make a third of what he makes, and who consider themselves lucky compared to where they were. He’s the son, grandson, nephew and brother of lawyers and has never known want. How else does someone so blithely promise massive cuts to programs that benefit working families? But I’m glad he said what he thinks out loud. Because this is reason enough for him to lose his seat.

  2. Jeff Simpson says:

    yes he is stocking the campaign against him very well, between this and his “promise” to not vote to end the affordable care act unless there was an alternative, and that’s just for starters, we will see how he tops that in the next year!

    I also love how he pretended he resigned from his job to run. Yet we know from his last campaign he did not show up, so maybe it was an honest mistake and he thought he resigned.

  3. John Foust says:

    If his personal expenses were within his take-home, and his gross doubled, and he had six months of expenses to repay and hadn’t used any previous savings to tide him over, and his campaign paid many expenses, gee, I can’t imagine that it would take him more than six months to catch up (with doubled take-home). Yes, when did he resign?

  4. Jeff Simpson says:

    Duffy announced his run for Congress in July 2009. In July 2009, Duffy announced he would run for Wisconsin’s seventh congressional seat. [WAOW, 7/08/09]

    Duffy did not step down as Ashland County D.A. until July 2010. In June 2010, nearly a after having announced his run for Congress, Duffy announced he would be resigning from his office effective at the end of the month. [WSAW, 6/04/10]

  5. Sean Duffy isn’t doing very well in the real world. He’s encountering real people with real problems at his district town halls, and he doesn’t know what to say beyond the script someone handed him from Washington DC. His remarks in Amery are proof of just how profoundly unsuited he is to be a US convgressman.

  6. Notalib says:

    Is he the only one making the $174,000? Not sure what the big deal is.

  7. Jeff Simpson says:

    Notalib
    March 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm · Reply · Edit

    What that your really saying is I am a congressman I do not expect to pay my fair share I want you the middle class worker to pay more taxes so I can have my retirement and healthcare paid for by you. As a congressman YOU OWE it to me. SO after YOU the middle class taxpayer pays for your INSURANCE and YOUR RETIREMENT then we the congressmen expect you to pay more out of YOUR paycheck and pay for US. I AM A congressman and I DEMAND IT!

  8. Notalib says:

    no what I am saying is unions MUST pay thier fair share and stop abusing the middle class

    • Zach says:

      I really feel bad for Sean Duffy. It must be rough to have to try to make ends meet on “just” $174,000 a year.

    • Bob A says:

      Wow – I have been enjoying my break from this insanity.

      Notalib and others on the other side of the fence. Get a job!

      Progressives – put your energy behind recalls and supporting local businesses and schools.

      Bye for now.

      Bob

  9. Keith says:

    Wow average salary in Wisconsin is $39,000/yr??? Then what the hell are the teachers unions upset about? They average $70,000/yr and if you include benefits it is over $100,000/yr. Don’t see many liberal blogs mocking the protesting Wisconsin teachers.

  10. Jeff Simpson says:

    Thats because the average salary of a Wisconsin teacher is NOT $70/k a year.

  11. Keith says:

    OK $70,000 in Kenosha. But ALL Wisc teachers are paid ABOVE average. When you throw in their benefits package you can add another $25,000/year on these numbers.

    From the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

    http://www.teacher-world.com/teacher-salary/wisconsin.html

    * Green Bay: $55,110
    * Kenosha: $68,400
    * Madison: $50,770
    * Milwaukee: $54,620
    * Racine: $49,710

    • Sven says:

      You might want to double-check your sources… and look up the difference between average and mean.

    • T. says:

      One fault in your argument and it’s actually from your source:

      Geographic location is another significant reason for variation in Wisconsin teaching salaries. Areas that have a higher cost of living often pay correspondingly higher salaries. Below are average annual earnings for secondary school teachers in five of the largest metropolitan areas in the state.

      Still, I don’t call a $51,240 average amazing by any means, considering how many school districts there are throughout the entire state – and another consideration is the starting pay. They’re technically in the lower middle class no matter which way you slice it.

      • Sven says:

        “Still, I don’t call a $51,240 average amazing by any means”

        Means being the operative word. The average doesn’t tell us how many teachers are making $51K.

        • T. says:

          Exactly. A handful of highly paid teachers can skewer the numbers.

          • Notalib says:

            The salary is not the issue, we all wor to make as much money as possible, if a teacher can make 50,60,70 thousand or more a year more power to the. What they need to do is pay thier fair share when it comes to benefits. This is what it is all about.

            • T. says:

              Except that they do and you’re implying that they don’t pay taxes. If that was true, we definitely would have a lot more teachers considering the ‘me, me, me!” mentality of the United States these days.

              Teachers in unions pay monthly dues to cover the cost of representation and often have to work summer jobs if they aren’t able to teach in summer classes.

              However, once again I know what to expect from you – liberal leftist socialist communist nazi thuggish propaganda, they aren’t doing their fair share, they should suffer the same as us etc.

            • Sven says:

              What they need to do is pay thier fair share when it comes to benefits.

              Wonderful. Teachers are asked to take deferred compensation in lieu of decent take-home pay to save the state money. Then after it saves the state money, they get screwed out that, too.

      • Keith says:

        I will sign on to single payer when you address malpractice reform and tort reform. Single payer doesn’t bring down costs by itself. All single payer does is limit how much a doctor can charge. And then that only means there will be no incentive for anyone to EVER become a doctor and incur massive student loan debt. Until we address the costs of becoming a doctor and the cost to practice medicine then you can talk all the single payer you want but to have the same high quality of care we have now it will still cost the same. If you just say well I am not going to pay the doctor that much then the doctor will find another profession and hence the quality of care will go down. I am not against single payer but I am against it 100% as a single solution to a very complex problem.

  12. Jeff Simpson says:

    In my district the HIGHEST paid teacher makes $63k/yr. I have yet to meet an overpaid teacher.

    As for the $25k/yr for benefits, thats what this blog is for. bringing people of different ideologies together to find common ground. Its great that you join me in advocating for a single payer health care system so school district are no longer burdened with paying the exorbitant salaries of the insurance company CEO’s.

    • Super Id says:

      JS,

      “Its great that you join me in advocating for a single payer health care system so school district are no longer burdened with paying the exorbitant salaries of the insurance company CEO’s” Kind of a stretch but I’ll give you kudos for taking the hail mary shot.

      Of course you are aware that WEAC has its own insurance company? Per WEAC’s web site:

      “The WEA Insurance Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Trust, was created in 1985 to underwrite the Trust’s group benefit plans. By that time the Trust had grown to 105 employees and 77,500 subscribers. Also by this time, the Trust was doing $54 million a year in business with health plans in more than 200 school districts and long-term disability plans in more than 250 districts.”

      So at least a portion of these exorbitant CEO salries are going to the Teachers Union. So I’m glad you support the reduction of teacher benefits as surely they are overpaid if they can afford their own insurance company with their own CEO and board of directors. (Hey, as long as we are taking hail mary shots and building straw men, I’ll play along 🙂 .)

    • Keith says:

      I will sign on to single payer when you address malpractice reform and tort reform. Single payer doesn’t bring down costs by itself. All single payer does is limit how much a doctor can charge. And then that only means there will be no incentive for anyone to EVER become a doctor and incur massive student loan debt. Until we address the costs of becoming a doctor and the cost to practice medicine then you can talk all the single payer you want but to have the same high quality of care we have now it will still cost the same. If you just say well I am not going to pay the doctor that much then the doctor will find another profession and hence the quality of care will go down. I am not against single payer but I am against it 100% as a single solution to a very complex problem.

      • Jeff Simpson says:

        Thats fine because the overhead costs of “for profit” health insurance runs between 20-35% of overall costs. The savings of lawsuit/tort reform equals approximately 1/2 of 1%. So we can limit lawsuits just tell me how much is the price of one of your children dieing in a needless accident, we can cap it there.

        • Super Id says:

          You are assuming that public health care has lower overhead. Studies have shown that it does not:

          In 1994, the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI)
          published “Rhetoric vs. Reality: Comparing Public and Private Health Care Costs,” authored by Mark Litow, a consulting actuary with Milliman & Robertson (now Milliman, Inc.), and CAHI’s Technical Committee (now the Research and PolicyCommittee). The study found that when all of the hidden costs and certain related unfunded liabilities were included, Medicare and Medicaid administrative costs with the related unfunded liabilities were significantly higher (26.9 percent) than the private sector (16.2 percent).

          • Was this study replicated anywhere, by anyone else? You got something a little newer, maybe, than 1994? Have you even got a link to this particular study?

            Who funded the study? Who funded the Council on Affordable Healthcare?

            Any chance this was health insurance industry, as Wendell Potter recently called it, ” deadly spin”.

            Naaahhh. Super ID wouldn’t pass along anything like that.

        • Keith says:

          Jeff – Savings of 1/2 -1% with tort reform???? Do you know why doctors practice “defensive” medicine? Do you know why they have to run all these unnecessary EXPENSIVE tests? For the fear of being sued and having their malpractice rates go up. Those same insurance companies you say make 30%….most of the time those are the same insurance companies the doctors are paying for malpractice insurance. But as long as we live in a country where people sue McDonalds for millions of dollars because they spilled coffee on THEMSELF, then thank goodness for insurance companies. Your example of one of my children dieing is an extreme example. Most of the malpractice lawsuits filed in this country are frivolous attempts by greedy lawyers to milk the system and insurance companies. Ever heard the term ambulance chasers? There is a reason so many of them are in the business in every city in our country. How much do you think these lawyers make? I never once hear a liberal complaining about how much lawyers make off of insurance settlements.

          • Jeff Simpson says:

            Keith,

            http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com

            Things are not always as the right wing echo chamber would have you believe.

            • Keith says:

              Jeff- That website tells me nothing. I will never understand why liberals just can never resist throwing terms around like right wing echo chamber, right wing propaganda, right wing this or that. Like anyone that disagrees with you MUST BE just misinformed and an idiot. I am VERY familiar with this case. More familiar than you obviously understand. But I guess you are the expert no matter what I say. I am just a “victim of a right wing echo chamber”. Your disregard for my knowledge and experience with this case, although expected, is very presumptuous on your part. My post was not just about McDonalds but since that is all you want to address.I am not sure what your point is since you didn’t make one. My point is not about McDonalds. It is the THREAT of these type lawsuits (malpractice and liability insurance). But if you just want to discuss McDonalds, the bottom line for me is the woman spilled the coffee on herself. That is a fact. Years of legal fees because she spilled coffee on herself and was probably the result of her grandson being a crappy driver and slamming on brakes.

              By the way, the maker of your movie Hot Coffee (Susan Saladoff), is one of the “ambulance chasers” I referred to. You should really check out your source before you start throwing terms at other people like right wing echo chambers. As long as you cite a source that is a d**m trial lawyer that represented “accident victims” then YOU sir are the only one in an “echo chamber”.

  13. Jeff Simpson says:

    I am amazed at a thread about how “fiscal conservative” Sean Duffy cant seem to make ends meet making $174k/yr that it descends into bashing teachers for making $50k yr….

  14. Ed says:

    25k in benefits is only 25k because you are all getting ripped off by Insurance Companies. Along with other corporate entities in this country who pay their fat cart CEO’s millions of dollars a year without contributing a dime to that tax base. Who makes up the difference? The poor? No, their actually also paying in zero and taking from the system in Welfare, SSI and the Earned Income Credit. I’ve seen people pay zero in taxes receive cheCKS back FOR OVER $8,000. Not a lot of money? To the poor it is? On the other side of the coin? Corporations are bilking you all for billions. But keep the fight going against the teachers, firefighters and police, that’s exactly what THEY want you to do, takes the heat off of them. Tey know you’re all dumb lemmings and so far it’s working like a charm.
    What a shame that so many have to make this a Repub. v. Dem. or a “liberal” vs. “conservative” fight. People, unless you’re in the criminal class top 1%, we’re all in this together. If 99% of us can’t even unite to fight the corporate bullies and their friends in Congress, then what chance to we have to survive? And that is what we are talking about: survival. The top 1% laughs at the rest of us and the way we squabble and name call each other: they are counting on our stupidity and we are not disappointing them.The average American citizen pays through the nose on taxes. Property taxes,payroll taxes,cigarette taxes,liquor taxes,gasoline taxes,heck,Obama’s fat wife even wants taxes on soda pop.
    Our taxes pay for wars we shouldn’t be in and a GIANT black-ops budget that we are excluded from even knowing where the money is spent. So big corporations get to get off without paying a dime?
    Go look up the effective tax rate paid by the largest corporations in this country and compare it to what you paid overall last year.

  15. T. says:

    … So pretty much from this – “..I’m in more debt that all of you!”

    Because THAT’S what we want to hear from our elected officials. Especially those in the party of fiscal responsibility.

    • Locke says:

      Yeah. RS at Playground Politics probably said it better than anyone here:

      All Sean Duffy has to do is wear a suit, look good, push the button he’s told to push, then go home and eat a lot of shitty pancake breakfasts and not say anything profoundly stupid. And apparently that’s too much to ask.

      Though I do find it amusing that the same critique was unfair or beyond the pale when it was brought up that after a career making almost $200,000, Russ Feingold had very little net worth or that Erpenbach needed to have his parents pay for his little trip to Illinois because he was living paycheck to paycheck.

      I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, if you really can’t manage your own finances on the salaries we pay our state & federal legislators, I don’t want them having anything to do with managing taxpayer money.

      And they should at least be smart enough to not white about how tough it is for them.

      • Zach says:

        Yeah, RS summed it up well.

        As to your point about Feingold and Erpenbach, I’ll just note that while Sen. Feingold never had much net worth, I don’t recall him ever complaining about how hard it was to make ends meet on his Senate salary. On the other hand, Erpenbach doesn’t make anywhere near $174,000 a year as a state legislator, so I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison. If I recall, state legislators make somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000 per year, but I could be wrong on that.

        • Locke says:

          You haven’t said anything I disagree with there. Feingold was never dumb enough to say what Duffy said. And certainly there’s a world of difference between $174k and $60k. Still for a grown adult to make that much in this state and still be living paycheck to paycheck shows pretty poor budgeting.

  16. Jeff Simpson says:

    FYI to put things in perspective. State Senator Bob Jauch (one of the Fab 14) makes a whopping $49,500 yr minus $7200 a yr for health care and pension.

    Kinda shows what kind of person Sean Duffy is!

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