More than 20 of Congressman Steve Scalise’s constituents turned up at his Mandeville office Friday to deliver a polite, though pointed message.
With urgent financial decisions to be made, the group of Democratic community leaders wanted to urge the congressman to get back to work. They brought him a gift-wrapped box of coal, implying that was what he deserved for Christmas.
But Scalise was not in the office.
Justin Crossie, regional director for the office, accepted the coal. He did not invite the group inside, but stood in the hall and listened to their concerns, which he promised to pass along to Scalise.
Keith Villlere, chairman of the St.Tammany Democratic Executive Committee and former mayor of Covington, asked Crossie to tell the Congressman to vote to raise taxes on the richest two percent, who would not find it a burden ”even to keep up their second or third home” but not on the middle class, who are more likely to need the money to buy essentials.
Villere pointed out that although Scalise is a Republican, there are 85,000 non-Republicans in his district. Crossie responded that Scalise does not consider party when making his decisions.
The group also urged that Scalise vote against cutting Medicare and other social programs, and assured Crossie that they would be watching Scalise’s votes, to see if he deserved their support, and perhaps Christmas goodies, in the future.
The visit, coordinated by NDWC vice-president Ann Porter, was under the auspices of a nationwide movement called “The Action,” which is working to get Congress to prevent the middle class tax increases while letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 a year.