Over at the Big Orange, smileycreek asked me if I ever made posters for political campaigns and asked specifically about her congresscritter, Wally Herger. I didn’t recognize the name until I googled. Of course, I remembered Ol’ Wally when I read this at the Mt. Shasta News (August 21, 2009):
Redding, Calif. —
Republican Congressman Wally Herger held a health care town hall meeting Aug. 18 at Simpson University in Redding, where a partisan crowd of over 2,000 people loudly cheered Herger’s position that a public option was “unacceptable.”
Although Herger called several times for the audience to “respect each other’s opinions,” those opposed to president Obama’s health care were greeted with cheers while the few in favor were interrupted with catcalls.
“Our democracy has never been threatened as much as it is today,” Herger said to a loud standing ovation.
One speaker said he could trace his ancestors back to the Mayflower and said “they did not arrive holding their hands out for help.”
“I am a proud right wing terrorist,” he declared to cheers.
Herger praised the man’s attitude.
“Amen, God bless you,” Herger said with a broad smile. “There is a great American.”
You remember Ol’ Wally now, too, dontcha, kids?
According to wiki:
The audience member clarified that he meant to say “right wing extremist”
That makes it so much better, doesn’t it? Anyhoo, that’s all I needed to want to make a poster about Ol’ Wally.
Original DVD cover
(Click on image and then on that for a larger version)
Here’s a little update on what’s going on with Ol’ Wally, from the Redding Record-Searchlight:
U.S. Rep. Wally Herger hasn’t felt the financial sting of the Great Recession like many of his constituents.
Although the value of the 65-year-old Chico Republican’s assets took a dip during the financial plunge, he has more assets now than he did in 2004.
According to 2009 financial disclosure statements analyzed by the Record Searchlight, Herger reported between $3 million and $12.1 million of assets.
That’s at least $1 million more than what he reported five years earlier.
To Herger’s Republican base, the wealth is a sign of a man who practices the free enterprise that he preaches, and who understands business. To Democrats, it’s evidence that he’s out of touch.
Herger’s family ranch in Rio Oso is valued between $1 million and $5 million. The rental income earned off the ranch was reported at between $50,001 and $100,000. Aside from his family propane business and his real estate holdings, Herger also has between $500,001 and $1 million invested in an annual annuity, from which he collected no income in 2009, according to his financial statements.
The Center for Responsive Politics ranked Herger in 2008 as the 41st-wealthiest member of the House of Representatives. The center hasn’t yet tallied the rankings for 2009.
Herger was unavailable to comment Friday. But spokesman Matt Lavoie said that Herger’s assets are made up primarily of his family’s ranch land and a propane business, which have been in his family for three generations.
As a successful small-business owner, Herger particularly understands the challenges his overtaxed constituents face as they try to build their own businesses and create much-needed jobs in the faltering economy, Lavoie said.
Many of Herger’s constituents have found their fortunes shrinking as the recession wears on.
In Shasta County, the unemployment rate in May was 15.4 percent, the highest for that month since 1990.
Adjusted for inflation, the U.S. Census Bureau reports the average income in the 2nd Congressional District was around $22,876 in 2008. The same year, Shasta County’s year-over-year income growth was the lowest it had been in a decade, according to federal income figures.
Herger is running for his 13th term in office, after having served 23 years in Congress. He’ll face off in November in the overwhelmingly Republican district against Democrat Jim Reed.
Herger’s Democrat critics suggested his wealth puts him out of touch with the needs of his constituents.
“He started out saying he was this poor, little farmer,” said Ann Nelson, a member of the Shasta County Democratic Central Committee.
Reed, a lawyer who in 2008 ran an unsuccessful campaign for Shasta County Superior Court judge, would say only that his assets total less than $1 million.
“I’m not in the same ballpark” as Herger, he said, “Let’s put it that way.”
“Maybe because [Herger] isn’t feeling the pain or it’s because he’s tired or he’s getting old or lazy or whatever it is … but he’s not working hard to bring money into his district like he should be,” Reed said.