National Review: Collins Has A Problem with Blacks
I almost feel badly for Chris Collins. Almost.
My Congressman did a good thing this week, slamming proposed FDA rules against aging cheese on wood boards. It wasn’t the regulatory overreach that Collins made it out to be, but it was a horribly stupid interpretation of existing regulations.
The FDA opined that wood planks weren’t especially cleanable, but wood has natural antibacterial properties and has been used in cheesemaking for thousands of years without a problem. The FDA backed down from any ban on wood.
But sheesh, talk about burying the lede.
Collins has done a lot to become attractive to the tea party set since his time in Washington, but everything about him reeks of corporate country club elite Republican, and that’s now finding him under fire from the right, for the first time.
No one criticizes him in western New York because of his deep pockets. Washington’s National Review Online bloggers have no such issue. What has he done? He pissed off
an ultra right-wing SuperPAC.
Heritage Action blasted Congressman Chris Collins, who represents New York’s 27th District, for apparently engaging in textbook cronyism. Collins, a millionaire many times over, is circulating a letter in Congress in support of re-authorizing the Export-Import Bank, from which one of his businesses, Audubon Machinery Corporation, has benefited in the past. Collins is a co-founder of and serves on the board of directors for Audubon.
A Heritage Action spokesman told The Hill, “Here’s Rep. Collins leading the charge of an entity that he’s personallybenefited from. That’s the definition of Washington working for itself.”
Collins responded, “This shows how out of touch Heritage is with how jobs are created in this country. They don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re a think tank. They’re not out in the real world.”
That’s rich. Collins accusing someone else of being out of touch with the “real world”. Which “real world?” To Collins, it’s the “real world” of well-connected multimillionaires getting sweet deals through federally subsidized banks. Corporate welfare. There is nothing stopping Collins or his companies from financing international deals through private banks.
Whatever. It’s a Washington thing that has very little impact on you or me. This, however, is a blockbuster:
I was briefly employed by Collins in 2013 but was terminated after three months and did not leave on good terms with the congressman. My impression was that Collins had a steep congressional learning curve. His staff had to coach him to talk less about himself to constituents, and at one point he asked about “a black” being on a Congressional committee after being told that the committee included several minority leaders.
If true, this is a remarkable insight into Collins’ complete and utter lack of character. No amount of Boy Scout talk (an organization that didn’t eliminate racial discrimination until 1974) can make up for a racial animus or discriminatory character. What difference, in 2014, does it make whether there are Black people on Congressional committees?
Remember – this isn’t some moonbat liberal making this accusation, this is an ultra-right wing former staffer. She was terminated rather quickly, so maybe there are some hard feelings/sour grapes, but it’s an explosive charge to make so casually.
Collins also made a conscious effort not to ruffle any conservative feathers, and he does not have a seat on the House Financial Services Committee.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has called the Export-Import Bank “the face of cronyism.”
Most conservative Republicans do not support re-authorizing the bank. Collins, who almost always votes straight down the Republican line, is one of the few exceptions. A spokesman for the Congressman told The Hill that Audubon has not recently received a direct loan from the bank. Collins regularly touts smaller government, which makes it hard to understand why he would choose to make theEx-Im Bank his one major battle.
I actually support reauthorization of the Ex-Im bank. Not only does it disproportionately help smaller businesses enter the international market in cases where they’re unable to get decent international credit rates, but also because the tea party is out to kill it, which must mean it serves some public good. The tea party exists for one purpose: to destroy America and all she stands for; to create some sort of bizarre hybrid libertarian Christian jihadist confederation where everyone is armed and dangerous. So, yay Ex-Im Bank.
But Collins’ alleged problem with Black Congressmen being members of committees is something that needs to be addressed and explained.