If the parents of this quaint picture seem vaguely familiar to you, you probably watched a lot of MTV 15-20 years ago. Sean Duffy and Rachel Campos-Duffy were both participants in different seasons of "The Real World" (Sean in Boston in the sixth season, Rachel in San Francisco in the third). They met during the filming of "Real World Road Rules" in 1998 and married in 1999. Between raising six children, Rachel has done some television work and contributes to parenting websites. Sean was appointed District Attorney in Wisconsin and in 2010, was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives for Wisconsin's 7th District in 2010.
Behind the meet-cute back story, the shining American success story and whatever-you-want-to-call-having-so-damn-many-kids story, there is of course the darker shades of conservative Republicanism.
Duffy has been quite outspoken, supporting his fellow Republicans in the state, calling for public employees to take paycuts to help the state meet their fiscal needs of giving millionaires and corporations more tax cuts. But do you think that he too should show his commitment to fiscal responsibility and take a pay cut himself? Silly liberal expecting consistency:
At a town hall meeting in Polk County, Wisconsin earlier this year, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) was asked whether he'd vote to cut his $174,000 annual salary. Duffy sort of hedged, and went on to talk about how $174,000 really isn't that much for his family of seven (sic--Duffy has a family of 8) to live on. Then he went on to say he supports cutting compensation for all public employees, along the lines of what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has proposed for the Badger State.
Cuts for thee, but not for me, unless I really have to? How very Republican.
Like all House members, Duffy makes $174,000 in taxpayer-funded salary every year. The Speaker makes a lot more ($223,500) and the party leaders and president pro tempore of the Senate make a bit more ($193,400.)
All of them make way more than most people in Polk County, Wisconsin do. The median household income there was $50,520 in 2008, according to Census data.
Whether or not Duffy is rich is a matter for debate. But that's apparently not a debate the Polk County GOP wanted to have, at least not on the wider Internet. Here's a screenshot of what the page containing the video looked like on Monday. Today, the video is gone.
Of course, Duffy's spokesperson, perhaps realizing damage control was in order, started criticizing "partisan shots" at Duffy. You know, because facts have a liberal bias.