Congressional pop quiz: Does U.S. Representative Michael Arcuri represent the 24th district in New York, or the 3rd district in Texas?
Answer: That depends on how you look at it.
Officially, Congressman Arcuri is supposed to represent the 24th congressional district, which stretches from Tompkins County in the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York all the way up into the Adirondacks. In actuality, Arcuri seems to be doing more to represent the 3rd congressional district in Texas, which covers the northern suburbs of Dallas.
The Democrats of the 24th district in New York who got Arcuri elected strongly favor health care reform with a vigorous public option. However, Congressman Arcuri has been working with the Blue Dog Coalition to block such a plan. Why?
It turns out that Representative Arcuri’s is getting a lot of telephone calls from people opposed to health care reform. Many of those callers, however, are from people who don’t live in Arcuri’s district – or even in New York State.
Republican Sam Johnson, who represents the 3rd congressional district in Texas, has been coordinating a campaign of phone calls from his constituents to Congressman Arcuri, and to other members of the Blue Dog Coalition, telling them that voters want them to “stay strong” in opposition to health care reform.
If health care reform is such a bad idea, then why does a New York congressman need to have voters from Texas to tell him so?