At the end of last week, U.S. Representative Gregg Harper held what he called a “Mississippi Fish Fry”. That sounds like a down home event, doesn’t it? It seems like just the sort of thing to prove that Congressman Harper hasn’t forgotten the things that matter to his constituents back in Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district. If Harper can come back and hold a fish fry for the people in Mississippi, after all, he can’t be that bad.
As it turns out, it would have been rather difficult for anyone living in Mississippi to attend that Representative Harper’s Fish Fry. The so-called “Mississippi Fish Fry” wasn’t actually held in Mississippi, or anywhere even close to Mississippi. It was held at 230 2nd Street SE, in Washington D.C. That’s the address of the Strategic Health Care Townhouse, a center for lobbying against health care reform set up just a three minute walk from the U.S. Capitol Building. Last I heard, it wasn’t a Mississippi tradition to hold fish fry parties in lobbyist offices.
This wasn’t much of a folksy fish fry, as it turns out. It was Washington D.C. pay-to-play politics, with a fishy veneer cast over it to obscure the lobbyist connection. In the invitation to his Mississippi Fish Fry, Gregg Harper explicitly asked for large amounts of money from people who wanted to enjoy access to his company at the party – $1,000 for those who wanted to be taken seriously.