Principles vs. politics
All too often, we see elected officials choose political expediency over sticking to their principles. So, as far as that goes, it has been refreshing to see Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Fowler) continue to stand up for spending cuts and against tax hikes and executive power. However, by being vocal, Huelskamp has cost himself — and by extension, the 1st District — a lot of influence in the halls of power.
As a freshman representative, Huelskamp served on the House of Representatives committees on the budget, agriculture, and veterans’ affairs. The budget committee is tremendously important for the entire country, and the 1st District is one of the most agricultural congressional districts. He butted heads with House Republican leadership enough that Speaker John Boehner told him to keep quiet or lose committee memberships, Huelskamp recently told a town hall in Hillsboro. It came to a head in December, when Huelskamp did lose his seats on the budget and ag committees. In their place, he was assigned to the small business committee.
Small businesses certainly are important, particularly in a mostly rural congressional district. But Huelskamp isn’t in as good of a position to protect the interests of the 1st District as he was when he was on the ag and budget committees.
Now Huelskamp is free to pursue his principles and agenda as vocally as he pleases. He doesn’t have to worry about upsetting House Republican leadership, because he already has, and they have done practically all they can to him, short of backing a primary challenger in 2014.
Huelskamp is free to speak truth to power. All it took to get that freedom was marginalizing himself and his constituents.
— ADAM STEWART
Last modified Jan. 16, 2013