Representative Duffy told a constituent who identified as an out -of-work builder and bus driver, “I struggle to meet my bills right now…at this point, I’m not living high off the hog.”
The reality is that Representative Duffy has consistently earned more than double what working Wisconsin families make even when he was a District Attorney.
Representative Duffy received a salary of more than $90,000 in 2009. In addition, Representative Duffy claimed that he hadn’t taken a salary for seven months during his campaign, but he took a taxpayer funded salary as District Attorney for the majority of campaign for Congress, which spanned nearly a year.
During the seven months he campaigned without a taxpayer-funded salary, Duffy reimbursed himself over ten thousand dollars for everything from mileage to miscellaneous expenses.
Duffy’s exchange with a constituent at his townhall meeting in Amery Wisconsin follows:
Constituent: I’m a builder. I haven’t been building too many things in the last couple years with the economy down. My wife is a teacher. I’m fortunate enough to take a bus driving job. Love it. Just love it. But it’s not very much money of course. It’s working for us.
I’m just wondering, what are Congressman’s, Senator’s wages? My wife is going to have to take a cut if this bill goes through and I’m just wondering what your wage is and if you guys would be willing to take a cut?
Duffy: So the question is, what is my wage? And I’ll answer your question and I’ll get to it in one second. I was the Ashland County DA and uh I decided to run for Congress. And as this race heated up in the first part of June, I resigned as the Ashland County DA because I didn’t want to campaign on your tax dollars and so I didn’t and I resigned.
I have 6 children and I’ve gone for roughly 7 months with 6 kids and no paycheck. It was worth it for me to do that because I believe in what I was doing. I get the Congressional salary is 174 thousand dollars. I didn’t vote on that . I got there on January 5th. I came into it without a play in it.
Constituent: But a hundred and seventy-four thousand, that’s three times — that’s three of my family’s — three times what I make.
Duffy: Well our budget…I moved to cut by 5 percent. I did. You know what, I have no problem..let’s have a movement afoot. I walked into this job 6 weeks ago..um that I worked incredibly hard for. And I can guarantee you or most of you, I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you.
With 6 kids, I still pay off my student loans. I still pay my mortgage. I drive a used minivan. If you think I’m living high off the hog, I’ve got one paycheck. So I..I struggle to meet my bills right now. Would it be easier for me if I get more paychecks? Maybe, but at this point I’m not living high off the hog.
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