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Republican Congressman Sean Duffy Doesn't Want Anybody to Know He Thinks He Is Poor...

Evan McMorris-Santoro:

So How Rich Is Sean Duffy? Not Very...For A Congressman | TPMDC: Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) is in hot water this week for saying that he's "struggling" to pay bills on his $174,000 annual taxpayer-funded salary. In the now-infamous video clip, Duffy told attendees at a Polk County, Wisc., town hall meeting that "I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you." That may or may not be true, but one thing is certain -- Duffy is one of the poorest members of Congress.... [H]is family of [8] (wife plus six kids) is carrying between $250,000 and $500,000 in mortgage debt; between $50,000-$100,000 in student loans; between $15,000-$50,000 in credit card debt; and between $100,000-$250,000 in debt related to the family vacation home, a cabin not too far from his primary residence in Wisconsin.

The Duffy family lives in a 5-bedroom house sitting on 5 acres in Ashland, Wisconsin. The home has a market value of $247,000. They also own a 2-bedroom cabin in Iron River. That house is valued at $229,000. Duffy's household reported a total of $154,500 in income in 2009....

The $154,000 in income in they reported in 2009 made Duffy's family objectively well-off when it comes to a family from Wisconsin. Median household income there in 2008 was $52,103, according to the Census.

But in Congress, that kind of coin makes Duffy one of the poorest.... [T]he freshman House class... is among the wealthiest ever to be elected. Duffy was among the "several freshmen who, however, have little reportable wealth at all."...

Nevertheless, the video of Duffy talking about his salary has left him vulnerable to attacks that he's whining about money while he makes so much more than those who he represents. Democrats in Wisconsin put out a mock flyer for a "food and clothing drive for poor Sean Duffy." On the list of requested donations: "french-cuffed shirts"; "oyster spoons" and "last year's Bulgari, Givenchy and Versace." The Duffys do a live a life that's probably pretty different from most of the people Duffy represents in Congress...

And:

GOPers Demand Sean Duffy Salary Tape Be Pulled From The Internet (VIDEO) | TPMDC: First the Republican Party in Polk County, Wisconsin, pulled the tape of Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) fretting about making ends meet on his $174,000 a year salary from its own website. Now they want it gone from the whole Internet.... [W]e've put an excerpt of the video back up.... In the clip, Duffy is asked whether he'd support cutting his own salary. Duffy says he would, but only as part of a plan where all public employees' salaries would be cut. He then said that the $174,000 in salary (not including benefits) he receives is a squeeze for his family of [eight] to live on:

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 on the hog, I've got one paycheck. So 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 on the hog....

The county GOP took down the video from its blog after the Washington Post posted a short clip of it yesterday morning. An official with the Polk County GOP, which posted many other clips of the town hall on its YouTube channel, told TPM yesterday that the video was taken down because it was "was being republished without our consent." Kirk Anderson, who manages the county GOP website filed the complaint with Blip.tv, claiming that posting the video was a copyright infringement and demanding that the video be taken down. You can view that request here. County party Chair Sandy Fretwell did not respond to a request for comment. Duffy's office did not respond to a request either...

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