FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Congressman, Heal Thy Street
“For too long, Washington has worked for the wealthy and well connected. I want to put Washington to work for working families, whether they wear shirts and ties, or hard hats and safety boots to work.” – Congressman Harry Teague, 2008
Harry Teague is having a tough year. Back in 2008, Teague bragged to voters that his businesses provided health care coverage for all his employees. However, as Politico reported earlier this year, Teague’s companies actually did away with health insurance for their “working families”, regardless of head-wear … four days before Christmas.
According to Politico, Teague’s troubles have led to a significant personal loss over the last two years, taking him from being “one of the richest members of the House” to just a “run-of-the-mill congressional millionaire.”
The latest, ahem, hiccup, for the beleaguered Teague is a big lawsuit. A $2.7 million civil suit has been filed against him and four of the companies he owns over failure to repay loans for purchases.
Perhaps the rough road ahead is why Teague would see fit to use his office to try to cut himself a few breaks. Take, for example, his fully disclosed FY-2010 Transportation Appropriation requests, available from his official website. In 2010, Teague requested a whopping $4,800,000 for Turner Street in Hobbs, New Mexico. In what is surely a stunning coincidence, 11 companies in which Rep. Harry Teague and his son have an interest have addresses affiliated with two properties that Teague owns on Turner Street. And he has a campaign office right around the corner.
Rep. Teague requested quite a bit of money for transportation improvement in New Mexico. Congress members receive requests for appropriations from all manner of sources. Typically they come from the local governments, other times affected parties will lobby for funds, such as residents or affected businesses. So it’s possible there’s someone else on the street with concerns. But let’s take a look at the Congressman’s interest here. Teago, LLC, has owned the property with the address 320 and 324 Turner Street since 2003. Below are the list of Teague owned/affiliated companies with interest on the street. In the list below, Harry refers to Harry Teague and Troy is his son.
Not to mention he’s had a campaign office located just 95 ft off Turner on East Broadway.
Teague says people in Congress shouldn’t be using their influence to cater to the wealth and well-connected. Maybe he thought being demoted to “run-of-the-mill congressional millionaire” bumped him out of the wealthy and well-connected bracket. I wonder if his constituents would agree.
Teague is running for reelection this year in a tough fight against former Rep. Steve Pearce, and is considered one of the more vulnerable House Democrats.