TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE
Recipes are not uncommon on Congressional home pages, particularly when they reflect the cuisine of the member's state or district. Senator Kennedy offers his mother's Cape Cod Fish Chowder, and Senator Thompson his mother's Coconut Cake and Cream Pie recipes. But none of them have become as newsworthy as Senator Patty Murray's Grilled Salmon.
It's not surprising that the National Republican Senate Committee would be looking closely at Senator Murray's home page. The Washington Democrat is among the 1/3 of the Senate's membership whose terms will soon expire and must face either retirement or re-election. The NRSC, eager to exploit any errors or contradictions to be found on the home pages of Senate Democrats in this class, alerted the media to the fact that Sen. Murray's home page contained both an article by the Senator about the importance of protecting Pacific Northwest Salmon, and only "clicks away", a recipe for Grilled Pacific Northwest Salmon.
Of course, the primary reason for protecting Salmon, is to help ensure that there will always be Salmon enough to eat. Nevertheless, word of the seeming contradiction spread quickly and showed up in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, TIME magazine, and on the editorial page of the Seattle Times (among others). Meanwhile, Sen. Murray is enjoying a surge of traffic to her home page, and the NRSC home page seems to have disappeared. Perhaps they've gone fishing?
The National Republican Senate Committee (currently inaccessible)
Senator Patty Murray of Washington
Some Food for Thought for Sen. Murray's Critics - Seattle Times editorial
Senator John McCain of Arizona says he doesn't like Pork Barreling, a term which Websters defines as "a government appropriation designed to ingratiate legislators with their constituents". Just this week McCain, a Republican, urged President Clinton to use his line-item veto power against projects he believes are examples of wasteful and unnecessary spending, including one that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott slipped onto a spending bill that passed Congress this week. You can find McCain's letters to the President, and his lists of pork on his home page. And don't miss the animated porker on the front page, it's great.
Senator John McCain of Arizona
SENATOR BYRD ON THE WEB
Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia is one of the Senate's longest serving members and is renowned as a historian of the institution and a protector of its unique character. And so it can be said that the use of the Internet in the Senate has gained a new degree of legitimacy with the debut of Senator Byrd's own home page last week. I couldn't find any recipes here, but there's plenty of food for thought (sorry, that was lame, but I'm trying to stay on a theme here) including information about the Senator's four-volume narrative on Senate history, and access to his column "Byrds-Eye View".
Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia
COOKIN' THE BOOKS
Here's how the Congressional Budget Office describes itself on its new home page, "The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was created by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. CBO's mission is to provide the Congress with objective, timely, nonpartisan analyses needed for economic and budget decisions and with the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process." Now you can find those analyses as well as CBO testimony and other materials online. No recipes, but still plenty of cookin'.
The Congressional Budget Office
That's all for now!
Copyright ©1997 by Chris Casey