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.
For a couple hours, the local county GOP was successful. But we’ve put an excerpt of the video back up.
A day after TPM posted the video we obtained of Duffy talking about his salary at a Polk County town hall meeting earlier this year, the Polk County GOP contacted the video provider we used to host the video, Blip.tv, and demanded the video be taken down.
The tape caused a stir for Duffy, a first-term conservative best known for his past as a reality TV show star on MTV’s The Real World. Democrats flagged the comments about his taxpayer-funded salary (which is nearly three times the median income in Wisconsin) and criticisms began to flow Duffy’s way.
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 seven 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.
Duffy’s office said any Democratic criticism of his response was “a misleading attack.” For more on Duffy’s finances, see this post.
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.
Here’s a one-minute clip, excerpted from roughly 45 minutes of video of the public Duffy townhall, that the Polk County GOP doesn’t want anyone to see:
Ed. Note: This post has been updated from the original.