NH Rep. Laurence Rappaport speaks with The Post & Email about Eligibility, the Constitution, and State Sovereignty

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by Sharon Rondeau

Laurence Rappaport represents Coos 1 District in the New Hampshire state legislature and will run for re-election in November

(Jul. 19, 2010) — In September 2008, New Hampshire State Rep. Laurence Rappaport and another member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Rep. Carol Vita, brought a complaint of possible election fraud to the New Hampshire Secretary of State,  Mr. William Gardner, stating that Barack Hussein Obama’s name had been placed on the state ballot despite evidence which cast doubt on his constitutional eligibility to serve as president.

Mr. Gardner stated that he did not have the authority to intervene and referred the matter to New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney, who did nothing.

Rep. Rappaport based his assertions to Gardner and Delaney on the following points:

  1. The Supreme Court’s definition of “natural born citizen” and subsequent affirmation of that definition by the US Congress last year, along with his admission that his father was Kenyan.
  2. Questionable birth certificates, and an affadavit (sic) by a doctor that he delivered Mr. Obama as a baby in Kenya.
  3. Multiple use of different Social Security numbers and a signed affidavit to that effect.
  4. Attending a school in Indonesia which claimed to accept no foreign students.

New Hampshire election law contains provisions which require candidates to affirm that they “meet the qualifications” for the offices they seek.

An astute reader of The Post & Email brought the original article to our attention recently and asked about the  doctor’s affidavit mentioned above which Rappaport had presented to Secretary of State Gardner.  We therefore decided to follow up with Rep. Rappaport  to inquire about any new developments with his complaint as well as his plans for the future.

MRS. RONDEAU: Since you spoke with your Secretary of State and Attorney General as mentioned in Mr. Charlton’s last report, has anything new happened with your complaint?

REP. RAPPAPORT: The issue is obviously staying alive.  I believe that New Hampshire’s political leadership is going to change in the upcoming election, so I sat back and all of my plans are for after the election.  I don’t think there’s anything much that I can do before then.

MRS. RONDEAU: You brought your complaint to Secretary of State Gardner, who referred you to the  Attorney General, Michael Delaney.  Did Mr. Delaney give you a reason as to why he was unable to act on it?

REP. RAPPAPORT: Yes, he did.  I made an appointment, along with Rep. Carol Vita, and she brought her husband, and the three of us met with Attorney General Michael Delaney during which he said that there was nothing that he could do because he believed it was a federal matter.  He said that if we had a question about it, we had to bring it before the federal prosecutor.

MRS. RONDEAU: Aren’t the states responsible for elections?  Isn’t each state its own republic?

REP. RAPPAPORT: Yes, that’s right.  The road map for the conglomeration of all the states into the federal bureaucracy was written in the Constitution, and the powers that went to the federal government were very limited.  According to both the states and federal Constitutions, the federal government was supposed to be very limited in scope, but it certainly hasn’t turned out that way.

MRS. RONDEAU: On July 1, the first challenge to the health care legislation was heard in Virginia, and  the government’s attorneys argued that state law should “be supplanted” by federal law.

REP. RAPPAPORT: Yes, I’m aware of that, and I disagree.  I think that the federal government has never been imbued with the ability to change the Constitution.  When there have been changes, for example, when voting for the abolition of slavery, it has been by constitutional amendment.  So my feeling is that if anything needs to change, it can only change by constitutional amendment, and certainly, the federal government is not imbued with the power to make changes.

MRS. RONDEAU: It appears that the federal government believes it does have that power.

REP. RAPPAPORT: Yes, it seems that way.  Are you aware of the Apuzzo lawsuit?

MRS. RONDEAU: Yes.  We’ve been following that closely.

REP. RAPPAPORT: So you read the latest ruling.

MRS. RONDEAU: Yes.  What is your interpretation of that?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I think it’s wrong.  It’s incorrect, because so far, the federal government has managed to get “lack of standing” passed everywhere, and some people, including me, question that.  If Mr. Keyes had been disqualified and he was another presidential candidate in California, who in the world does have standing?  This is crazy.  I just don’t believe it.

In the case of my issue, specifically, I’m alleging an investigation needs to be initiated to find out whether or not fraud was perpetrated on the voters of New Hampshire.

MRS. RONDEAU: You appear to be taking your constitutional responsibilities very seriously.

REP. RAPPAPORT: I think I am.

MRS. RONDEAU: Are there a lot of representatives like you in New Hampshire?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I honestly don’t know.  I know there are several others because I speak to them on a fairly regular basis.  The party in power in New Hampshire has been the Democrats. We have something called House Concurrent Resolutions, and just about every one has been voted down.  It appears as if they’re voted down along very strict party lines.  I have some friends who are Democrats, and I’ve discussed this with them, but they vote the way they vote.  I’m a firm believer in democracy, so if our position is voted down, then that’s democracy, and we have to acquiesce to that.  We can’t try for a dictatorship because whether or not your cause is just, it’s just as wrong for a just cause to apply to a dictatorship or fascist government as a good cause would.  So I believe you have to acquiesce towards democracy, and this is it.

MRS. RONDEAU: Where do you think New Hampshire stands now relative to voting in more people who will support the state and U.S. Constitutions?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I think we’re in a very strong position.  I believe that the next legislature will be primarily Republicans, and we might even vote in a Republican governor.  I’m not really a very good politician.  I don’t know much about politics; I just know what I believe.  But people who are considerably more familiar than I am with polling and political trends have all indicated to me that we’re about to undergo a radical transformation in this state.  So I think that the state is going to abide by the state and U.S. constitutions more in the future than it has in the past.

MRS. RONDEAU: Did New Hampshire drift away from that and the voters decided that that didn’t work well?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I think so, but I’m in a very conservative area.  Up north, we have almost no opposition.  It’s a very strong Republican, or I should say, constitutional area.

MRS. RONDEAU: You seem to make the distinction that not all “Republicans” are constitutional.

REP. RAPPAPORT: That’s right.  And a lot of people are more inclined to support the constitution than, say, for example, the Republican Party.

MRS. RONDEAU: Isn’t it true that the Framers, particularly George Washington and some of the others, abhorred political parties and called them “factions“?

REP. RAPPAPORT: Yes.  And that is a bothersome thing in regard to holders of public office.  My position as a state representative doesn’t require an awful lot of money.  But the higher up you go, the more money is required.  The more money that’s required, the more the support of a political party is involved.  For example, if I wanted to run for president, which I never would do, it would be a question of having millions of dollars available to me.  Now as a total independent, unless I were an excessively rich person, I wouldn’t have that.  So basically, and I think this is wrong, what we seem to have is a system of government which is largely dependent upon finance and therefore, is largely dependent upon corporations, which are the very people which the government is supposed to regulate.  Well, to me, this is untenable.

MRS. RONDEAU: Are big businesses with large amounts of cash partnering up with political candidates?

REP. RAPPAPORT: That’s the way I look at it.

MRS. RONDEAU: Can this be changed, in your opinion?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I don’t know.  I think it’s going to take somebody a lot wiser than I to do it if it can be done.  I would strongly be in favor of campaign finance reform, but I mean real reform, which means no more soft money, and term limits.  I think if those two things were initiated, we could get back to the type of government which I believe was intended by the original Framers, whom I hold in absolutely the highest regard.

MRS. RONDEAU: You must have done a lot of reading about the Framers.

REP. RAPPAPORT: Not only that, but if you look at the situation, you have to realize that back then, they didn’t have telephones, they didn’t have cell phones, they didn’t have email, there was no internet.  Consequently, a person who wanted to have some political influence had to be very, very expert at sizing up another individual. They were a lot better at it than we are, simply because they had to be.  And since all of them, almost universally, espoused this idea that politicians should not be a professional class – you shouldn’t have professional politicians – they relied very heavily on this, which means they were extremely intelligent people.  The original Framers, in my judgment, were absolutely the best.

If you want to look at the original signers of the Declaration of Independence and see what happened to them after they had put their signatures on the Declaration, it was horrible.  These men paid a very, very serious price, and I think that we owe them…I’ve always said, “Freedom is not free.”  There was a terrific price to be paid, and this price continues.  Unfortunately, it’s very easy to lose freedom, and once you’ve lost it, it’s really hard to get it back.  That’s why I was so opposed to the Patriot Act, and I know that an awful lot of people in the Republican Party were opposed to it.  But they worked very hard to get things changed and then went along with the changes because, well, that’s what they had worked for.  At that point they were in the position of “Here it is; you’re the guys who wanted it changed,” so you have to go along with it.

MRS. RONDEAU: So that reduces things to politics rather than following the Constitution.

REP. RAPPAPORT: Which I think they did.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think there’s a difference between a Republican at the state level and a Republican at the U.S. Congressional level?

REP. RAPPAPORT: Unfortunately, yes, I do.  If our party came out with the same kind of platform that exists at the federal level, I couldn’t do it.  I would have to become an Independent, whether I wanted to or not.  For example,  I can’t support illegal aliens, period.  The reason I can’t is that I respect the rule of law; you don’t get to pick and choose which laws you like, which is what our current administration is doing.  You either have to uphold all the laws or you have to go to jail.  You don’t have a choice, and unfortunately, there are far too many politicians who are going along with things in which they don’t believe.  At the state level, thank goodness, I don’t have to do that.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you have any idea how many state representatives or state senators in New Hampshire might feel the same way you do:  that the election of 2008 still needs to be investigated as to whether or not Obama was eligible as well as others who were allowed to run, such as Roger Calero?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I don’t know.  That’s my most honest answer.  I would hope so.  When I spoke with Secretary of State Gardner, he informed me that in a couple of cases, he knew that somebody was running for state office who wasn’t eligible.  Under our state constitution, there’s a residency requirement, and Secretary Gardner knew that this person wasn’t eligible, so he told him, and the person withdrew his name.

MRS. RONDEAU: Was there a controversy over that?

REP. RAPPAPORT: No.  None at all.

MRS. RONDEAU: You are a plaintiff on one of Orly Taitz’s cases.  Do you have any news on that?

REP. RAPPAPORT: No, I don’t.

MRS. RONDEAU: Why do you think the Democrats in office in New Hampshire wouldn’t do anything about the Obama eligibility at the time?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I think they were sidestepping the issue.  Mr. Gardner is, by all accounts, a very honest man.  I think that if he were to investigate someone and completely fulfill his constitutional responsibilities and in so doing, find that a person was not eligible, he would not permit him to be on the ballot, as we just discussed.  I have a lot of respect for the man.  Mr. Delaney may be the same way; I’m not disparaging him in any way, but I don’t know him.  I’ve spent a lot of time investigating Mr. Gardner, and uniformly, he has a very good reputation.  For example, I’ve been in his office multiple times.  He doesn’t have a large staff; he doesn’t have a large budget; he does not have the ability to mount an investigation, and in fairness, I think that should an investigation need to be mounted, there are a lot of reasons why it needs to fall on the attorney general rather than the secretary of state.  However, Rep. Vita and I brought it to the attention of both of them.

MRS. RONDEAU: Were you afraid to do that?

REP. RAPPAPORT: No.  I wasn’t afraid because I’m an American.  I feel very, very strongly about supporting both the U.S. and state constitutions.  I think that whatever happens, you can’t allow your own feelings to sway you one way or another.  In other words, if I thought that I could pursue this and have a reasonable degree of success, frankly, I would.  The reason I’m sitting back and waiting for the current election is that I think that you’re beating a dead horse, and nothing is going to happen.  They have proven this over and over again.  They don’t care about the Constitution, and everything that is coming out of Washington and Mr. Obama’s mouth has proven to me to be an outright lie.  I haven’t seen any change; I certainly haven’t seen any transparency; and the idea about a bill being on the internet for citizens to read a week before it’s voted on is absurd.

MRS. RONDEAU: And it hasn’t happened.

REP. RAPPAPORT: Not only has it not happened, but there are bills which have been voted on where our representatives haven’t even read it.  For example, for Attorney General Holder to come out and say that the Arizona immigration bill is wrong, first of all, he hasn’t read it; how can you have an opinion if you haven’t even read the bill?

MRS. RONDEAU: And he admitted that he hadn’t read it.

REP. RAPPAPORT: That’s right.  Second of all, the same bill was essentially passed by Missouri about five years ago.  So why does Arizona’s bill rate a lawsuit and the Missouri bill, which has been in place for five years, doesn’t?

MRS. RONDEAU: What do you think is going on with that?  Why is the federal government suing a state which is trying to protect its citizens, which is a constitutional duty?

REP. RAPPAPORT: It’s beyond that.  Why is the federal government suing the state over a law which already appears in the U.S. Code?  To me, this is absolutely absurd.  Now, maybe there’s some legal part of this that I don’t understand; I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.  But it sounds to me, from a commonsense point of view, that this is absolutely absurd.

MRS. RONDEAU: In the article which John Charlton had written about you, he mentioned two different documents which you had brought to Attorney General Delaney.  One was the Lucas Smith purported Kenyan birth certificate.  Were you able to find the second document?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I was not able to put my hand on it.  One of the problems is that as a state representative, I have absolutely no staff.  Normally I can put my hands on things, but this has been going on since well before I was a representative.  So papers are all over the place.  But I know what the document was.

MRS. RONDEAU: What did it look like?

REP. RAPPAPORT: There were two documents.  One of them appeared to be the actual birth certificate with a footprint on it, and that’s the one that’s been around all over the place.  The other one is a document which appeared to be the registration.  Besides the birth certificate, there’s a registration which occurs at the province level, and that’s what that was.  That showed the birth of Obama in Kenya, and it lists the father and mother, but it was a registration.  However, I feel as if the document everyone wants to see is the birth certificate itself.  Then, in addition to that, everybody wants to see transcripts from his college enrollment.  The reason is that some have claimed that when Obama attended Occidental College, he was there as a foreign student and he got a scholarship or some financial aid as such.  If that is true, and he said, “I’m not; I’m an American,” then if nothing else, he’s guilty of lying.  Either you were or you weren’t; there’s nothing in between.

MRS. RONDEAU: WorldNetDaily had reported that the purported Kenyan birth certificate was a forgery.  Were they correct about that?

REP. RAPPAPORT: They’re wrong. Their analysis was absolutely not conclusive, because I was involved in that.   I don’t know that it’s not a forgery, but I know that WorldNetDaily’s basis for that, in my judgment, was wrong.  They did not prove that it was a forgery to me.

MRS. RONDEAU: I don’t think they obtained a professional analyst’s statement about it.

REP. RAPPAPORT: It was something along the lines of the way it had been obtained was very questionable; there were a lot of “ifs” that were involved in it.  But we have never seen his actual birth certificate, and many people have Certifications of Live Birth from Hawaii who weren’t American, such as Sun Yat-Sen – he has one!  Well, that tells you a lot about how accurate those are.  All you have to do to get one is write to the Health Department and say that you were born on such-and-such a day at such-and-such a time.  Frankly, there’s more authenticity to the birth announcement than the Certification of Live Birth. I believe it appeared in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

MRS. RONDEAU: The announcement appeared in both the Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser, within a day of each other, which I understand is extremely rare.

REP. RAPPAPORT: Unless, of course, you were trying to do it, in which case it would be very easy. It doesn’t prove anything simply because you write a letter announcing the birth of someone, and then they just print it.

MRS. RONDEAU: And it doesn’t say his name, nor is there a record that the parents were ever married.

REP. RAPPAPORT: Yes, I know that.  The point is that as long as Obama is able to perpetuate this nonsense and protect it, and as long as the Democrat Party is willing to accept it…there’s enough evidence available such that nobody is going to say it’s legitimate unless they have a reason to.  The best news that I got was the fact that the Democrats seem to be getting fed up with him, too.  If that happens, he’s in a lot of trouble.

MRS. RONDEAU: There have been many reports that he attended college as a foreign student, which would have meant that he had foreign citizenship and perhaps a foreign passport.

REP. RAPPAPORT: Or he was lying.  After all, we have a Secretary of the Treasury who is an admitted income tax cheat, so one would say that you shouldn’t have liars and cheats elected to office, particularly for something like this.

MRS. RONDEAU: How do you think these people get approved by the Senate?

REP. RAPPAPORT: To me, it doesn’t make sense, regardless of party.  It was clear that I was opposed to a lot of President’ Bush’s policies.  So nobody can say, “Well, you’re a Republican; anything the Democrats do you’re against.”  No, I’m sorry; I’m a constitutionalist, and anything that goes against the Constitution is wrong, period.

MRS. RONDEAU: What you said reminds me of the story of Davy Crockett and his constituent, who pointed out that money taken from one and given to another is not authorized by the Constitution.

New Hampshire delegates were the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence. Its motto is "Live Free or Die."

REP. RAPPAPORT: You hit it right on the head.  We have a society of “gimmes” now, and it’s all based on “What are you going to give me?”  I believe it’s a shame that people don’t take more responsibility.  One of the things that’s encouraging to me is the fact that in looking at, for example, the Hispanic voting bloc, they’re just like everybody else.  They’re conservatives, they’re liberals; you can’t say that these people are going to support the liberal cause, although it seems as if they’re more likely to if they don’t have anything.  But the concept of justice is absolutely ridiculous, and the concept of spending other people’s money:  I’m sorry, but I have a real problem with that.  If you want to support a charity, which I do, then support the charity with our own money.  But I shouldn’t be spending your money.

MRS. RONDEAU: The U.S. Congress does it every day.  Isn’t that stealing?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I think they don’t care; I don’t know whether or not they see it as theft.  But the results are pretty clear.

MRS. RONDEAU: What do you think could be done to usher in a much more constitutional Congress?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I’ve been thinking about that for a long time.  The way things are going, one might think that there are really only two ways that this can happen.  One is the peaceful way, which of course, I hope for, and that would be by voting in people who have a strong belief in the Constitution as that which made this country great.  The other way is revolution, and that’s what happened in the very beginning.  I certainly don’t support that, but I’m afraid, because there are only two possibilities, if one doesn’t come to fruition, then the other one will.  Or, we just go into total dictatorship, fascism.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think we’re close to that?

REP. RAPPAPORT: I wish I knew.  I honestly don’t know, but certainly, there’s more and more freedom given up every day, more things that are happening that are not specifically authorized by the Constitution.  I’d like to say that things are going the right way, but they’re not.  I read the Constitution several times recently, and I’m trying to find where it said that General Motors and Chrysler could be bought by the government.  I just can’t seem to find that.

MRS. RONDEAU: Neither can Leo Donofrio or Stephen Pidgeon, who have filed a lawsuit on behalf of many former Chrysler dealerships, for which oral argument is scheduled for July 28.  And they justify the health care bill because they say they’re “regulating interstate commerce.”

REP. RAPPAPORT: That’s right.  And if you look at the financial reform bill, in my judgment, it’s ineffectual.  I think that one of the biggest causes of the financial meltdown was the fact that mortgages were issued to people who couldn’t pay them back, and this was a direct result of the Community Reinvestment Act and political pressure being placed on Citicorp and other banks.  Now, most of those mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and what does the financial reform bill do about that?  Nothing.

The other thing is derivatives and so-called “credit default swaps.”  Years ago, I got my start with Smith-Barney, so I have a little bit of financial background.  Credit default swaps are called such because they don’t use the word “insurance,” because if they did, they’d have to be regulated.  Regulation means capital requirements, and if AIG had the capital requirements of any insurance company, then a lot of their bankruptcy wouldn’t have happened.  There’s a question as to whether a lot of these things would have happened.  So there’s no regulation at all on derivatives, which I think should be outlawed completely, and there’s no regulation on credit default swaps, which I think are absolutely ridiculous.  The interesting thing is that those credit default swaps were rated by the rating agencies – Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch – and how could they possibly rate them as highly as they did, or even rate them at all?  They all went bust, but it was based on the belief that a home would constantly appreciate in value, which is ridiculous.  My feeling is that any asset, and I don’t care what it is:  gold, or a house – anything can go up or down.  That’s the nature of the beast.  So to rely on a constant appreciation is ridiculous, and credit default swaps were therefore and still are absolutely ridiculous.

The laws necessary to regulate the financial industry are already in place.  If you just simply enforce the existing laws, none of this would have happened.  But the interesting thing is that most of the community banks were totally unaffected by this.  I’m a stockholder in a couple of them, and I’ve received financial reports from them, and they’re doing just fine, thank you very much.  All this financial reform does is make life more difficult for them, and why did it happen?  Because they don’t have political muscle, or they don’t have enough political muscle.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think all of these bills have been passed to give the federal government a larger role in private industry?

REP. RAPPAPORT: Absolutely.  I don’t think there’s any question.  If you look at what has happened over the last year and you listen to Obama’s very clear message of One World Government heading towards socialism, it’s obvious.  The interesting thing is, though, that the opinion of leaders throughout the world about Obama couldn’t be worse.  He went to Scandinavia to get the Olympics moved to Chicago; he failed.  He’s failed at every single thing he’s done, every single worldwide thing he’s done.

Now how is this good?  My own opinion is that we don’t need a military presence in 130 countries in a place like Korea, for example, where we have something like 30,000 troops.  Excuse me, but I thought that police action ended in the ’50s.  Well, here it is, 2010, at least 50 years later:  shouldn’t they be taking care of themselves?  We can certainly have a treaty with them, but we shouldn’t be there trying to protect them.

MRS. RONDEAU: And Jefferson warned us about “foreign entanglements.”

REP. RAPPAPORT: That’s right.  And the point is, nobody has more entangling foreign alliances than we do.  My goodness, it’s everywhere!

MRS. RONDEAU: Is that another thing that could be addressed by voting in a new Congress?

REP. RAPPAPORT: Yes, it could.  Let’s say, God forbid, that the union dissolves because there’s nobody left to support it, and you have essentially a conglomeration of states:  then each one is independent.  What happens then?  What a horrible scenario.  It seems as if that’s where we’re heading.  Now Obama and his people don’t seem to care; they don’t seem to be aware that this could happen.  They think that it’s so bad that it never could come to pass, but honestly, there are more and more people who are thinking that way.

Every 90 days or so, the U.S. Treasury auctions off its debt.  In the past, the big buyers have been the Asians, principally the Chinese and the Japanese.  But they’re not doing it now.  The one I analyzed about six months ago was bought by the Federal Reserve in the amount of about 60%.  In economic terms, that’s called monetarizing the debt, and it’s the first step in major inflation, called hyperinflation.  This is what’s happened, so the question is:  Even if they were to stop spending today, just exactly who is going to buy this debt?  Nobody wants it anymore.  And the status of the U.S. currency as a world currency, which it always has been, is now for the first time in jeopardy.  The average guy on the street doesn’t realize how serious that is, and bailing out the banks is not going to help.  People are going to have to buy this debt, and you can’t force other people in the world to buy it.

MRS. RONDEAU: If they don’t think it’s a good risk, they’re not going to buy it.

REP. RAPPAPORT: That’s right, and that leaves the Fed, and of course, Ron Paul’s bill, which has been thoroughly gutted.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think an audit of the Federal Reserve would improve the situation?

REP. RAPPAPORT: It won’t ameliorate it, but what it will do, and why I’ve been such a strong supporter of it, is that people who don’t have any idea of what the Fed is doing will now all of a sudden learn. My feeling is that we should cast the light of day on something, and sometimes that’s the first major step to action.  By putting it under the light of day, it would tell an awful lot of people what’s going on, and they’re not going to like what they see.

MRS. RONDEAU: There are probably many people who don’t understand that the Federal Reserve is a private entity and not authorized by the Constitution.

REP. RAPPAPORT: That’s right.  However, by applying pressure in a few careful places, big changes could be made. for example, take the case of school textbooks.  Teachers don’t pick the textbooks; they are picked at a much higher level, so a lot of these things happen by default.  I think we’re moving in that direction.

MRS. RONDEAU: What made you want to run for office?

REP. RAPPAPORT: The thing that makes me want to run is the fact that I’m a strong constitutionalist and I don’t like the way our country is going, so I have to do whatever I can.  I’m 69 years old.  I really don’t want this; I would love to just go out in my boat and go fishing every day.  The reason I’m doing this is that I think things are wrong, and it’s incumbent on everyone to make some kind of effort to change it.  This is my effort.

MRS. RONDEAU: How many terms have you served?

REP. RAPPAPORT: Just one, and I’m about to run for my second term.

MRS. RONDEAU: You had mentioned that the pay is not very high.

REP. RAPPAPORT: (Laughs)  Yes, it’s $100 a year!

MRS. RONDEAU: So you’re not in this for the money, certainly!

REP. RAPPAPORT: You’re darn right, I’m not!  I want to serve, and I’m not looking for a salary.  However, to get to the state capital is about a three-hour drive for me.  We get paid a federal mileage rate which now is about $.51/mile, but we do not get paid for our hotel expense or our meals, and certainly $100 for a term isn’t very much money.  So we basically don’t get paid for our time.  I would like it if we could at least get our expenses paid, because it costs me a lot of money.  That means that roughly every two weeks when the legislature is in session, I get a check for about $300 for the mileage.  However, I spend a lot more than that, and you do have to maintain your car every now and then.

The other thing is, in my district, the younger people who might have really good ideas cannot serve.  If they have families and they’re not independently wealthy, they can’t run for office.  They have to feed their families.  I think that’s wrong, too, because I know some people who are younger, and I feel as if we could benefit dramatically from some of their ideas, and these people should be able to participate in government.

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