Saturday, January 31, 2009

One Moment in Time

Over the last few days, I have been very busy and have been pondering what to write about. There were many things that I could have, but the urge to write just didn't come. Then early this morning, it came. A thought, 'write about how you came to Missouri'.

My husband had just walked through the door, after getting off his graveyard shift, and I told him my thought and he said, 'Ah, another moment in time.' I responded with 'Thanks for the title!'. LOL.

There is a saying that goes, 'life is what happens when you are making other plans.' I couldn't agree more with it. I view our lives as tapestries. Different events in our lives help form the final pattern that we create. We need both the dark and the light, as well as brilliant moments, to weave together and form the pattern of our lives. While we can seek direction from the master weaver, ultimately, we choose what it will look like.

Approximately 18 months before my family moved to Missouri, I kept getting impressions to move here. I would find reasons why I could not. We could not sell our home for enough, there is not going to be as good of a job for my husband, it is so far from family, and many other excuses, not to even research the idea.

Nine months after that first impression, my husband was laid off from his job. We saw the warning signs, and so we had the house on the market already. To make a long story short, my husband did not find any work for 9 months. We had lost everything I worried about by this point, and we had to short sell our home. I entered a contest for a recording contract competition, which took me to Branson, Missouri. I raised funds from friends, family and neighbors to make this trip. Aaron and I went together, while our children stayed with my mother.

I ended up winning third place and being offered a recording contract, which I turned down. However, my husband and I immediately fell in love with this area. We knew that it was where we were supposed to be.

We returned home, and went through a lot of struggles, but eventually, we sold everything we could, and packed up our 1996 Ford Taurus for the trip. We had all four of our children in car seats at that time, so we were limited on what we could take. We had one set of dishes for each person, one sauce pan, one frying pan, utensils, some canned goods, a can opener, pillows and blankets for each person, 7 outfits per person, and our photo albums and other records.

Prior to moving, we search the internet over and over for the most affordable place to live at that time, and Buffalo, Missouri kept coming up. We decided that we would take every city within one hour of Branson, and put it in a hat, and let our oldest daughter choose where we would live. She pulled out Buffalo, Missouri. We repeated the same technique for when we would leave, and what time.

When we arrived in Buffalo, it was dark. The motel that we were going to go to was closed for the night, so we had to stay elsewhere that first night. I will admit, that I was scared. I wondered what I had done, and thought maybe I should turn around and go back. I was determined to follow this path to where ever it led, so I pushed on.

The next morning, after we got to our motel, we were offered an apartment for rent before we even got our motel key in the door. When we went to church that first Sunday, many people told us that they had been praying for us to come. I was a bit astonished about that, since they said they had been praying for 18 months for a family like ours to move in. My husband worked temporary jobs for awhile, until he was hired with Dairy Farmer's of America in Springfield.

My experiences in Buffalo, are for another time, but are worth telling about. :) We eventually moved to Springfield, and I have no desire to ever live anywhere else. Many of my ancestors have walked through this state, lived here, died here, I feel more at home here, even though all of my family is now back west in Utah and Arizona. I do have some extended family in neighboring states, but my community here, is my family.

That is something I have also come to love about Missouri. My neighbors, church family, associates, fellow patriots and activists have become my family.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Being One with The People

The other day when I was hosting a meet the candidates event for Campaign for Liberty, someone made a statement to me that I found very curious.

They stated that there is no way that I can understand the people in this district. It came across as if they were saying that I was rich, and not able to understand the struggles that others living in this district go through.

As much as I find that amusing, I also wondered if others might think that too. If they do, I want to reassure them that I do understand.

I have been married for over 11 1/2 years. I have four children. They are ages 10,10,8 and 7. My husband is the sole provider. I have done things from time to time, like childcare, or singing, but the majority of my time I volunteer to do things.

We moved to this district after our economic situation became even more difficult. I did not move here to run for office. I moved here because it was within our budget. With the increasing costs of utilities, home owner's insurance, car insurance, food, and other things, it was not financially possible to stay where we were.

I shop at the thrift stores, and often visit garage sales. Craigslist is a place that also helps me save money. I have even shopped at the damaged freight store for good deals, and will shop at Aldi's most of the time.

I have friends and a supportive husband that makes it possible for me to be involved and to run for office. If it was not for them, this would not be an option at all.

I literally am one of the people, running to represent us. Besides the fact that many have asked me to run, I have observed those around me. I have watched sweet elderly ladies scrape up what money they can to buy one single can of coke. They are trying to remain independent, and can barely do it. I offered to help this particular woman, and she refused my help. Which, I completely understand. We feel successful when we can take care of ourselves.

My neighbors are having a very hard time, they need someone that really truly cares about them. They struggle to get to their jobs, and even while working, still need help to make ends meet.

I have experienced many things in my life, and I know that I can empathize with anyone. It is time for compassion, but at the same time steadfastness. I am offering to be the representative voice, that is all I can do. If I am not someone that The People feel can represent them, that is ok. I am just giving them another option.

I just want to protect what we have here, and work for it to get better. This area has a lot to offer. It has great people, great businesses, and people that work together.

To the individual that said I don't understand, I invite you to contact me, and ask me whatever questions you have, if there are any more that remain.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trying to Understand

So, I have been busier then ever, and not keeping up with my own life in this blog. That always causes me to look within and do a value and priority check. I don't want to be putting time and energy in something unless it is worthwhile. And I definitely have to make sure that I keep that balance with my family.

Today has been one of those tough days, where family and friends both have been down, frustrated and fearful, and sometimes, that can get to me since I am really good at feeling empathy for others. So, I made this today. And since it is how I spent some of my time I am going to post it and call it a blog LOL.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Who will be Springfield Missouri's Next Mayor?

Last night I attended the ARTS Council's meet the candidates forum. This one was very different then the other events that I have attended. This one came with some artistic entertainment from one of the candidates that is running in Springfield's Mayor race. I took some pictures of the candidates as always, and so I will share a bit of last night with you.

This is Sandra Queen Noble. She came in a little late, and the first thing I noticed besides her hood was that she had a tail. A long black tail. I thought, this is a very artistic person, and I was very curious who she was. A friend of mine told me that she was a candidate for mayor. When it was Sandra's time to tell us about herself, she performed a rap for us. I honestly can only remember two things from it "affirmative action" and that "DFS is child kidnappers with degrees". The rest of it was a blur to be honest. I tried to catch her afterwards, but she was a bit stand-offish. I invited her to the event Campaign for Liberty is having for the candidates, and she said that the 'internet is child abuse' when I mentioned that I tried to email all the candidates earlier. I have to say that she truly is the most unique candidate I have ever met. I still don't know what to think, I am still stunned.

Here is a quick look at the candidates running for mayor, many were very informed on the issues, and it is starting to become much clearer to me who is the best candidate for my vote.

And here is a quick look at the candidates that are running for the other open seats.

Power in the Hands of Men

It is said that it is the nature of almost all men, as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately exercise unrighteous dominion.

In Isaiah 10 we read, "aWoe unto them that decree bunrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;"

Have you ever stopped to question what is an unrighteous decree? Automatically we could state that an unrighteous decree is a decree that goes against the laws of God, that limits our liberty, or enslaves the people.

When we choose leaders for our local offices, state government, or national government, we are choosing individuals that are to protect us from unrighteous decrees. To protect us from being stripped of liberty. We choose them in order to remain a free people. It seems that too many have forgotten the proper role of government, and they expect to receive benefits from them rather then to protect liberty.

Corporations have become more important then the people, money more important then life, and power more important then righteousness. And many infringes on liberty are made under the disguise of helping the poor, making life easier or better, when in fact, they are only benefiting a few, and not all.

Liberty for all. Freedom to choose. Free will, or agency. Right to your life. Right to your property. These short, yet powerful phrases really should be at the core of decisions made on behalf of the people.

Proverbs 22 warns those who will take from others what they can expect to have happen to them, "He that aoppresseth the poor to increase his briches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want."

This can be, and is manipulated in our current system. Using our deep desire to love our neighbor, have compassion for them, and care for them, the poor actually are being oppressed, and the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. Whenever government tries to find solutions for the poor, they actually create more poverty, because they always design the system to benefit the wealthy in the end.

Truly lifting those that are struggling and downtrodden can only come through our personal efforts. And yes, I say this from experience. We could end poverty if we loved our neighbors as ourselves, and if we did not look to government to do it. We could end poverty through looking to God, and the word of God and what it teaches us to do instead.

We can become more productive as a people, grow gardens, and teach others to grow gardens. By doing this, we could create neighborhood food banks, where the excess that we individually do not need can be donated for those that need it. For example, one of my neighbors grows tomatoes, they have a gift for it, and another is really good at growing peppers. It they both take of their excess and give it to the food bank, then the tomato grower has access to peppers and the pepper grower tomatoes. This is a very simplistic example, but the solutions really are simple.

Does it take effort? Absolutely! But it would lift the poor and not oppress them. They could feel the benefits of being a producer, taking care of themselves, and being independent.

I grew up in a home that had financial struggles, that relied on state and church assistance many times to survive. I got to experience first hand the issues within the system of the state. When I realized how the system keeps the poor, poor, and realized the long term effects on individuals, I knew I had to get out of it.

When you first try to leave the system by bettering yourself, you discover that you are punished for progress. You lose benefits immediately, and your lifestyle becomes worse because you are not able to make enough money at first to compensate for the loss of benefits. This can be depressing, and convinces many to just give up and to just live on the system because their life is better then when they get a better job, or improve their education, because there is not a transition time. There are many brilliant people that have great innovative ideas, but they do not pursue them because their Social Security benefits will drop. I have spoken with many people that need help and have turned to the state or federal government, only to become trapped in the system. And very few people look at the other side, where does this money come from? It comes from the tax payers, it is a burden that is placed upon all of those who are working and struggling themselves, it is FORCED charity. Charity through force, creates more poverty too.

This is where good people should and will need to step in. As things worsen economically, and they will, we will need to step up and help those around us not to suffer hunger, or any other form of deprivation. We will need to help them help themselves. The national debt now exceeds all our revenue as a nation, in layman terms, we are officially bankrupt as a nation. Those programs that the poor are relying on, are not going to be able to be funded forever, and these bailouts are actually making the dollar worth less, we are unable to buy as much as we did before.

We need to be pro-active. Lay the foundations for a solution to this issue, and many others that we face here in Missouri. We may not have as much time as we think we do. It would be great to be blessed with enough time to organize these things, but I always say work like it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on the Lord.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more that we can do. We can buy locally, from local businesses so that our money stays in this community. We can help the small businesses stay in business, so that our city doesn't lose more revenue. We can look for solutions in schools and everywhere in ways that we can serve one another, and give of our time so that we do not face budget issues. We need to cut the fat, and replace those services with those that are willing to love their neighbors as much as they love themselves.

I want to again emphasize that we do not need government to do these things. We are free people, and we can choose to help each other. It is true that we will need to look at working with school boards and city council to have there be a friendly atmosphere for things like this to take place, but these people are local, we elect them, we can approach them and discuss these things. If we really want solutions, we can create them locally.

There are so many examples of how power is being abused today, even in this state. Where the Constitution of Missouri is being ignored, as well as the U.S. Constitution. We need to work from the bottom up. Elect officials that will protect us, and truly want to find local solutions, that are willing to make the sacrifices that we will need to make, which in turn could be lessened by our willingness to serve each other.

We can start one neighborhood at a time. We can do this as a community, we do not need to wait for the government to make it a law, or encourage them to force others to do anything. Let's choose to make a difference in our lives, and the lives of others, and let's start now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Great Expectations

Yesterday my husband, children and I went to the inaugural ball. My children had never been to an inaugural ball before, and so we thought that it would be a great field trip for them.

The first thing that my children got excited about was seeing Sarah Steelman's name on a door. I explained to them that she no longer held that office, and that she would probably be running for something else soon, but they were thrilled all the same.

Last year my children got to see Sarah a few times. They were at sign waves, in parades with her, and at the watch party that she came to. They also saw her in Branson during the state convention. My children really love Sarah. I can't explain it, they are just drawn to her. They even made her signs for the 4th of July parade, which she autographed for them.

Personally, I like the fiscally conservative positions that she takes, as well as many of her ideas. I think that it is very rare that we find a perfect fit in someone that runs for office, but Sarah has stood her ground, even when her own party would not support her. I have to admire individuals that stick to their principles like that.

My children also got to meet some of our favorite representatives:

We first met Eric Burlison at the Memorial day ice cream social last year. I spoke with him about several concerns and really felt that he would be a great representative, and that he would take his oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Missouri seriously. Those that live in his district will definitely find a listening ear and a hard worker.

Representative Shane Scholler helped Greene County during the district and state conventions. While we were visiting with him, our children enjoyed some great cream puffs, strawberries, and chocolate brownies. I overheard him discussing the economic concerns with others that came to his office, and even though he is not my state representative, he also listened to mine. My daughter Zion, who is wearing green, really liked Shane, and had to run up to him each time we passed him in the hallway.

Last but not least, is Representative Jim O Guest. He is a man I have come to admire. His fight against Real ID, and the time that he has spent in fighting for liberty has encouraged me a great deal. He gave a great speech in Branson on the same stage that I sang the National Anthem on. We also shared that stage with other great individuals, Ron Paul, and Jeremy Cady. I will never forget those moving speeches, or the many people that were there standing for something greater then themselves.

In fact, here is Jeremy Cady's Speech:

With that in mind, I cannot help but appreciate those who have gone before, that sacrificed for liberty. That is the cause that is greater then ourselves, to love our neighbors enough, that we will allow them liberty. They are free to choose for themselves how they will live their lives, as long as it does not effect others.

After last night, I found myself questioning, how far can this go? What constitutes effecting others? Is there a certain degree of morality that we should expect to be upheld in public? I believe that we are free to choose what relationships we have, and whom we have them with, but I do have a growing concern, and that is what I witnessed at the Inaugural ball. And more importantly, what I had to explain to my young children.

There were two representatives that presented themselves with their partners as they went through the ceremonial march. As my children watched this, they asked me what was meant by partner, and why it was two women. I have to admit, that I was shocked to see this in Missouri. When I first moved here, I admired the level of morality that the people had, I was amazed at the modesty that still existed at the local mall, and I felt that the Bible belt is the perfect place to raise children. And I still do. I just think that this event was made to be less then it could have been to pull intimate things like that into a traditional ceremony.

I know that I could get some flack for my position on this, but it is my reality. I do not believe that I should have to explain things to my children like that. It only increased my concern for my state, and where it really is being led, and by whom.

There are many that also voiced their concern, but in the political correct atmosphere that exists, they wouldn't speak up, and I cannot blame them, they would have been verbally torn apart right then and there. I am used to people not always agreeing with my positions on things, and so I am not going to pretend to be someone that I am not.

I see the capitol building as a holy place, a place of law, where our liberty is protected. I also believe that the words that are carved in stone in there, are true correct principles. "Righteousness Exalteth a Nation." And that is the same for our state. It is by adhering to those correct principles that are based upon the laws of the God of this land, Jesus Christ, that we must uphold and defend, or we will fall, just as other nations before us.

Am I saying that people cannot have their relationships? No, the Constitution and God allow them to choose for themselves, however, I do not think that it should be a public display, or legislated. We need less laws, not more of them.

Our representation is supposed to be a reflection of us. And I am often told that we have the government that we deserve. That the people have chosen those that represent their values. I hope that is not true, otherwise, we may face some serious consequences to help us return to those correct principles, a return to virtue, honesty, integrity, and the things that truly made our nation great.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Springfield City Council Debate

Yesterday, I attended two events for candidates running for City council. Before I get into that, I wanted to mention that you can find out about the debate by clicking on the title of this entry, which will then take you to the Life of Jason blog. His blog is great, it is almost like being there word for word.

My entry is not going to be focused on what happened there, but more of what it felt like to be there. I used to hate politics, and would not have much to do with them other then voting, but there were many events in my life that awoken me, and I realized that if I wanted to change things, then I needed to get busy!

The more local politics are, the more that I find that I am starting to love it. I love the conversations that are created through candidates and citizens, especially when you know that these individuals running are not going to get paid for this service that they are rendering us.

I am drawn to those that truly want to serve the people. They are not just adding to their resume, or trying to have some influence that they will personally benefit from, but have that true deep passion for service and helping to guard our tax dollars and our liberty. I prefer to work with those people, even if I disagree with some philosophies that they have, I know that they go to the people rather then their interests.

Sometimes, it can seem like these kind of people do not exist anymore, if you focus on the Federal level of politics, and ignore things locally or at the state level. I know this, because that is how I felt.

After meeting the candidates, I have a lot of hope for Springfield, and the citizens. There are so many good people running for these offices, and not just that, there are many more passionate people running then I thought I would see. It was refreshing. I actually enjoyed it!

I also have to say that 3 of the questions that were asked were ones that I submitted, so I thought that was an added bonus, it helped me be able to make a decision. There is one race that is going to be very hard for me to make a decision on, so hopefully the primary will help make it. In other races, I have said who I support early on, but I have learned that it is better to wait until after a primary to do that, and in this case, I can see why. There are REALLY good people.

However, if there was only one person I could support, I would not care if it was the primary, I would show my support. And if I feel extra passionate about the differences, I will help that candidate however I can. This is the first time, that I have felt good about most of my options, and that is just incredible. I am sure you can tell I am shocked. But I am also pleased.

I hope that the citizens of Springfield really take a good long look at their options, that they research all they can, and take the opportunity to get to know them. We are really blessed to have such wonderful people stand up and volunteer to serve us.

I wanted to mention that I went to my first Republican Women meetings yesterday as well. It was a very nice experience, and I got to talk to some great people. I had a couple people ask me if I was the media, which I found amusing, but at the same time wondered what it was about me that would give that impression. (I wasn't taking any pictures there lol).

Here are just a few pictures from last night, and you can see more on my Facebook page. Also, I like to give credit where credit is due. The pictures that I am in were taken by Glenn Gohr.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Charity Angel goes to the Capitol

Inside the Rotunda in Jefferson City, you will find beauty. Not only artistically speaking, but in the messages that have been carved in stone on the walls and within the house and senate chambers.

My favorite inscription is on one of the walls that is along side a stairway that leads up to the floor that you can see in the picture to the left. The inscription says "Righteousness Exalteth a Nation." I believe that this is absolutely true. A nation that does not hold to the principles of freedom, will become enslaved, and even destroyed.

I would like to take a moment and share with you a few pictures that I took while visiting my capitol building, mine and every other Missourians' building. In this building we have our representatives in the house and senate that are elected by us, and sent to represent our best interests, but above all, to protect our liberty.

The reason that I was at the capitol yesterday was to attend the Legislative Academy that was hosted by several groups that help support Missourians and keep a watchful eye on what is going on in Jefferson City. We were given a lot of good information about the process and how to approach State Representatives with our issues and how to better communicate with them. We also got to experience a mock hearing. This experience took me back to my experiences in Los Alamos, New Mexico at Los Alamos middle School. I had the opportunity to be a chief justice with several justices, and hear cases that were brought before us. At another time, I also experienced being a defense attorney. The way that the hearing was run, reminded me of both of these experiences, because it functions similarly. The committee will hear the legislator discuss their bill, and also hear witnesses for and against the bill, and then they will deliberate amongst themselves privately to determine if the bill gets to move on or not. Many bills get stuck in the committee graveyard.

I wanted to see things from this perspective since I am going to be running as Representative of the 137th district. I wanted to see what people are taught and how they would approach me as a representative, and see things from the perspective of the lobbyists as well. I also gained new insight into what a representative's schedule is like, and the atmosphere there. I plan to go back with my family for the Inaugural ball as well as on my own to watch sessions and to also observe the lobbyists and individual citizens.

Afterwards, I went to dinner at a great little place called "Madison's Cafe." The food was great. I chose to try their hot chocolate and had their Santa Fe Salad. I recommend them both. This dinner included other coordinators across the state for Campaign for Liberty, and Jared Craighead. His assistant, I believe she was, also joined us later. I did not stay the entire time since I was not staying over and needed to return to Springfield. I will say this much about it, I gained some new insights, and I hope that bridges can be built, but I also realized a few things about myself.

I realized how much more I want to be a true representative of the people. I reflected on how I have felt ignored by my representatives, not at the state level, but ignored all the same. My experiences have only deepened my commitment to the people. To make certain that they know that I not only hear them, but that I really listen. I hope that I can get to know them one by one, find out what matters to them, and protect their liberty.

Missouri is my favorite place on earth. I love the people here and the wide range of ideas,personalities and cultures that I have encountered. I love the land, the soil and the water. I love nature and the abundance of wildlife. Missouri has a lot to offer the world, but first, Missouri needs to be for Missourians. There are many great state representatives, and I am excited about many of those recently elected. I hope that I too, will be refreshing to my friends and neighbors in my district. I hope that one day, they will be able to say that they knew that they mattered to me. Whether or not I am successful at winning the election, I still will have won. I will have won because of the bridges built, the people served, and the knowledge gained.

If you live in the 137th feel free to talk to me anytime. I will be out and about for the purpose of meeting you, and finding out what matters to you, what your values are, what you want to see for our district. I will also be talking to the business owners within this district, because after all, they help Missouri too.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Out of Touch

During all these bailouts, I could not help but think about how out of touch our congressional leaders can seem. I thought, do they really understand what the average family is going through? With the dollar losing its buying power, making it so that we pay more for the same stuff, how could they justify further de-valuating the dollar by printing more of them? Or creating it out of thin air would be more accurate in today's monetary system.

Here in Greene county, almost everyone I spoke to was upset about the bailouts, they did not understand why our representatives would vote for them when so many called and emailed and said no. I know many, including myself that contacted their ward committeemen and women and told them to do something about this and tell our representative that we did not want this bailout.

So, the question again, are our representatives out of touch with the reality most Missourians face? I will let you be the judge. The following information will be coming from this great website that I found, called Fortune 535, by the Sunlight Foundation.

Here is the net worth Missouri's Representatives enjoyed in 2006

Missouri Lawmakers

Lawmaker 2006 Net Worth

Claire McCaskill $23,686,600
Kenny Hulshof $3,268,520
Christopher Bond $2,162,510
Roy Blunt $1,114,510
Jo Ann Emerson $771,008
Emanuel Cleaver $628,003
Sam Graves $456,360
Russ Carnahan $203,002
Todd Akin $169,010
Ike Skelton $138,000
William Clay $56,502

What is the median income for a Missourian?

According to this website, in 2006 Missourians had :
  • Median Household Income: $45,114
  • Per capita Income: $23,915
Another interesting fact from that same census is that 97% of Missourians at the time were Private wage and salary earners and 16% were government workers.

What about the rest of the nations Representatives?

Here are those that had a net worth of one million or more in 2006.

Lawmaker 2006 Average Net Worth
Jane Harman $409,427,000
Darrell Issa $337,440,000
John Kerry $267,790,000
Vernon Buchanan $191,696,000
Herb Kohl $171,423,000
Edward Kennedy $102,823,000
Jay Rockefeller $91,713,000
Robin Hayes $82,552,100
Dianne Feinstein $79,555,700
Frank Lautenberg $79,051,100
Rodney Frelinghuysen $49,515,600
Michael McCaul $46,648,600
Elizabeth Dole $43,867,100
Nita Lowey $39,753,200
Nancy Pelosi $38,539,600
John McCain $36,431,100
Tom Petri $35,918,000
Carolyn Maloney $34,069,500
John Campbell $32,846,000
Denny Rehberg $31,046,500
Hillary Clinton $30,691,000
Gary Miller $28,244,500
Lamar Alexander $27,800,200
F James Sensenbrenner $26,093,700
John Linder $23,746,000
Claire McCaskill $23,686,600
Gordon Smith $23,352,600
Rahm Emanuel $21,113,000
Richard Shelby $20,469,000
Steve Pearce $20,390,500
Olympia Snowe $18,963,000
David Dreier $18,496,000
Heath Shuler $18,255,900
Rosa DeLauro $16,485,500
Kenny Marchant $15,958,900
Fred Upton $15,668,100
Jeff Bingaman $15,601,600
Ben Nelson $13,383,000
Sam Brownback $13,341,000
Lloyd Doggett $13,279,500
Johnny Isakson $13,203,000
Steven Kagen $12,897,000
Wally Herger $12,230,100
Shelley Berkley $12,011,800
Jim Moran $11,966,200
Tom Price $11,642,200
Randy Neugebauer $10,715,100
Sheldon Whitehouse $9,437,520
Allen Boyd $8,056,510
Timothy Mahoney $8,036,510
Tom Harkin $7,895,040
Kay Bailey Hutchison $7,881,550
Adam Putnam $7,859,520
John Spratt $7,819,510
Evan Bayh $7,726,010
Dave Hobson $7,642,040
Dave Camp $7,389,550
James Oberstar $7,092,540
John Yarmuth $7,023,500
John Tanner $7,006,500
Terry Everett $6,937,020
Phil Gingrey $6,667,020
Jim Ramstad $6,569,510
Judd Gregg $6,446,040
Virginia Foxx $6,287,020
Pete Stark $6,231,510
Maria Cantwell $6,181,010
Trent Franks $6,175,000
John Warner $6,112,320
John Barrow $5,983,500
Michael Castle $5,945,080
Henry Brown $5,835,010
Bart Gordon $5,579,520
Charles Wilson $5,442,020
Cliff Stearns $5,439,520
Tom Latham $5,374,010
Mitch McConnell $5,364,520
Shelley Moore Capito $5,293,030
Alan Mollohan $5,174,000
Ron Wyden $5,154,010
Marion Berry $5,132,010
Jon Porter $5,101,510
James Webb $5,092,000
Robert Bennett $4,964,510
Nathan Deal $4,900,000
John Boehner $4,834,510
Charles Hagel $4,831,510
Mike Rogers $4,830,510
Jim Cooper $4,813,520
Arlen Specter $4,747,510
Bill Nelson $4,549,010
Al Green $4,366,000
Paul Kanjorski $4,364,510
Ander Crenshaw $4,311,010
Tom Carper $4,278,050
Judy Biggert $4,270,540
Ruben Hinojosa $4,258,010
Eric Cantor $4,242,580
Greg Walden $4,201,010
John Mica $4,176,010
Hal Rogers $4,133,190
Roscoe Bartlett $4,083,000
Earl Blumenauer $4,077,520
Lamar Smith $4,038,500
Virgil Goode $4,022,530
Pete Sessions $3,935,020
John Dingell $3,922,030
Chuck Grassley $3,806,530
John Ensign $3,765,500
Jack Kingston $3,712,010
Mike Conaway $3,709,060
Sander Levin $3,635,010
James Inhofe $3,630,030
Peter Welch $3,628,020
Steven Rothman $3,553,530
Tom Cole $3,500,060
Nick Rahall $3,488,340
Jo Bonner $3,486,510
Jim Costa $3,456,500
Barbara Boxer $3,415,000
Orrin Hatch $3,392,100
Harry Reid $3,340,030
Ben Cardin $3,291,930
Kenny Hulshof $3,268,520
Rick Renzi $3,224,000
Ralph Hall $3,190,500
David Davis $3,179,010
Dan Burton $3,171,010
Jim Marshall $3,028,520
David Scott $3,013,620
Bill Pascrell $2,982,040
Tom Coburn $2,935,600
Ed Whitfield $2,920,020
Thelma Drake $2,900,020
Stephen Cohen $2,896,030
Mary Bono $2,782,080
James McGovern $2,764,000
John Carter $2,750,000
Dean Heller $2,710,390
Heather Wilson $2,645,900
Loretta Sanchez $2,548,500
Melquiades Martinez $2,495,020
Ron Paul $2,457,020
Louise Slaughter $2,394,010
Jean Schmidt $2,385,510
Mary Landrieu $2,380,010
Jim Langevin $2,334,510
Timothy Johnson $2,312,520
Paul Ryan $2,291,060
Sam Farr $2,279,010
David Price $2,217,040
Nancy Boyda $2,214,400
Allyson Schwartz $2,191,520
Mazie Hirono $2,174,510
Christopher Bond $2,162,510
Ken Calvert $2,150,000
Zoe Lofgren $2,134,570
Susan Davis $2,111,030
Jeff Sessions $2,061,030
Joe Knollenberg $2,058,340
Carl Levin $2,053,460
George Voinovich $2,021,530
Maxine Waters $2,004,010
Kent Conrad $1,949,520
Tom Udall $1,928,520
Brian Baird $1,917,520
Joe Sestak $1,894,030
Dutch Ruppersberger $1,849,510
Mike Thompson $1,824,010
Chris Cannon $1,806,010
Tom Davis $1,805,520
Ron Klein $1,775,000
John Salazar $1,758,000
David Vitter $1,720,050
Charles Melancon $1,708,540
Brad Sherman $1,706,510
Pat Roberts $1,706,040
Mark Udall $1,697,550
Edwin Perlmutter $1,689,520
Carolyn McCarthy $1,668,420
Jeb Hensarling $1,662,510
Ginny Brown-Waite $1,659,030
Joe Lieberman $1,658,540
Ted Stevens $1,650,010
Howard Coble $1,645,850
Duncan Hunter $1,600,500
Doris Matsui $1,590,000
Paul Hodes $1,586,050
Solomon Ortiz $1,543,510
Mike Simpson $1,535,240
Bob Goodlatte $1,489,020
Chris Dodd $1,484,510
Michael Capuano $1,477,010
Ellen Tauscher $1,462,510
Mike Ross $1,437,510
Rush Holt $1,430,010
Anna Eshoo $1,380,510
Roger Wicker $1,376,010
Daniel Lipinski $1,358,520
Dick Durbin $1,351,180
Tammy Baldwin $1,335,510
Elton Gallegly $1,335,010
Peter Roskam $1,321,590
Harry Mitchell $1,310,510
Ralph Regula $1,292,500
Albio Sires $1,287,000
Timothy Bishop $1,283,000
Henry Waxman $1,272,510
Michael Burgess $1,253,540
Dan Boren $1,251,510
Cathy McMorris Rodgers $1,242,010
Don Manzullo $1,234,020
Zachary Space $1,226,010
Kathy Castor $1,222,020
Thad Cochran $1,208,530
Vernon Ehlers $1,182,010
Edward Markey $1,162,010
Blanche Lincoln $1,135,510
Lincoln Davis $1,125,000
Roy Blunt $1,114,510
Daniel Inouye $1,113,500
Candice Miller $1,102,980
Tom Feeney $1,101,510
Richard Burr $1,091,330
Spencer Bachus $1,064,010
Michele Bachmann $1,059,010
Barney Frank $1,050,010
Adam Schiff $1,043,010
Gresham Barrett $1,037,010
John Boozman $1,033,500
John Hall $1,015,010
G K Butterfield $1,012,590

It is a lot to think about isn't it?