Congressman Bill Young (R-FL) was first elected to Congress in 1970. In the video above he tells a constituent who asks him about supporting a bill to raise the minimum wage to "get a job." While I've long thought that the minimum wage has always been, is now, and will forever be $0 (ie: raising the minimum wage increases unemployment), Young's arrogant dismissal of one of his constituents is borne of the elitism he's honed while "serving" in Washington, DC, these past 40+ years.
It turns out that Young is facing a primary opponent in Florida's August 14th election: Darren Ayres. Ayres campaign sent the following press release about Young's confrontation with a constituent:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Largo,FL – July 07, 2012 – Darren Ayres, Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives (FL-13) is releasing the following statement regarding Congressman Bill Young’s recorded remarks to a constituent on July 4th , 2012:
On July 4th, 2012, Bill Young responded to a constituent who asked the Congressman if he would support a bill currently circulating the U.S. House of Representatives to raise the minimum wage to $10 dollars an hour. His response, recorded on video, was “Get a job”.
Congressman Young’s explanation for this was that he was confused by the presence of activists. Perhaps so. But his constituent, whether an activist or not, deserved a far better response from his representative in Congress. An active and engaged representative should have been able to handle the activist’s question and used it as an opportunity to explain his views to the other people gathered at the Fourth of July event.
Congressman Young has served his constituency for 42 years, has many accomplishments to his name, and is held in great esteem by his fellow members of Congress. But if this is the best level of representation he is now capable of, perhaps it is time to send an alternative, someone not tied to the political culture of the nation’s capitol that can represent conservative values and the people of the district by listening to the people they are expected to represent rather than insulting them with trite verbal jabs and walking away.
The good people of FL-13 deserve better. On July 5th, I completed a 24-hour listening tour of the district as part of my campaign, and the response throughout the district has been that Congressman Young has been in D.C. for too long, perhaps underscored by his inexcusable response to a young political activist on July 4th. Mr. Ayres has recorded a video response available here.
Darren Ayres has served his country in the U.S. Air Force, has been ordained as a Christian minister and subsequently served as a chaplain in the Florida National Guard. Over the years, he and his wife Trish have owned and operated several small businesses. As a national defense conservative, a fiscal conservative, and a social conservative, Darren Ayres understands Main Street America and believes that citizen-statesmen are now needed in elected office as a bulwark against government growth and to return the federal government to operating within its constitutional constraints.
Darren Ayres for Congress
Campaign Manager: Karena Morrison