Congressman Eric Massa (D) opined that he would "vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful". He then clarified that he meant he would "vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them". The difference is important, and I think the second line was really a clarification of the first; not some sort of cover. I admit I am a bit torn on this issue. Politicians should not be slaves to the polls, but Congressman especially are 'representatives' and should actually 'represent' the views of their constituents. He does acknowledge and appear to accept the consequence to him voting opposite what the the vast majority of his constituents want, that he will be voted out of office.
Video embedded below.
Transcript from http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2009/aug/16/video-rep-massa-i-will-vote-against-interests-my-d
"MASSA: Listen, I tell every audience I’m in favor of single payer.
PARTICIPANT: If there was eighty twenty in the room?
MASSA: If there was a single payer bill?
PARTICIPANT: And there was a single payer….
MASSA: I will vote for the single payer bill.
PARTICIPANT: Even if it meant you were being voted out of office?
MASSA: I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.
(inaudible participants' comments regarding the "interests" of the district statement from Mr. Massa)
Massa: I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them."