WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) frequently rails against government spending and the need for a smaller federal bureaucracy. Responding to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in January, Culberson said, "The fact of the matter is that government can't create jobs like the private sector and government doesn't add value to the economy."
But in an email to his constituents about "job search resources," the two websites he highlighted were sites that focus on government and lobbying jobs.
In the email sent on Friday, Culberson wrote, "As your representative, I have worked to keep tax rates low and limit the size of government so businesses can grow and create jobs. With over 153 million people in our nation's labor force, we are a productive and hard-working country struggling through a turbulent economy."
"In an effort to help those of you who are looking for work, I have pulled together some resources that list a number of job vacancies in our area," he added.
The email then pointed constituents to two websites: USAJOBS -- The Federal Government's Official Jobs Site and Public Affairs Links, which describes itself as "the world's top website for careers in the lobbying industry."
"Additional listings are available on my website," continued Culberson, sending email readers to a page on his congressional site with links to the career pages of many local businesses.
The fact that Culberson chose to send an email highlighting his efforts to limit the size of the federal government on one hand, while advertising the need for individuals to fill federal vacancies and lobbying positions on the other, is at least an acknowledgment that public sector jobs are real jobs -- despite what other members of his party have asserted.
When asked about the choice of USAJOBS and Public Affairs Links, Culberson spokesperson Loree Thompson replied, "Congressman Culberson actually highlighted over 50 private sector job listing databases in the newsletter you are referring to. He did so with a link to our website toward the end of the letter. Due to Franking rules, we were only allowed to include government job listings in the actual email."
While Culberson's email described Public Affairs Links as a place where people can "subscribe to a email publication of government job listings," the site doesn't actually appear to list government jobs. Instead, it has openings for groups that lobby the government. For example, there's an ad for a director of public affairs and grassroots advocacy at the National Association of Manufacturers and another for a legislative and regulatory analyst at the American Insurance Association.
Thompson said via email that the Public Affairs Link was "approved by and coincides with all Congressional Franking rules."
"The purpose of the newsletter was simply to provide job opportunities for any of Congressman Culberson's constituents that may be looking for work during a time when, as you know, over 13 million Americans are unemployed," added Thompson.
In late August, a group of protesters gathered outside Culberson's Houston office to hold a mock funeral for high-wage jobs in Texas.
"My brothers and my sisters, we are assembled here today to mourn the passing of the jobs in Texas. Jobs died because of a steady influx of minimum-wage jobs, tax breaks for corporations and the super-rich, and the policies of politicians like Rep. John Culberson," said Rev. Louis Dorsey at the rally organized by Good Jobs = Great Houston.
State and local governments shed 200,000 jobs last year, according to the U.S. Census. Texas actually had the biggest gain in state workers from 2009 to 2010, seeing a 5.9 percent increase (17,800 full-time jobs). "Local governments in Texas also added the most part-time jobs of all cities, counties and towns, 24,731," reported Reuters.
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