Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Always Looking Out For Struggling Constituents, Like Kyrsten Sinema
We shared a good laugh a couple months ago over how loyal Sinema Party member Kyrsten Sinema, an actual sitting senator, was selling her used stilettos and pink bikinis on Facebook Marketplace. There's no evidence, though, that Sinema's an unfortunate victim of that damn Biden economy. Her personal finances are hard to pin down, sure, but the annual salary she earns for ignoring her constituents is $174,000. It’s as if she never heard of Goodwill or even Facebook’s “Buy Nothing” group.
When not flying off to Switzerland to chill with billionaires or attending Houston fundraisers with fossil fuel bigwigs, Sinema still looks out for the little people who make ends meet selling personal goods online. Last March, Sinema cosponsored Sen. Maggie Hassan's The Cut Red Tape For Online Sales Act, which raises the threshold for when people receive 1099-K tax forms showing their online sales.
Hassan boasted in a September press release that "her bill to cut tax paperwork for online sales was named a National Taxpayers Union 'No Brainer' bill." The NTU is a right-wing advocacy group with ties to the Koch Brothers. It favors either a flat tax or a national sales tax instead of the current income tax system. It's sort of a "no brainer" that the NTU doesn't support progressive tax positions.
PREVIOUSLY: Who Wants Kyrsten Sinema's Stinky Old Stilettos?
The bill was touted as helping people who "get much-needed extra income from selling used goods or cleaning out their closets." However, it raises the reporting threshold from $600 to $5,000. That's a pretty big closet. Look, there's nothing wrong with selling your old crap online, but it is weird that Sinema holds online yard sales of her relatively high-end goods. She also doesn't really hide her identity, so it's not unreasonable to assume buyers might pay more for a US senator's trucker hat, cycling jersey, and mesh running tanks than they would for some random sweaty person's.
We'd also love it if Sinema advocated for policies and legislation that benefitted people who weren't her wealthy donors or, you know, herself. Just be a liberal for a change! She might enjoy it. Instead, she cosponsored a bill that conveniently would lower her own taxable income and help her hide that extra ca-ching from the public.
What I personally find puzzling about Sinema’s enterprising side hustle is how she found time for it in the first place. She’s far too busy and important to coordinate Facebook Marketplace sales. When Slate writer Christina Cauterucci bought a pair of Sinema’s strappy zip-up-the-back heels, the senator apparently wrote her, “I’m asking my friend what time he can grab them and put them at the front desk for you tmrw. Hold pls!”
Sinema is possibly stretching the definition of “friend” here. I might even bet cash money that this “friend” is a member of her staff. The Daily Beast reportedthat Sinema’s staff was subjected to a “dizzying array of do’s and don’ts” while in service to her mercurialness. This includes: “Always have a ‘room temperature’ bottle of water on hand for her at all times. Make sure you get her groceries. And book her a weekly, hour-long massage.” That’s perhaps standard operating procedure if you’re the personal assistant to an out-of-touch movie star, but people who work for Congress members might assume they are contributing to something greater than an entitled politician’s ego. Sinema’s staff doesn’t even get the benefit of working for a spoiled celebrity people actually like.
[Slate / The Daily Beast]
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."