Frank-ly Speaking: American Samoa Gets StarKist By Nancy Pelosi

We’re just a few days into “the most ethical Congress in history” that was pledged by Democrats, and already there’s something rotten in Denmark — or American Samoa in this case. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long.

When the House passed an increase in the national minimum wage last week, an exemption was made for American Samoa. Since then, some comical events have unfolded.

The minimum wage for workers in American Samoa is $3.60 an hour. What was the reason the Democrats gave for exempting American Samoa? “It would hurt their already faltering economy.” Well, if it hurts a faltering economy there, could a minimum wage law do anything but harm any economy?

In actuality, it would hurt a company in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district.

This from HotAir, who posted a hilarious video of Barney Frank who reminded me of how Elmer Fudd would act with “Roid rage.”:

The Republican arguing with power-hungry Barney Frank is Patrick McHenry. McHenry rose to offer an amendment that would exempt American Samoa from the stem-cell bill — a clear dig at the fact that Samoa, which is home to StarKist factories that employ nearly 75% of the island’s work force, was conspicuously exempt from the minimum-wage bill that had passed the day before. Why is that important? Because StarKist is a branch of Del Monte Foods Co., which has its headquarters in San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi’s district.

Pelosi said she’s never gotten campaign donations or been lobbied by StarKist or Del Monte Foods. Uh huh. Well then, why reward that company for moving jobs out of her district and allowing them to pay far below national minimum wage? Something’s fishy beyond the tuna.

How about this one. About 75 percent of Del Monte stock is owned by shareholders of the H.J. Heinz Company – whose heirs include Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Sen. John Kerry. Tell me the American Samoa exemption wouldn’t have been shot down if these were Republicans.

Sinister assumptions aside, maybe the Democrats are just plain dumb. I ran across a reason Democrats should loathe the decision to exempt American Samoa: In 2003, Wesley Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Del Monte Foods, donated to the Bush for President campaign. Democrats are allowing Del Monte to skimp on labor cost and pass the savings on to Republicans. Oh the humanity!

I almost forgot — Here’s the video of Barney Frank in a snit while wielding his gavel.

On the topic of the minimum wage itself, talk host Neil Boortz has posed one of the better questions on the subject:

Do you think that it would be appropriate for the federal government to force you to pay more for a product at the store than that product is worth to you? What if the government came to you and told you that the company making the product you wish to buy just isn’t making enough money. Their profit margin has been stagnant for four years, and so the government wants you to pay more for the product so that the company making the product could get more profit. Like the idea? Do you think the government should tell you what must pay more for an item from the department store or grocery shelf than it is worth? If not .. then how can you support the idea that the government should tell an employer that he has to pay a person more for his labor than it is worth?

Hmm, I don’t know. Hey, let’s ask Barney Frank!


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Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: