Email Insights: Rep. Steve Southerland stays mum on shutdown pay

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In the latest email to supporters, the Democratic House Majority PAC asks why U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland is keeping quiet what he did with his taxpayer-funded pay he earned during the 16-day federal shutdown last October.

It’s a fair question.

After all, it was Southerland who helped create the shutdown in the first place; he even voted to keep the federal government shut down.

When the Washington Post canvassed members of both chambers of Congress, Southerland was one of the 60 Republican lawmakers who didn’t respond — including such polarizing figures such as Minnesota’s Rep. Michelle Bachman and Sen. Mike Lee from Utah.

Southerland had once called his $174,000-a-year Congressional paycheck “not so much.”

Representing Florida’s Second Congressional District – and the largely rural area that makes up his base – for most constituents, $174K a year is a substantial sum. And 16 days (at that rate) equal to somewhere around $10,000, also a fair amount for many of the voters in CD-2.

So why the secrecy? Why not answer?

It may not be much for Southerland, who came to Congress an accomplished business executive, but for his voters — his silence speaks volumes. 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.