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Old 11-09-2018, 04:47 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Cannot Afford to Move to Washington

Per a New York Times interview, New York's new Representative will not be able to afford an apartment in Washington, DC until she starts drawing a Congressional salary. Per tweets and other sources of information, she may well have found a workaround of some sort, but this gets me to thinking: what kind of an income would someone like Ocasio-Cortez be allowed to earn at this point? The websites I've seen indicate that congresscritters are only allowed to earn an amount equal to 15% of their government salary from sources like speaking fees. Since Ocasio-Cortez's salary will be around $170,000, could a few sympathetic NGOs have her in to speak a few times for $20,000 compensation that she could use to get a DC apartment, or would that be considered an ethics violation?
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:16 PM
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Despite attempts earlier this year to bring the practice under fire, there's an option available to her. It doesn't involve raising any money. She's got an office.

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Old 11-09-2018, 05:24 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Cannot Afford to Move to Washington

She doesn’t get the office until Jan. 3, though. And there are organizational meetings, orientations and other “onboarding” activities in DC between next week and Xmas.

It is a problem not just for her but for other non-wealthy elected officials. It is a bit of a conundrum, you are already under all the restrictions of what you can’t accept, yet you are not getting paid until the end of January, and remember, you are simultaneously maintaining a regular place at the home state.

Campaign funds may not pay for the candidate’s housing/regular living expenses. They probably can use some of it for hotel and trains for the days when there’s actual orientation meetings as long as she then immediately goes back to Queens, but what happens come January?

A campaign BTW may pay the candidate a “salary” but that may not exceed her earned income for the prior year or the salary of the sought office, whichever is LESSER, and it must start doing so before the primary.

Best shot she’s got ISTM is either (a) take a short-term at a longer commuting distance in MD or VA until some time in 2019 or (b) for some fellow Member to let her have their guest room until then.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 11-09-2018 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:24 PM
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Its an icky problem, since she can hardly accept any sort of assistance, but does she really have to be there before she actually punches the timeclock?
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:26 PM
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I'm sure she could get a loan to cover her living expenses seeing as though she has a massive salary coming her way soon (yes, call me a pauper, but $174k is a massive salary).
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:34 PM
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We could have a bake sale. But that might expose us to public scrutiny, and endanger our traditional standing as a quiet but powerful influence on public opinion. You know, like a greasy eminence.
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:45 PM
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isn't that why some of the bachelor senators used to get together and 5 or 6 should share a town house ?

I remember reading a funny article where one prominent senator retired and the others he lived with had to move and one of the neighbors joked they'd been there so long that the place went from a frat house atmosphere to that of a nursing home......
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:59 PM
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:07 PM
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I'm sure she could get a loan to cover her living expenses seeing as though she has a massive salary coming her way soon (yes, call me a pauper, but $174k is a massive salary).
I was thinking the same thing - surely she can get a bank to loan her enough money for 2 months in D.C. on the strength of the income she'll start getting in January.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:19 PM
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:35 PM
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I'm not a fan of AOC but I'm thrilled that someone poor got elected to Congress. No, she should not move to DC. None of them should. They should live in their home districts. Biden commuted for decades, so can she.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:37 PM
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I'm sure she could get a loan to cover her living expenses seeing as though she has a massive salary coming her way soon (yes, call me a pauper, but $174k is a massive salary).
That was my inclination as well, upon reflection. Even a credit card with a healthy limit would enable her to limp along until her first paycheck.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:04 PM
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Air BnB?
Are you under the impression that this would be free?
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:09 PM
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I'm not a fan of AOC but I'm thrilled that someone poor got elected to Congress. No, she should not move to DC. None of them should. They should live in their home districts. Biden commuted for decades, so can she.
How the hell would that work? Are you suggesting that she take the train from NYC to DC, and back, every day in session? That sounds absolutely nuts.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:38 PM
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I'm not a fan of AOC but I'm thrilled that someone poor got elected to Congress. No, she should not move to DC. None of them should. They should live in their home districts. Biden commuted for decades, so can she.
Even Reps Gabbard and Case?
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:43 PM
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How the hell would that work? Are you suggesting that she take the train from NYC to DC, and back, every day in session? That sounds absolutely nuts.
According to that article posted by DinoR, congress is only in session 83 days a year. A NYC to DC train is 3 hours.

Its a doable commute, but not a pleasant one.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:48 PM
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According to that article posted by DinoR, congress is only in session 83 days a year. A NYC to DC train is 3 hours.

Its a doable commute, but not a pleasant one.
Penn to Union, sure... but she doesn't live at Penn Station, and she doesn't work at Union Station. More like 4 or even 5 hours each way. That's not really even close to feasible.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:49 PM
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She doesn’t get the office until Jan. 3, though. And there are organizational meetings, orientations and other “onboarding” activities in DC between next week and Xmas.
Can she not claim expenses for these?
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:52 PM
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Can she not claim expenses for these?
From who? She's not a federal employee until January 3rd.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:17 PM
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Campaign funds may not pay for the candidate’s housing/regular living expenses. They probably can use some of it for hotel and trains for the days when there’s actual orientation meetings as long as she then immediately goes back to Queens, but what happens come January?
In January she does have an office. She can break her plan it into multiple pieces even without a loan:

1) Live at home in NY and travel to DC using campaign funds for required transition activities. (Cite from FEC with a section on "Use of campaign funds by newly-elected Members" for those that really want to dig.)
2) Live in her office until she gets paid and secures other lodging.
3) Move.

Last edited by DinoR; 11-09-2018 at 08:17 PM.
  #21  
Old 11-09-2018, 08:20 PM
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I'm sure she could get a loan to cover her living expenses seeing as though she has a massive salary coming her way soon (yes, call me a pauper, but $174k is a massive salary).
In practice elected representatives have to pay a lot out of pocket. NYC is a high rent area. Washington DC is a high rent area. Commuting between the 2 isn't cheap. Nor is wardrobe.

There's a reason most folks in Congress are independently wealthy to one extent or another.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:24 PM
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This is a problem that more representatives should have.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:27 PM
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If I lived in DC, she would be welcome to sleep on my sofa.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:30 PM
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Cannot Afford to Move to Washington

Nm

Last edited by Northern Piper; 11-09-2018 at 08:31 PM.
  #25  
Old 11-09-2018, 08:33 PM
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I'm not a fan of AOC but I'm thrilled that someone poor got elected to Congress. No, she should not move to DC. None of them should. They should live in their home districts. Biden commuted for decades, so can she.


And that would work so well for the newly elected members from Hawaii and Alaska and North Dakota and Wyoming - just keep your home and commute! Eminently reasonable !
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:34 PM
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Despite attempts earlier this year to bring the practice under fire, there's an option available to her. It doesn't involve raising any money. She's got an office.

Meet The Lawmakers Who Sleep, Shower, Work — All On Capitol Hill
And I never understood the outcry over this practice?
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:35 PM
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If I lived in DC, she would be welcome to sleep on my sofa.
She is candy for the eyes, no doubt.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:38 PM
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Are you under the impression that this would be free?
I never got a free stay. But always reasonable.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:56 PM
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Penn to Union, sure... but she doesn't live at Penn Station, and she doesn't work at Union Station. More like 4 or even 5 hours each way. That's not really even close to feasible.
Exactly. A DC-NYC commute would be doable weekly, but not daily. And that's not evening taking into account that late night House sessions, committee meetings, etc can and are followed by morning House sessions, caucus meetings, etc.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:02 PM
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If I lived in DC, she would be welcome to sleep on my sofa.
If she stays at somebody's house, there are ethics concerns. I don't know how much they would matter in theory or in practice. Either way, there would be news articles at the very least.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:03 PM
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She is candy for the eyes, no doubt.
Swear to god, I would be a TOTAL gentleman.

I would even provide a hot, home-cooked dinner on every evening she was not called upon to whoop it up with lobbyists in fashionable bars.
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  #32  
Old 11-09-2018, 09:15 PM
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Geesh guys and you all wonder why we get a reputation here at the Dope. Besides it seems there is a Partner already in the picture. Daaang, there goes my move on my Boricua homegirl...

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According to that article posted by DinoR, congress is only in session 83 days a year.
"Session days" are those where the House comes to order to actually do work on the floor of the chamber. But committee hearings, briefings, caucus/conference gatherings, meetings with fellow Members, cultivating those who can make your life easier or tougher, etc. happens through the rest of the week (except during actual recess). Plus federal legislators receive visits and attend meetings not related only to their home districts, and those are not going to chase her home. If you wanna Be In The Room Where It Happens, then you are in or around DC at least half the days of the year.

Now, that said, nothing requires her to live inside the Beltway nor prevents a Member from limiting themselves to a small efficiency somewhere in the outer MD/VA 'burbs from whence they'll head back home for the weekend. But that's a different decision and if you are functionally unemployed or living only off your partner's income who already has to pay for one home in a high-rent city, it's a tougher task until the checks start coming in.


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- spare a thought too for the delegates from Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas. Cripes what a schlep.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 11-09-2018 at 09:19 PM.
  #33  
Old 11-09-2018, 09:16 PM
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And I never understood the outcry over this practice?
Congress has a sexual harassment problem and female staffers warn each other to be particulalry careful around congressmen who sleep in their office. https://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/14/p...ess/index.html

It’s a place of business, there is no need to blur those lines. She should do what John Boehner did, he literally lived in the basement apartment of a lobbyist’s home. What’s wrong with that?
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:19 PM
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That was my inclination as well, upon reflection. Even a credit card with a healthy limit would enable her to limp along until her first paycheck.
Sounds like the Congress. Borrow money and hope that money trickles down later.

I like the point she was making that one of the reasons for the biggest income inequality in the country's history is that poor people are not afforded the opportunity to represent others in Congress because of the inherent bias toward rich people.

Ocasio-Cortez' tweet from the article in the OP:

Quote:
"There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn't even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Thursday, "This is one of them (don't worry btw - we're working it out!)."
She's been very transparent about her struggles with money on the campaign trail and some of the ways she got around them. In one interview, she gave the story of a constituent giving her the dress she was wearing to wear to interviews because the constituent didn't fit into it, so the constituent thought the congresswoman might use it.
  #35  
Old 11-09-2018, 10:23 PM
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She is candy for the eyes, no doubt.
Both of you, leave this sort of shit alone. Have you learned nothing? Did we not just have a board-splosion about this sort of nonsense?

Anymore of this sort of objectification from anyone and I'll break out the warnings.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:39 PM
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... he literally lived in the basement apartment of a lobbyist’s home. What’s wrong with that?
I think it would have to be counted as a contribution (the value of the rent). Not sure what the rules are on that but they can be strict and creating an appearance of owing something to a lobbyist is likely not her best move.

But seriously there are plenty of simpatico folk in the D.C. area who I am sure would be thrilled to have her as a three month house guest. And friends in the progressive caucus who could front her a loan if not offer her a guest room.

I suspect this is posturing more than a real issue.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:32 PM
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I think it would have to be counted as a contribution (the value of the rent). Not sure what the rules are on that but they can be strict and creating an appearance of owing something to a lobbyist is likely not her best move.

But seriously there are plenty of simpatico folk in the D.C. area who I am sure would be thrilled to have her as a three month house guest. And friends in the progressive caucus who could front her a loan if not offer her a guest room.

I suspect this is posturing more than a real issue.
I was kidding. I had many, many problems with Boehner living with lobbyists while he was speaker. He paid rent, but it wasn’t market price.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:57 PM
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I'm sure she could get a loan to cover her living expenses seeing as though she has a massive salary coming her way soon (yes, call me a pauper, but $174k is a massive salary).
$174k in DC is not a "massive salary". It's OK, but she's not going to be getting rich in the next 2 years. Just a WAG, but I bet the average lawyer or lobbyist in DC makes way more than that.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:21 AM
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:23 AM
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$174k in DC is not a "massive salary". It's OK, but she's not going to be getting rich in the next 2 years. Just a WAG, but I bet the average lawyer or lobbyist in DC makes way more than that.
It's irrelevant that it's not as much as others make. It's more than double the average Washington DC income, which is among the highest in the nation. Even in DC that would qualify as massive and it's certainly enough to cover rent within the capital.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:53 AM
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It's irrelevant that it's not as much as others make. It's more than double the average Washington DC income, which is among the highest in the nation. Even in DC that would qualify as massive and it's certainly enough to cover rent within the capital.
I think it would be a nice salary, and if your spouse is also making a similar amount then you’re doing well here, but I wouldn’t call $174k massive here.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:00 AM
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Missed the edit, but she will also have to maintain some kind of household in her district, so she will have households in two of the most expensive cities in the US.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:33 AM
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Hell I live in Chicago (which a quick look online is about 30% less in living expense) and I would never describe $174K as "massive".
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:37 AM
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OK, so put numbers on it. How much does it cost for a family dwelling in her district in New York, and for a one-room apartment in DC that's conveniently close to either the Capitol or to public transit? Add those numbers together, convert to per-year if you haven't already. How does that figure compare to $174,000?
  #45  
Old 11-10-2018, 09:26 AM
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According to that article posted by DinoR, congress is only in session 83 days a year. A NYC to DC train is 3 hours.

Its a doable commute, but not a pleasant one.
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How the hell would that work? Are you suggesting that she take the train from NYC to DC, and back, every day in session? That sounds absolutely nuts.
And do you think the train is free? It’s not? It’s $79 each way. Sometimes more. That’s a commute that would cost at least $158 a day.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 11-10-2018 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:35 AM
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And I never understood the outcry over this practice?
In what jobs is it normal to sleep at the job?
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:37 AM
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In what jobs is it normal to sleep at the job?
Military.
  #48  
Old 11-10-2018, 09:40 AM
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In what jobs is it normal to sleep at the job?
While there are certainly some jobs where it's normal, who cares what's normal? I want a citizen legislature, in which there are as few barriers as possible to participation for folks with small incomes. In fact, if representatives were required to live in taxpayer-funded dorms while Congress were in session, I'd probably be okay with that .

Failing dorms, though, I'm 100% fine with folks living out of their offices, if that's what it takes to remove barriers to working in the legislature. I said the same thing when some trifling Democratic fussbudgets were complaining about tea-party Republicans living out of their offices a couple years ago.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:41 AM
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Now I'm picturing a camo business suit. Military personnel sometimes have duties which require them to camp out, but if they're in any kind of semicivilized situation they're not expected to sleep in their office, the shooting range or the guard station.

Doctors, firemen and other emergency personnel with very long shifts have beds on-site, but they're for when on-duty: they're not supposed to live there.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:43 AM
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Both of you, leave this sort of shit alone. Have you learned nothing? Did we not just have a board-splosion about this sort of nonsense?

Anymore of this sort of objectification from anyone and I'll break out the warnings.
Wow! You can set standards, and threaten enforcement, all at one stroke! No wonder Chuck Norris calls you "Sir".
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