That Time When One Democrat Edited His Republican Colleagues' Letter

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif. (National Journal)

If these 21 lawmakers were taking Rep. Mark Takano's class, he'd likely give them all failing grades.

Having taught British literature in public schools for more than 20 years, Takano is used to editing papers. So, when a few Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner on immigration reform, the California Democrat took out his red marker.

Here is what he came up with:

(Click here for a closer look)

He posted it along with this caption: "A draft letter by Republican members to Speaker Boehner is circulating Congress looking for cosigners. I thought I'd offer my edits to the author before they submitted their final version."¦ Still not signing it."

Here is the original letter and "Dear Colleague" request from the letter's author, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

This post ended up on the freshman representative's Tumblr account, "There Will Be Charts," which has gained some traction in recent months. He pulled the editing stunt in April when House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., released his budget, posting his version of the bill.

When Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., joined the social-media site in June to tout her bill to repeal Obamacare, Takano posted his own response, which gained a lot of attention.


Cassidy's office responded to Takano's stunt, saying his "grandstanding represent everything Americans hate about Washington."

"This embodies everything that is wrong with Washington — rank partisanship and pettiness while posturing oneself as above the fray and superior," Cassidy said in a statement. "All this letter asks for is what the American people want — transparency and deliberation in addressing our illegal immigration problem. Representative Takano wants us to pass a massive bill quickly without even knowing what's in it. Ironically, he attacks the GOP's for wanting to break the process up into smaller, more focused reforms."