NC Republicans in Congress Not Conservative with your Tax Dollars

The Winston Salem Journal has a piece up today about how North Carolina's 13 members of congress utilize their office budgets. First sentence:

WASHINGTON - Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-10th, bought a flat-screen television for $2,020.

So, Patty Mac says he is using his television for live town halls. I thought the in thing with the Republicans were the tele town halls which use the telephone, not the television.

Hmmmm....wouldn't live via-satellite town halls run into the same problems that live in-person town halls do? The tele town halls sound pretty effective from the information I can find. Why is Patty Mac spending so much money on flat screen televisions to hold live via satellite town halls? We all know how busy a single man with no family to tend to and no business responsibilities can be. All those family and business demands on his time make it more difficult for him to see his constituents in person.

One category that caught my eye was the home-to-DC-to district travel expenses. Robin Hayes leads in that category. Andrew Duke, his chief of staff, wants us to believe that Flipper has to pay between $800 and $900 to fly into Charlotte at the government rate. I have one thing to say, Andrew, "Expedia, Man, Expedia!"

I know, I know, that rate is probably first class at government rate. If it isn't though, Andrew, you're allowing the taxpayers to get robbed. [Note: I have no problem with members of congress flying first class with a negotiated reduced government rate. I think they should be required to donate their frequent flier miles, though. :) ]

Franking privileges are another huge expense for members of congress. The Journal ran a piece not long ago that showed Virginia Foxx as the biggest user of franked mail privileges. Keep in mind that this comes out of each members personal office budget, but also keep in mind that they aren't required to spend their entire budget either.

I thought Shaffrey and Litten did a decent job with this article until I got to this quote:

Andy Taylor is a political-science professor at N.C. State University who has studied franking practices.

"The people who use it most are from competitive districts, or people who were not elected by wide margins," he said. "Liberals also tend to use it more, which is interesting. Conservatives, for the most part, just see it as a symbol of big government spending."

What? Andy Taylor might be a really smart guy, but why would Shaffrey and Litten include this quote without showing how it doesn't apply to North Carolina? How sloppy and unprofessional and usually I like Shaffrey's work.

The numbers being used are 2006 numbers when there were seven Republicans and six Democrats. Republicans spent $791,413 on franked mail and Democrats spent $321,839 total. Republicans averaged $113,059 each and Democrats averaged $53, 640 each. Maybe Andy Taylor would like to revise his comment as it applies to North Carolina's congressional delegation or maybe Shaffrey and Litten would like to provide a quote that doesn't completely contradict the data.

Any claims that the Republicans are far more fiscally conservative than the Democrats can be thrown out the window as well. Add up what each spent from their budgets, total the Dems and the Reps and find the average. With each office averaging a little over $1,200,000 regardless of party, the Dems outspent the Republicans by an average of only $435.

I haven't reviewed any budgets and don't really know if there's fat anywhere to trim. I just found it curious that our borrow and spend Republican fiscal conservatives weren't any better at budgeting than our tax and spend Democrats. Their bottom lines are almost identical.

Here's a link to the article.

Comments

Out to do back-to-school shopping

Check in with y'all later

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Okay Andy! What does one+ one add up to? No! Not 3 Andy!

What? Andy Taylor might be a really smart guy,*BM

Not really! The problem with Andy is that he is just another Brit neo-con who couldn't hold a real job down in either the United States and England..

And who decided that Andy was the sharpest dude on the planet in politics besides Art Pope and WPTL the mouth piece for the fascist republican agenda.

Agreed

Most of the time when Andy talks he sounds like he's been drinking too much Art Pope Kool Aid. Why reporters talk to that guy is a mystery to me.

Andy Taylor

is about as honest in every newspaper quote as he was there. Which is to say, not so much.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

McHenry's Telly

You use a television when you don't want people to talk back and we you don't even want to show up. Some town hall meeting. More like The Patty Show.

50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

Taylor

Andy Taylor is in charge of Art Pope's grant money at NCSU. Part of that program is a JW Pope Lecture series and the Society for Politics, Economics and Law (SPEL) which has crossover between College of Management and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) and is advised by Roy Cordato (when he's not busy trashing the environment). One new addition to the College of Management faculty is Richard Stroup aka "Mr Jane Shaw".

There have been grumblings from NCSU faculty that Taylor has been installing puppets in adjunct positions by making decisions that are normally a matter for the whole Pol Sci department. He's a smart guy but this little corner of academia could do with a little sunshine.

There is also this "opportunity" at the Pol Sci Dept:

The department offers a limited number of J.W. Pope Foundation undergraduate grants for student projects in political science. Students are awarded $4,000 and their faculty advisor $1,000. These awards are for top students who are undertaking work of the highest quality. For more information, see Professor Andrew J. Taylor.

I saw that and decided not to run with it

It was just too "boys and their toys."

But even if you consider the tiny-ness of those offices on the Hill and figure a flat-screen is appropriate .. . what kind of flat screen does two grand buy?
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

2000

$2,099 at Best Buy gets you an Hitachi HDTV 50 inch Plasma.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Hey -

Do what you're best at. That's what I always say. :)


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi