Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kay spends more for taxpayer funded travel than all but 7 Senators, has third largest total budget of all Senators...

Politico has a story about taxpayer funded travel costs for United States Senators.

Big John and Chuck Schumer make sense, because they are the heads of their Senate fundraising committees, but why is Kay so high on the list?

In total Kay has the third highest office budget among all United States Senators (link). Excerpt follows...
On average, transportation costs account for less than 5 percent of a senator’s office expense budget; in most cases, the remainder of the funds is consumed almost entirely by staff payroll. In the first half of the fiscal year, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein spent a total of $2.1 million out of her office account, more than any other senator. Rounding out the top five were Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Hutchison, Cornyn and Schumer.
Again Big John and Chuck Schumer make sense given their roles, and the Californians make sense because they are Californians and they are like that out there, but Kay being in the top 3 is surprising for a Republican.

See the list here (link)...

Senate offices spent dramatically different amounts on transportation costs during the first half of the 2009 fiscal year.

SenatorTransportation Costs
John Cornyn (R-Texas)$152,766.63
Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)$144,014.22
Patty Murray (D-Wash.)$122,355.49
Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)$119,046.52
Kit Bond (R-Mo.)$100,558.04
Mel Martinez (R-Fla.)$88,552.62
Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)$87,771.00
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)$87,651.69
John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)$83,981.46
Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)$81,926.76
Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)$77,890.82
Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)$73,714.12
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)$72,472.81
Harry Reid (D-Nev.)$70,108.35
Jon Tester (D-Mont.)$67,710.21
David Vitter (R-La.)$67,190.57
Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)$66,399.62
Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)$64,922.11
Evan Bayh (D-Ind.)$64,066.80
Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)$63,559.61
James Inhofe (R-Okla.)$62,696.42
John Ensign (R-Nev.)$61,889.85
Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)$60,890.66
John Thune (R-S.D.)$60,659.12
Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)$59,244.48
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)$59,171.34
John Rockefeller (D-W.Va)$58,806.81
Susan Collins (R-Maine)$58,426.70
Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)$58,298.93
Mary Landrieu (D-La.)$58,118.53
Max Baucus (D-Mont.)$51,715.98
Jim Bunning (R-Ky.)$50,161.04
Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)$49,496.80
Jack Reed (D-R.I.)$49,358.88
Arlen Specter (D-Pa.)$47,754.73
Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)$47,076.25
Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)$46,409.77
Richard Burr (R-N.C.)$45,742.31
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)$44,077.54
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)$42,535.55
Bob Bennett (R-Utah)$41,827.70
Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)$41,597.90
Mark L. Pryor (D-Ark.)$40,703.69
Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)$39,787.72
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)$38,668.41
Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)$38,575.00
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)$38,067.84
Bob Casey (D-Pa.)$38,064.91
Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)$37,952.71
Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)$36,142.30
Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)$34,641.27
Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)$34,067.14
Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)$33,623.86
Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)$31,999.31
Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)$31,914.71
George Voinovich (R-Ohio)$31,197.00
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)$30,279.74
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)$29,916.85
Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)$29,688.60
Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)$29,374.87
Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)$29,079.64
Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)$28,965.64
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)$28,789.33
Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)$28,023.35
Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.)$27,935.50
Carl Levin (D-Mich.)$26,789.61
Russ Feingold (D-Wis)$26,662.85
Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)$25,846.28
Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)$24,414.91
Tom Carper (D-Del.)$23,806.65
Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)$23,607.36
Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)$23,040.33
Dick Lugar (R-Ind.)$22,944.70
Jim Risch (R-Idaho)*$22,669.07
Jim Webb (D-Va.)$19,535.45
Pat Leahy (D-Vt.)$19,197.68
Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)$18,655.67
Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)$17,332.09
Mark Udall (D-Colo.)*$16,106.56
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)$15,992.45
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)$15,047.68
Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)*$14,658.72
Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)*$12,631.89
John Kerry (D-Mass.)$11,750.83
Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)$11,313.36
Roland Burris (D-Ill.)*$9,482.28
Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)$9,038.99
Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)$8,521.97
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)*$8,230.98
Ted Kaufman (D-Del.)*$8,134.19
John McCain (R-Ariz.)$7,577.40
Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va)$7,568.35
Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)*$7,403.62
Mark Begich (D-Alaska)*$6,834.71
Ben Cardin (D-Md.)$5,888.48
Tom Udall (D-N.M.)*$4,224.15
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)*$2,448.67
Mark R. Warner (D-Va.)*$2,360.67
Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)*$1,066.05
I guess she is spending a lot more time in Texas raising money for her campaign. Insiders tell me that Kay will need to show a dynamite number next month on her fundraising report, because she has been able to raise money for six or seven months while Rick has been prohibited from raising money entirely from December through the end of this month as a state office holder during a legislative session.

What those numbers are, I don't know. I am already hearing some spin from both camps about what is a good number or a bad number for each candidate. Since it is not an apples to apples comparison it will be hard to judge.


  1. FYI a full read of the Politico story would have told you that Cornyn and Schumer's totals do not include money spent for NRSC or DSCC business:

    "These figures do not--or at least should not--include money the senators spend on purely political trips, such as any Cornyn and Schumer may have taken as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and past chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, respectively."

  2. Don't be naïve. In order to justify the travel as part of the official office budget, there has to be an official purpose, so of course they are not going to classify something as NRSC or DSCC political business. They will classify it as "trip to discuss new road construction and ways to collaborate between California and New York on best practices" when really it is just Schumer raising money in San Diego or somewhere.

    Stuff like that.

  3. Once again, this blogger is not giving readers the entire story. Senators don’t determine the size of their budgets; rather, it is determined by a formula that takes into account factors such as the size of the senator’s state and its distance from Washington. It only makes sense that the California twins, Cornyn and Kay would have the largest travel and overall budgets. Plus, Kay is only #8 on the list and spent only about half of what Cornyn has spent thus far this year.

  4. Kay, Kay, Big Spending Kay.
    All you do is spend all day.

    You vote for pork.
    Like Mindy and Mork.

    More debt forever after.


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.