Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Congress At The Trough

I've racked up some restaurant bills, but nothing like the average bill of $1,971 our elected representatives do.

From the October 1, 2005 edition of the Washington Post:

Powerful Hungry

"Ever wonder where your campaign donations went?

"Bloomberg News offered up this little bonbon yesterday: Members of Congress have racked up average tabs of at least $1,000 in local restaurants within the past 2 1/2 years, PAC and campaign filings show.

"At high-end steak joint Sam & Harry's, politicians had an average bill of $1,971 in 80 visits. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) spent $10,500 there one night with his entourage. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) has spent $50,000 there in 2 1/2 years. That's a lot of beef!"
$10,500 in one visit? I wonder how large the entourage was. His Bloatedness doesn't need to pack on any more pounds, so I hope he had the low cal/low fat platter and kept in mind that, according to Diet Center and Weight Watchers, alcohol provides empty calories.

"Lawmakers dropped an average of $1,140 in 157 visits to the Caucus Room and $1,303 in 160 trips to Charlie Palmer Steak. The Caucus Room's general manager, Ed D'Alessandro, said about 20 percent of his business comes from members of Congress and added, 'Without Congress, we'd have to downsize.'

"Overall, members of Congress spent $1.5 million from early 2003 through June 2005 at 10 restaurants: Caucus Room ($292,114), Charlie Palmer Steak ($208,492), Sam & Harry's ($157,719), Bistro Bis ($157,029), La Colline ($147,189), Monocle ($143,731), Signatures ($130,598), Capital Grille ($122,167), Oceanaire ($88,806) and the now-closed La Brasserie ($56,982)."
I suppose that politicians do burn a lot of calories with all the hot wind they expel on the floor of Congress and in front of the television cameras. Our elected representatives must keep up their energy levels!

Did this money-for-gourmet-food come from campaign donations? Are these fellows charging their restaurant bills to taxpayer-funded expense accounts?

If our elected representatives can afford such extravagance out of their own pockets, they can also afford a cut in salary.

24 Comments:

At 10/04/2005 8:39 AM, Blogger samwich said...

Did Teddy pay the bill or just run it up and BS his way out of paying up as is the Kennedy Family Tradition????
S

 
At 10/04/2005 8:55 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich,
Good question! I've heard about that Kennedy Family tradition.

The nurse who tended Joe, Sr., wrote a book about how the family didn't want to pay her after the old man died. I can't recall the title of the book, but it was a doozie.

 
At 10/04/2005 9:25 AM, Blogger gandalf said...

If you think that was expensive imagine the cost of a meal for the biggest lunch club in the world..........The United Nations

 
At 10/04/2005 10:25 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Gandalf,
Another disgrace, IMO.

 
At 10/04/2005 11:04 AM, Blogger Pastorius said...

We get the Democracy we deserve.

 
At 10/04/2005 1:25 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Hey samwich...how much do you think the RIAA's butt toy, Orrin Hatch ran up.

 
At 10/04/2005 2:49 PM, Blogger samwich said...

Duck, Ornament Orrin Hatch, Second Amendment Blowhard??? If that jerk ever eats where I cook, OOHHH don't tempt me, DON'T TEMPT ME!!!!
Look Duck, Hatch is Ted Kennedy's lead butt kisser. Nuff Said!

Bald Boob Bennet's old man, US Snotator Wallace Bennett was a patron where I was chef. One night Wally was too drunk to remember to ask for a doggy bag and the dishwasher ate his leftover half new york. Later his majesty came looking for his dog scrap and confronted me as the pig who ate it. Prior to that his steaks were picked from the eye end of the strip and sorted from the most tender. From then on he got the butt end cuts with the Y grissle up the middle and the closer to "this wore a saddle before he got it" end of the spectrum.

Don't piss your chef off!!!!!

Hatch: Thanks for making my day Duck, I needed a good laugh, that clown is what Park City gets every winter, a helluva snow job!

S..sorted from the most tender.
OK pinch the steak between your finger and thumb tips. the reisitance to your fingers penetrating the flesh will give you the reading of how tender or tough it will be. Don't salt beef before you cook it, it makes it dry and tough.

S..spilled the beans

 
At 10/04/2005 5:06 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

what I will never understand is why their opposition doesnt use this stuff in local elections to expose these guys.

While it wouldnt upset the base of most Repub candidates, I would imagine the "poor and underprivledged" voter base of the Dems would be outraged to know they are on food stamps while Teddy is eating out at $10k steak dinners.

 
At 10/04/2005 9:15 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

There is the side advantage that is that when these Congressmen are out stuffing their faces, they're not attempting to write laws.

 
At 10/04/2005 10:57 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Always try reading the laws it is enough to give one fits. I had to read an eight page precedent and I wanted to put my head through a wall.

 
At 10/05/2005 7:31 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Pastorius and G,
I believe that opponents don't often reveal the information because the opponents also have something in their own political past which can be exposed. Nobody running for office appears to be squeaky clean.

BTW, not a word about that Post item here in the D.C. area. Anywhere else?

 
At 10/05/2005 7:34 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Beamish,
Once again, you've found the silver lining. You're correct that our representatives can do legislative harm while they're stuffing their faces--unless they move their legislative sessions to a fancy restaurant, that is.

Maybe they'll stuff themselves so much that they can't get out of bed for days, thereby not allowing for a quorum.

 
At 10/05/2005 7:35 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beak,
I've heard that some of the laws passed by Congress specifically exclude the laws' applications to themselves. True?

Precedents prove that the domino theory is correct, as it applies to the judicial system.

 
At 10/05/2005 12:37 PM, Blogger samwich said...

g: opposing candidates party HQ's put up the campaign money and the golden rule is: The people with the gold make the rules. You should have seen Mark Sidran's bid for State Attorney General in Washington. His strategy was a "Jeapordy" slice of life commercial with incumbent governor Gary "double talk" Lokke. Sidran looked like a doofus and a half and lost the primary. All the candidates campaigns were lame.
Girlie man Rob Mckenna won because his campaign was the least of the lame and he had evangilecal support for his votes to oppose a mortatorium on building churches in King County.

If you want to piss the voters off you must self publish and distribute. The Seattle Times, Seattle Post Intelligencer, Everett Herald, Little Nickel want ads, Deseret News or Salt Lake Tribune will not sell me space. I'm black listed and there is nothing I can do about it.
I'm effective as hell and there is nothing the repubs or dems can do about that! If city hall shits on me the party in power wastes a couple of truck loads of campaign money during the next election cycle. I may not get the mayor but I do louse up somebody from the mayor's party.
S

 
At 10/06/2005 2:55 AM, Blogger samwich said...

Hi AOW, About your realtives and LDS Temples a couple of articles down. I had missed it and was late night schmoozing.

The Temples are for Sacred Ordinaces and only the most faithful may enter.

Baptisms for the dead, confirmations, anointings, endowments and marriage for time and all etedrnity.

I can tell you this much about the "Endowment" it is an endowment of knowledge and a covenant which requires sacrifice and entails rewards for obedience. The rules are very strict. I will liken it to my Boeing Badge. I had to show it to get past the guard at the gate to get in to earn a paycheck.

The knowledge is the pass to get in to the Lord's Presence. The world is outside, the Endowment Room is next to and the Celestial Room is like the Lord's living Room, Being in the Presence of God.

I have served two callings as a Set Apart Veil Worker (a sentinel of sorts) and one calling as a Temple Ordinace Worker. (an official who administers the covenant to the patrons).


We believe that we must offer salvation to those who lived on the earth with out the knowledge of Christ. We are commanded to do the geneology and "works" for our own dead. The geneology identifies them and the "works" offer them salvation.

My wife will rise in the resurection as my wife for time and all eternity. Death will not part us. I will rise as my father's son; ad infinitum as a family unit all the way back to Adam.

And feel free to ask what you will, I'll give you the best straight answer I can.

S

 
At 10/06/2005 6:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is true that Congress does exempt itself from legislation on many fronts.

Yet in my area immigration law the law is all over the place, Letimation laws vary from state to state and country to country. It is a royal mess to put it mildly.

 
At 10/06/2005 6:07 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

It is true that Congress does exempt itself from legislation on many fronts.

Yet in my area immigration law the law is all over the place, Letimation laws vary from state to state and country to country. It is a royal mess to put it mildly.

 
At 10/06/2005 8:14 AM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

Shoot, AOW, I meant to post a link to it here, but is seems this problem is not isolated to the US. There was just recently a high figure in the Canadian Govnt that resigned due to some "innapropriate" spending on his official expense accounts (like a $138 pizza for two?).

 
At 10/06/2005 8:44 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich,
As a traditional Protestant, I don't subscribe to the living getting the dead into eternity. I see an individual's faith in the perfect substitutionary sacrifice of God's Son (as opposed to works) as the pass to heaven and will trust God's judgment as to those gone before, those who didn't have the opportunity to hear His Word. We are His creations; His standard is the perfect standard of fairness as man's standards are flawed by imperfection.

Also, as a traditional Protestant, I don't believe in addition revelations, so we would differ in that regard as well.

Thanks for clarifying some points about Mormonism.

 
At 10/06/2005 8:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10/06/2005 8:55 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Anonymous,
The way this nation is dealing with immigration is appalling.

The race for Virginia governor has heated up on that issue: one candidate, the Democrat, says that the feds have fallen down on the job and need to live up to their duties; the other candidate says that the state and local authorities need to take a more active role. Meanwhile, the legal immigrants are getting angry that the various regulations which applied to the law-abiding newcomers to this nation are being ignored and/or pushed aside--and pushed aside at taxpayers' expense, including but not limited to the establishment of day-laborer centers.

As you said, "A royal mess."

 
At 10/06/2005 8:56 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

G,
A $138 pizza for two? Maybe the high tab was due to an expensive wine. LOL.

 
At 10/11/2005 1:30 PM, Blogger Buckeye Beauford said...

This article really misses the point -- you spend money to make money. If a bunch of donors give $5,000 to your PAC each, what's wrong with showing them a good time and a good dinner?

 
At 10/11/2005 4:56 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Tyler,
But I'll bet the diners on the tabs didn't donate to the campaign funds. It would be interesting to view the guest lists, though.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

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