View Full Version : Elections Help me judge the "power" of this post

03-16-2010, 05:56 AM
So I follow some local political blogs which, I think, are pretty damned good. They seem to do an awesome job of digging in the dirt and uncovering the crap that's going on. Since we have some big elections coming up, they've started uncovering stuff on both Boozeman and Blanche. Here's a recent post about Boozeman's travel junkets:

Senator Mark Pryor (Liebermantarian -AR) and Congressman Vic Snyder (D-AR2) took no overseas trips at taxpayer expense last year. Neither did Senator Blanche Lincoln (Bought Waffler -AR). The Arkansas King of Foreign Junkets was Congressman John Boozman (R-Pinnacle Gated Compound), who says he is against wasteful spending but had no problem loading up his wife on a military airplane for free round-trip airfare to Edinburgh, Scotland, and drawing $3,623.81 in undocumented expenses from the taxpayers for those four days.

Boozman also took a Valentine's weekend trip to Brussells, Belgium, to study how to have better relations with Russia, although he and Mike Ross (BigPharm-AR4) claimed they were trying to get our allies to send more troops to Afghanistan. Boozman said it was a busy schedule, but he was also able to work in side trips to Austria, France, and Germany and pocket $2,880.55 in unitemized "expenses" and run up $6,472.08 for his share of "incidentals."

Grand Slam. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, based on official documents, "In April, Boozman traveled through Germany to Africa and the Middle East, with stops in Afghanistan, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Qatar and Rwanda. The trip was paid for by taxpayers, out of an account reserved for members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee." He said he was conducting an audit of some foreign aid program that the State Department auditors must not have been able to handle. According to Air Force documents, it costs $4,821 per hour for a C-40 Transport used to shuttle Congressmen on these extended foreign junkets, so Boozman's per diem payments totaling $2,812.37 for the eight-day trip were a drop in the deficit bucket.

Nice work, John. We are so happy that you and your wife could see the world at taxpayer expense, even in tough economic times that you say made you vote against transportation projects, expanded health care, and job training programs for the common people here in Northwest Arkansas.

Now, to me, this seems like the sort of thing that national bloggers would pick up on and echo, but maybe it's just not that big of a deal. What say the knowledgeable politicos of DC?

03-16-2010, 06:50 AM
Considering the times, I think every penny these clowns spend, on both sides of the aisle, should be looked at through a magnifying glass.

03-16-2010, 06:58 AM
Considering the times, I think every penny these clowns spend, on both sides of the aisle, should be looked at through a magnifying glass.

What amazes me is that this guy does this kind of item analysis of every politician in the area (on both sides of the aisles). Some of the local corruption is just beyond the pale, with city council members racking up, literally, hundreds of thousands of dollars in "expenses" for things. This guy blogs about them all, yet the mainstream papers never, ever pick up on the stuff he puts out there.

03-16-2010, 07:03 AM
Here's another example of one he did that has a lot more local thrust:

Perry Webb and the Springdale Cowbirds love them some high living in the Skybox at Arvest Ballpark. You could argue that they are spending a ton of money on "catering" in an effort to make the ballpark profitable, since they led the campaign for the tax to subsidize the enterprise. Or, you could argue that they are blowing Chamber dues and Springdale "economic development" funds to have a grand time with their friends.

A quick review of the American Express bills that Perry Webb ran up for "food and beverages" in the Cowbird's Skybox during the 2008 season, courtesy of SpringdaleFOI, will give you enough of an idea that you can decide for yourself whether it was wise spending of taxpayer dollars. Let's start with the bill for $393 for "food and beverages" attributed to entertaining the First Baptist Church. It is not clear what the church has to do with economic development, but the real question is why the Cowbirds entertained only Ronnie Floyd's flock and left every other church of every denomination in town to buy their own peanuts in the cheap seats?

The largest single night catering expense was $1,425 on April 22 for entertaining guests from "WM," which rhymes with a big box retailer or a garbage company, followed closely by a $1,300 tab for Cargill snackers on July 25. Someone named Shinall made two trips to the Cowbird Skybox for a total bill of $1,762. Walker Brothers were feted guests on four different occasions that tallied a total of $2,526, and Dr. Whitaker DDS was invited three times and rang up $1,977 in expenses. Dent-a-Med made three trips around the bases for $1,344. Springdale Liquor, Hewitt, and Turnbow had a combined catering bill of over $1,000 for two games, but Waste Management was identified on two days for $1,779.

There are other big ticket expenses for entertaining the A&P Commission and City Council, public trustees who gave $177,000 in co-mingled tax dollars to the Cowbirds. The Rodeo promoters and the school board also got cut in on the catering orgy. Many of the catering expenditures don't list any business as the beneficiary of the catering, but there were no Hispanic names on the published guest list. However, six different games identify Perry Webb as the king of the skybox for a day, just another untaxed bonus for all the jobs he brought to Springdale last year as Sam's Club was heading south.

Did the Springdale City Council know this is how Perry Webb and the Cowbirds were spending the taxpayers' money for economic development? Did they even bother to ask before appropriating another round for 2009? What does Mayor Doug Sprouse have to say about all of this? That might depend on whether he got to watch a game or two with Perry this season.

03-16-2010, 07:45 AM
Golden Fleece Award, Proxmire did it for years.....no one seems to give a damn.

Emanuel Cleaver has the most expensive car lease in Congress....no one cares. Damn sad.

03-16-2010, 02:43 PM
Golden Fleece Award, Proxmire did it for years.....no one seems to give a damn.

Emanuel Cleaver has the most expensive car lease in Congress....no one cares. Damn sad.

Unfortunately so true ..............