Seattle newspaper for the People by the People

Legislators Charging Us For Cellphones, Dry Cleaning And Art

The Foxes are really guarding the chickens in Olympia. Maybe what I will be writing is not something the “crooks”, can be put in jail for, but they sure should be kicked out of the front door in Olympia. The things we read in the paper are just the crap that we know about. If they could get by with what we did find out, what else are we paying for?

Each lawmaker knows when he runs for office what the salary is. He knows he will be paid a salary between about $42,000 and $50,000. He knows he has to wear clean clothes on the job. He has an office in Olympia to work from and should stay right there for the short while the legislature is in session. They get $90/day per diem when they are in session and can turn in bills related to the job. I WANT TO REPEAT, EXPENSES RELATED TO THEIR JOB. Most of them have external regular jobs. But thanks to some sleuthing by Steven Ellis, Vice President of Taxpayers for Common Sense brought some real greed to light. It has always been my understanding that when you take something from someone else its stealing, like a pick pocket or embezzler or common crook and that is how I feel about the Legislators who are charging taxpayers for big cellphone bills, dry cleaning, artwork etc. This article will just have a few legislators names, but if each district takes it upon themselves to check out their representative I think they will decide they don’t want these men in office anymore. They should be in jail, but we all know it wont happen.

Here are a few examples of greed, waste, and lies at a time they are trying to trim government expenses. Just a few days after lawmakers approved a budget deal to lower state spending, Gary Alexaner got $40.50 worth of personal dry cleaning done. He has billed $500 worth of dry cleaning to the state over the past couple years. Seven Democrats and 12 republicans billed taxpayers for $5,600 for dry cleaning in 2011. Alexander says he has to wear a lot more shirts and sport coats during the session. Does this mean he is the only really neat, sporty well dressed guy? I don’t think so. He should pay his own dry cleaning bill. It is not a lot of dollars compared to the entire picture, but then when a drunk steals a bottle of wine he still is a robber like one who takes a whole case. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

Some more questionable expenses is decorating their offices. Rep. Larry Haler. R- Richland spend more than $600 in membership dues to organizations in the Tri Cities. Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle purchased $38325 in artwork last March when they were struggling overtime with the budget. He said the artwork was a painting of the Mountlake Bridge and made his office more comfortable and inviting. Democrat Sen. Rodney Tom from Medina purchased various books from Amazon.com and got reimbursed for a Bose headset for $164,20. Tom also got reembursed $328.49 for an iPhone in 2011. Senate Democratic leader Ed Murray of Seattle got coverage for his home Internet at $50 a month and telephone at $50 a month as well as his cellphone paid for by you and I. Its not unusual for state Sen. Jerome Delvin to rack up a monthly cellphone bill for over $180 a month and a couple were for $309.20 and $382.75. Sen. Adam Kline-D Seattle received full compensation for his entire family plan he shares with his wife. When caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he said it was done in error and he would reimburse the state for his wife’s portion. Yea right. At least he didn’t say “.what difference does it make”.?

In direct contrast to the above House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt of Chehalis filed for about $100 total expenses over two years to travel.  Frank Chopp D-Seattle used his account mostly to expense costs related to his District office. There are lots more honest ones. Let each district dig them up and publish their names. Get the foxes out of the hen house.

This is the short list bur hope it riles enough feathers to make each voter in each district stand up and count the dollars your representative is blowing. Vote him out, he should have to pay it all back but we all know nothing happens to crooks. Maybe they should bill us for a Farm Subsidy of some sort for MILKING THE CASH COW.

Having lived in Seattle (Georgetown) for over 80 years, Lilly has a passion for the area. A true Seattleite, Lilly has the history & experience to discuss any topic. Being retired, she enjoys visiting with her many grand children, gardening, and writing.

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