Billy Long spends more than $6500.00 on meals at fancy DC restaurants, gives new meaning to the phrase "FED UP" plus my take on Sunday's SN-L article
This just in from Roll Call---
Lawmakers Rack Up Hefty Bills Wining and Dining Donors:
Freshman Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), who earned his seat by declaring he was "fed up" with Washington and its career politicos, spent more than $6,500 on a handful of fundraisers at venues such as Charlie Palmer Steak and Hill Country Barbecue.
We've heard these stories before. Conservative Blogger Bungalow Bill reported on once such occurrence last July: Congressman Billy Long getting fatter on off OPM (Other People's Money):
A few weeks ago, I heard one constituent, who reported having dinner with Congressman Long while in Washington, come home outraged about the entire dinner. Normally, it would be a great honor to have dinner with a Congressman, but considering Congressman Long's attitude about the dinner, it was anything but honorable.Long's FEC reports show he spent $7,878.97 in campaign funds for meals in the first quarter of 2012.
Long took the constituents to a swank Washington DC restaurant where dinner costs close a hundred dollars (bus driver's note: entrees cost close to $100.00 a course) When the check came after dinner, this gentleman offered to pay his own. Billy Long wouldn't have anything to do with that according to the gentleman as he exclaimed, "the people of Southwest Missouri are paying for your dinner tonight."
Frequent bus riders will remember when The Metropolitan Grill offered the "Billy Long Cut" 11 ounce ribeye filet served with pot roasted Heirloom baby bakers and apple brined Haricots Verts $28.50
Somewhere I have a screen capture of that menu page.
Earlier last month, before he jetted off to Las Vegas to stay at the Venetian Hotel (which was conveniently for Billy hosting a high stakes poker tournament with relaxation room and guest bar) Long spent $609.75 for a meal at a Washington D.C. restaurant called "The Tortilla Coast" --- jeez, how expensive are tortillas in that joint?
Yes, Billy has learned to game the system. Here in the Ozarks he flim-flams folks and in DC he's living large.
While the bus is cruising in the area of spending campaign donations for personal use.... yesterday, the SN-L featured a story by reporter Josh Nelson: Fixing a 'dysfunctional Congress' which included the following paragraphs:
During Long’s first run for Congress in 2010, he weathered a series of personal attacks from opponents. Evans has promised to focus on the issues, but other critics questioned trips Long has taken to Las Vegas and California this year.The trip to California is not an issue.
Campaign disclosure forms show Long has taken four trips this year, which includes flights to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Long’s critics, which include bloggers Jim Lee of Springfield and Randy Turner of Joplin, have questioned why Long is flying west instead of returning home to spend time with constituents.
The trips include: a Jan. 8 trip for the Consumer Electronics Association meeting in Las Vegas; a Feb. 10 fundraiser for the Safari Club International in Phoenix, Ariz.; and a June 24 Los Angeles fundraiser for the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Long, however, argued the trips were for topics he’s passionate about, such as continued U.S. support for Israel.
“I think supporting them is the right thing to do and only thing to do,” Long said.
Long declined to respond to the criticism from Turner and Lee. His campaign earlier this year noted he has held more than 200 meetings with southwest Missouri constituents and businesses owners since taking office.
What is the issue is the four trips Long made to Las Vegas and paid for with his campaign funds. Looking at Long's FEC reports, there appear to be no fundraisers or strategy meeting expenses associated with the trips.
If Long paid for personal trips to Las Vegas with his campaign funds, as his FEC reports seem to reflect, that probably is a violation of FEC regulations.
To view the reports which Long's campaign has filed with the FEC, use this link: www.fed.gov/finance/disclosure. Type in "Billy Long" in the search box.
There you will find all of Long's campaign reports filed with the FEC and other such letters and documents, such as this one:
Frequent bus riders may recall this bus stop from January 5, 2011: "Like a horse, it's rode hard and put away wet," quipped Mr. Long: Former Representative Lynn Westmoreland is recalling a conversation he had with Billy: “I said, ‘Billy, you’re not a detail person are you?’ He said, ‘Nope,’” Westmoreland told Roll Call. “I said, ‘If you’re not detail-oriented, you better hire somebody who is detail-oriented.’ The ropes are going to be hard enough for a new Member of Congress to learn. If he has eight people or seven people there who are learning the ropes together, that’s going to be a long ride.”
Judging from the amount of amendments to his FEC reports and the notices of failure to file received, Long didn't take Westmoreland's advice.
Everything I write about Billy Long is based on his mailings, news reports about Long, his voting record, his FEC reports, his public statements and statements he made to me.
As an auctioneer, Long faced no public scrutiny other than a dis-satisfied customer.
As a congressman, EVERYTHING Billy Long does in his official capacity is on the record. Every penny he spends and every contribution he receives is deserving of public scrutiny.
Even the FBI knows that. "That's what you are supposed to be doing: holding people accountable because that's the people we elect and they are supposed to be accountable to us. And somebody's got to do it and more power to you."
Long can't handle the public scrutiny. He may have been baffling people as an auctioneer, but that dog don't hunt since he got elected congressman.