Sunday, November 22, 2009

Congressional Spending Habits: PA Version

I was in DC over the weekend for a conference and a friend, who knows my proclivities, gave me the 3 vol. July - Sept. Statement of Disbursements of the House. I'm told this information will be going online in the vaguely near future but for now is only available in paper. The quarterly spending is spelled out in detail (Paul Kanjorski is leasing a car? really?), down to what bottled water companies they use. Some list more than one water company, which may imply a difference between DC and district offices. All but two of Pennsylvania's congressional representatives use Deer Park; the dissenters are Shuster and Pitts. It is not a matter of which office building they are in so it must be something else.

In addition to the quarterly detail, year to date figures are given for several categories and totaled. Different offices report things in different columns so it will take more work to tease out all the nuances and details, but looking at some of the information and the totals, here are some tidbits. Sometimes I rounded up to the nearest dollar sometimes I didn't so if you go back to double check and that last digit is one off, well, math was never my strength.

Total cost: this varies widely with Joe Sestak spending the least so far this year: $690,031; though that may in part be a reflection of his running for senate next year and not re-election to the House. Allyson Schwartz came in second, spending a total of 852,403. Bob Brady is the most expensive: $1,043,504. Sestak also wins the Ruby Red Slippers Award ("There's no place like home!") for spending the least on travel, at 7,081, though some travel may have been paid for his senate campaign. Fattah wins the Talk to the Hand award, for spending the least on franked mail (those nice glossy flyers you get in the mail); Brady comes in second here at 2,295. That may be a reflection of their relative lack of serious opponents (apologies to Adam Lang who ran against Fattah in 2008). Jason Altmire, who may be a little nervous, spent 101,451 for franked mail so far this year. However, that doesn't necessarily explain why Tim Murphy came in second, spending 105,912.

More on this later.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Jane...
tell us more!

AboveAvgJane said...

Thanks, more to come!