Rick Berg Averaged $630/Year In Travel Costs As A Legislator, Liberals Freak Out
Far-left liberal website Salon has a hit piece on Rick Berg accusing him of living a “lush life” on the taxpayer’s dime. Their evidence? Reimbursements for travel to legislative conferences that total, over the 12 years between 1999 and when Berg left the legislature in 2010, $7583.13.
Or, averaged out over the years, some $630/year. And the worst part? This one time Berg brought his wife on the trip and she slept in the room the taxpayers paid for:
While he did not charge the state for their airfare, he didn’t deduct any percentage from his lodging, so unless his wife slept in a separate room or hotel that she paid for, North Dakota taxpayers may have paid for Berg’s wife to stay with him at the Ritz.
I’d sure like the folks at Salon to explain to me how Rick Berg’s wife staying in the same hotel room with him resulted in any additional expense at all to the taxpayers.
The article also accuses Berg of excessive spending on air travel for himself. You see, Berg often uses his personal airplane (a single-engine prop plane though Salon describes it as his “private jet”) to go back and forth between the legislature. Over the 1999 – 2010 timeframe, that cost taxpayers $3,000 ($250/year) or, as state law allows, “a sum equal to one and one-half times the mileage reimbursement … for travel by motor vehicle.”
Had Berg driven, instead of flown, it would have cost taxpayers $1,000 less over the 12 year period, or roughly $83/year.
Color me underwhelmed.
Yet, this is the tactic Democrats have picked. They can’t talk about the issues. They can’t talk about the economy or the national debt or health care, because those are terrible issues for them. They can’t talk about their party’s track record in Congress – heck, Heitkamp spends most of her time running away from it – so instead they must make North Dakotans hate Rick Berg.
This is about destroying Berg personally so that Heitkamp to win. And they have the audacity to claim that Heitkamp is running a positive campaign even as they engage in the politics of personal destruction.
By the way, if we want to talk about squandering taxpayer money, remember that while she was attorney general Heitkamp lavished 32% pay increases on her employees and bought a private airplane for use by her office. That, most assuredly, cost the taxpayer’s a lot more than Berg’s travel.Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, Rick Berg