Per Diem Expenses Top $124,000, Most Spent in Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, 1001 Reasons to Vote Against Harry Reid, an independent committee, released the third in a series of research reports, entitled An Examination of Harry Reid's Expenses. This summary of expense reports submitted by Sen. Reid details very clear and disturbing patterns in his expenditures. The Committee wishes to make clear that these expenditures, most notably his "per diem" expenses are a concern because they are reimbursed by us, the American taxpayers. The expenses we find troubling are those associated with his trips backs to Nevada, not official foreign travel. The expenses incurred by Sen. Reid's re-election PAC are not the focus of this report, as Sen. Reid is held accountable for those expenses by the Federal Election Committee as well as the individuals or PACs who gave him donations.
The General Services Administration has established a per diem for federal employees traveling to Las Vegas of $93 for hotels, $12 for breakfast, $18 for lunch, $36 for dinner, and $5 for incidentals. Since being sworn in to the Senate in 1987, Sen. Reid has taken about 269 per diem expenses totaling $124,315.69—a staggering $170,814.18 in inflation-adjusted dollars. For comparison's sake, the Committee compared Sen. Reid to his Senate colleagues. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) has not submitted per diem expenses for his official travel. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who also visits Nevada frequently, does not take a per diem for his trips back home.
Audrey Mullen, a spokeswoman for the Committee, commented, "Sen. Reid has residences in Nevada, why does he need to spend the night in Vegas? Sure, Searchlight is an hour away from Vegas, but why can't Sen. Reid drive home or have a staffer drive him home? If he isn't spending that money on hotel rooms, what is he spending it on? At a time when many Nevadans are having a tough time making ends meet, how can Sen. Reid justify asking them to pay for a clock radio that costs $184 or a video display wall unit that costs $16,548? These taxpayer-reimbursed expenses are outrageous, but other items like the Dataline equipment, teleprompter equipment and voter registration tape expenses make you wonder whether Sen. Reid is billing taxpayers for campaign-related expenses. We urge Sen. Reid to come clean about these issues, among others, and answer the questions we have raised. Nevadans deserve better."
Other reports issued by the Committee have raised troubling questions that Sen. Reid has refused to answer. The first report in the series, Harry Reid's Pay for Play Politics, has become the source of a Senate Ethics Committee complaint that will be filed this week. The second report, Connecting the Dots: Harry Reid's Financial Disclosures, is drawn from 20 years of financial disclosure records from Sen. Reid. These reports can be accessed here: http://www.harryreidvotes.com/buzz/
'1001 Reasons to Vote Against Harry Reid' exists online at http://www.harryreidvotes.com for the purpose of educating the public about Senator Reid's voting record and raising the funds necessary to finance television and radio ads this fall. It is an independent 527 committee chaired by Nevada resident and former U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian. Voters are encouraged to visit the HarryReidVotes.com website and use the interactive quiz function http://www.harryreidvotes.com/quiz/ to see how their views align with Senator Reid's votes.
SOURCE 1001 Reasons to Vote Against Harry Reid