Sunday, March 2, 2008

Goldfinger Award

You can forget all that specious Republican rhetoric about fiscal conservatism and cutting government waste. Benton County's State Representative Daryl Pace (R-Siloam Springs) set a shameful record last year that puts the lie to all that. According to an extensive investigation reported in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Pace was among the first legislators in the state's 171-year history to milk the state treasury for more than $50,000 in per-diem, mileage, and expenses in a single year, and that doesn't count his $14,912 salary. He ranked Number Two among all 100 House members, pocketing $50,030 in expense claims.

Leading Northwest Arkansas members of the State Senate was Republican
Denny Altes of Fort Smith, one of the less enlightened members of the Fort Smith delegation, which says a lot. He has distinguished himself by winning the "Worst Worrier about Losing the Breeding War to Blacks" award in the Arkansas Times Best and Worst of 2007. Altes raked in a total $45,913 in expense money from the taxpayers, ranking fifth among all 35 senators. No Democrats in either the House or Senate from the Third Congressional District were named among the Top Ten Grifters.

Denigrating the frugal service of all the rest of his legislative colleagues in Northwest Arkansas and trying to put a good spin on his exorbitant travel claims for taxpayer money, Representative Pace tried to excuse his profligate public spending. Pace, who is a lame duck, said, "
It’s Little Rock meetings. In all fairness that is what the people of Benton County elected me to do, make that 454-mile trip.” Oh come on, even at 50-cents a mile, it would require Pace to drive 100,060 miles to legitimately claim what he did. The circumference of the earth is only 24,860 miles, so that's four round-the-world trips in one year.

Pull my Goldfinger.

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