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2/23/2006 

Are Local Congressmen Spending Taxpayer Money On Themselves?

WTOV.com, February 22, 2006:
Each Ohio member of the U.S. House of Representatives represents about the same number of constituents.

Each gets about the same amount of taxpayer money to run the office and pay the bills.

But, as we discovered, each has a much different idea about how to spend that money.

Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution says the U.S. House is in charge of raising taxpayer money.

NEWS9 found out they're pretty good at spending it, too - especially the over $1 million they're each given to run their own offices and pay their bills.

[...]

In Ohio, Rep. Bob Ney charges taxpayers $1,078 each month to lease a 2005 Lincoln. He also spent more than $1,000 in the last year on taxi fare, even though he works in a city with a top-notch mass transit system.

[...]

However, Ney did spend $11,400 for a service to obtain all of his constituents e-mail addresses.

This prompts critics to wonder if lawmakers could spend less for the sake of a nation deeply in debt. But, all local members of Congress we spoke to said that these expenses - including cab rides, food and beverages, and direct mail - are necessary to serve constituents.
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