consultants are sandburs

Sunday, February 05, 2017

"Bakk has also collected at least $70,000 from his own campaigns since 2009, renting space in his own home and for additional mileage expenses, according to campaign reports."

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Tom Bakk games the system. Glad to have never contributed to a campaign of his. It would hurt to have paid his rental of a part of his home, to himself (wearing his legislator hat instead of his homeowner hat), via a contribution thought to be for other less personal use. One of several reasons to be glad to have never contributed to a Bakk campaign. Ditto Rukevina. Ditto Tomassoni. Ditto actual Republican Party member-politicians.

This below quote leaves things hanging. If there's a number two dude, name him/her:

Since 2009, Bakk has collected more than $350,000 in reimbursements for expenses and in the extra pay lawmakers are eligible to receive during the legislative session, known as per diems. That’s nearly $30,000 greater than the next highest senator, records show.

[...] Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, a retired county sheriff from Alexandria, had the highest per diem and expenses among Republican senators: $259,721 from 2009 to 2016, nearly doubling his yearly legislative pay for that period. He said that without the benefits to offset the expense of living in St. Paul, legislative service would be financially impossible for many lawmakers: “If it were less [money], I think you’re going to see good legislators say, ‘I can’t be pulled away from my job,’ ” Ingebrigtsen said.

Who dat, number 2 allusion? Between $350,000+ and $259,721 there's room for several who dats? More? Yes:

Bakk’s primary residence is on Lake Vermilion. His wife, Laura, is a Senate aide for another Iron Range DFLer, David Tomassoni, and is required to report to work in St. Paul all year.

Despite his wife’s Capitol job, Bakk is entitled to a tax-free housing allowance because his district is more than 50 miles from St. Paul.

For years, Bakk used his housing allowance to rent a house in Maplewood, which they leased from a relative. All told, Bakk collected more than $125,000 in lodging allowance from 2009 to 2016, according to records.

[...] After the DFL lost control of the Senate last November, Bakk convened his final meeting as rules chairman and urged an increase to the housing allowance for outstate Minnesota senators to $2,000 per month. Republicans objected, and the committee raised the allowance to $1,800 instead. They also added a new benefit of $200 per month during the legislative session for mileage expenses for constituent service.

Bakk’s Senate campaign paid $8,400 to rent space in his own home from 2011 to 2016. Siems Roberson said having a separate office space in Bakk’s home was important to campaign activities like fundraising and candidate recruitment calls.

When Bakk’s Senate, campaign and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board driving mileage expenses are added from 2011 to 2016, they come to at least $103,000. That means he was reimbursed for 206,000 miles of driving, or about 94 miles per day, 365 days per year, for six years.

In his statement to the Star Tribune, Bakk pointed out that his district is larger than nine states and encompasses both the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest, which are not passable with direct routes.

Generosity within the "club," like charity, appears to begin at home.

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