Monday, June 13, 2005

"Camp"in' trips...

...I thought they were less expensive.

With the summer months upon us, the desire to get out of town is on everybody's mind. Us working folks are taking less and less of our vacations, if we can even afford to have one.

If we could only be a Republican in Washington. They seem to have all the time in the world for vacation, and we could have special interests pay for them, lavishly.

In August of 2003, our own Congressman Dave Camp went on a five day trip to London, paid for by special interests. A five day trip to London, where $15,623 was spent on Con. Camp. The stated purpose was a "transatlantic conference". A conference put together by the Ripon Educational Fund.

What is the Ripon Educational Fund? Elizabeth Drew from The New York Review of Books tells us:
The Ripon trips are famous among lobbyists for the opportunities they present for pressing their cases with members of Congress. A Republican lobbyist says that a Ripon Fund excursion has 'become the trip to go on, because of the luxury and the access.' The Washington Post reported that a Ripon Educational Fund trip to London in 2003 was attended by more than a hundred lobbyists, including representatives from American Express, AOL/Time Warner, and General Motors. They pay the Ripon Fund an annual membership fee of $9,500, and in addition finance their own trips abroad to Fund meetings.

A "transatlantic conference" to hob-nob with lobbyists? Couldn't Con. Camp just do that on K-Street? In all, our local Washington Republican has been lavished with over $32000 in vacations since 2001.

Go here to see more about where Con. Camp is getting his money.

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