Friday, May 16, 2008

Pimp That Congressional Ride! $1161 a Month for a Ford? (UPDATED)

It's Friday, so I thought with all the nastiness going back and forth in the presidential race, we ought to take a breather and look at the expensive driving tastes of some of the Illinois Congressional delegation, who are allowed to lease cars at taxpayer expense, legally. WBBM radio just finished an investigation into the cars leased by our reps in Congress from Illinois and came up with the following results:

--> Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago leases a 2007 Lincoln Navigator for $746/month and gets 12 miles per gallon city/17 mpg highway

--> Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Chicago leases a 2007 Ford Expedition for $1161/month which gets 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway

--> Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago leases a 2006 Honda Civic hybrid for $366/month which gets 40 mpg city/45 mpg highway

--> Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago was leasing a Mercury Marquis for $265/month but was trading it in to lease a Saturn Vue. Further information not yet available.

--> Rep. Jerry Costello of Belleville leases a 2008 flex fuel Jeep Cherokee for $778/month that gets 9 miles per gallon city/12 mpg highway

--> Rep. Don Manzullo of Rockford leases a 2007 flex fuel Mercury Mountaineer for $465/month which gets 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway

--> Rep. Phil Hare of Rock Island leases a 2006 Buick Lucerne for $897/month which gets 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway

--> Rep. John Shimkus of Collinsville leases a 2007 flex fuel Jeep Commander for $627/month which gets 9 mpg city/12 mpg highway

Read the whole story here. The mileage is noted because a change in the rules dicates that congressmen must start leasing more fuel-efficient vehicles, WBBM reports.

Leaving the mileage issue aside, look at the lease price for Congressman Jackson's Ford Expedition. It's $1161 a month! What kind of ride is THAT? And it's a Ford? If I was in Congressman Jackson's district, I would be worried about my congressman's negotiation skills if I couldn't wrangle a better deal than that. Of course, maybe it's a "Funkmaster Flex" edition.

As our observant TA readers will note, Congressman Mark Kirk did NOT make the list of shame, as he does not lease cars at taxpayer expense. That's right, ZERO taxpayer dollars.

TA hears that Congressman Kirk gets by with an '88 Toyota in DC and a '98 Ford at home in the 10th District. It's not stylin', I guess, but that's a lot more in line with what normal people who are not feeding at the taxpayer trough like Congressman Jackson can apparently afford. Kirk might want to join AAA with an aging fleet like that, though... (sorry Mark!)

Have a great weekend!

PS- I've never seen Mark Kirk's '88 Toyota, but the vision in my mind was the beater in the commerical. Sorry again, Mark, but I couldn't resist.

SATURDAY UPDATE: Most people probably don't pour over the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, but there were a few articles that I thought were pretty good which I wanted to point out. First is a great piece on how to make a Democrat go nuts (just say "appeasement"). Second, on a more sobering note, is a follow-up on the challenge faced by the national GOP which focuses on the national mood, and it's not good. Follow that up with the "pity party" piece, and it'll pretty much kill your Saturday. Check 'em out, but only if you're in the mood for deep thought today.


Anonymous said...

They should do a story on campaign cash too. That way Dan Seals' donors can find out how he paid himself $25,000 for living expenses.

Anonymous said...

For $25,000 in campaign cash that Seals took from his own donors (is that LEGAL?), he must have two Funkmaster Flexes (what the heck are those?!).

Team America said...

Anon 4:32- I'm pretty sure it's legal if Seals paid taxes on it. I strongly suspect we will see that the 25K you referenced was not the last time he dipped into the campaign funds to pay his expenses. Again, if done properly, nothing illegal about it, but probably would be a disappointment to most supporters if Seals was up front about it.

Anonymous said...

Back to the leased cars, TA. This is hilarious! I have seen Mark Kirk's hunk of junk, 88 red Toyota. He actually likes that car! His 98 Ford is nothing to write home about, but it's his, it's not leased, he is responsible for everything he owns and everything he drives. What a concept. And as for The Pup. One day he will have to reveal that he has used campaign cash for his own expenses. You are correct: if done properly and reported according to the rules it's NOT illegal. Sure is sleezy, don't you think!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about this Dan, assuming you ever get a job, highly doubtful, you'll be back on carpool duty in November after Mark beats your brain in again and all is well again in the Hubbard Woods hinterlands. I think a Mark for House GOP leadership campaign would be terrific.

Dan can't be happy that Obama now confuses himself with Carter on the anti-Israel bashing shot W took from Israel the other day. The fact that jewish voters are abandoning national democrats in historic droves is going to leave some mightily short coattails for a desperate campaign. The Republican Jewish Coalition is having a field day as expected with these guys and I can't wait until they start in on Dan.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 1:05, you are so right. John McCain sounded amazing when he asked the question: "so what DO you want to talk about with the president of Iran who has said over and over and that he wants to blow Israel off the map". Obama wants to debate this? I can't wait. And as for The Pup, well, he and his pacifist buddies remain clueless about national security.

Back to car-gate in our IL delegation. I sure hope that this story gets a bit more hype. And yes, it's impossible to fathom how any car, and now we know that it's a Ford, commands $1161 a month to lease, is possible. Who's "pocketing" the rest of that money? But if Sandy Jackson should suddenly find herself sitting alongside her husband in the IL delegation (rumors are she will run for Bobby Rush's seat) maybe they can get a special 2 for 1 lease deal. Just a thought this Saturday morning.