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 freecreditreport.com 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.