Don’t lose the point
Let’s start off this story by pointing out that Brenda Reiber made a really stupid decision by saying that information she requested was on behalf of the Office of the County Executive. Really, really stupid.
That being said, the fact that legislators are getting so upset with her request leads one to wonder what we are going to find there….
Read more below the fold….
I think that we are all perfectly aware about some of the reimbursable expenses that legislators are allowed to receive from the state. And this includes hotel rooms….even for legislators who live in Anne Arundel County minutes from their homes in their legislative districts.
Which makes you wonder why this was true:
Some lawmakers yesterday called for anyone involved in the request to be fired. Some complained of a political witch hunt.
A witch hunt? Because somebody asked to see expense reports that are public record? Are they serious? Yes, unfortunately, they are. There is not nearly enough transparency when it comes to the expenses racked up by legislators. This is particularly true of legislators from Anne Arundel County: anybody who seriously believes that Delegate Mary Ann Love needs to have a hotel room for 90 days at taxpayer expense when her 22-mile each direction commute is probably shorter than that of many of her District 32 constituents needs to have their head examined.
There is virtually NO good reason (except for maybe issues concerning the weather) for an Anne Arundel County legislator to seek state reimbursement for hotel rooms in Annapolis. It’s completely insulting as a taxpayer to see legislators, regardless of political affiliation, live the high life at the Loews or the Marriott in Annapolis while the rest of us mere mortals are subjected to higher taxes and higher costs of living. Sure, I don’t have as much of a problem allowing for reimbursable expenses for legislators from the Eastern Shore, or Western Maryland, or even Montgomery County. But when you work in the county you live in, it’s just shows embarrassingly poor judgment.
Reiber’s judgment is clouded and she should be fired for trying to misuse the authority of the County Executive’s office; though I doubt that she will, seeing that she is a donor to his campaign. But we as the taxpaying public should certainly pay more attention to the expenses our legislators rack up on our dollar.