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Not Larry Sabato

I think she came out of it looking good- skipping an unpopular President who raised her money anyway, and getting to vote for the bill that funds billions of dollars in spending into her district?

Good call, Thelma.

Not Ed Shrock

I'm surprised to see that this won weenie of the week. Even if you characterize it as a no-win decision, think about it this way: would you rather offend a president with abysmal approval ratings, or offend the voters of your military-heavy district by skipping out on a heavily symbolic vote? As NLS pointed out, this isn't a tough call.

Mike Sizemore

Dan Geroe bad call on this one. This was probably a wise move on Thelma Drake's part, as the President was able to raise money for her and she was able to cast an important vote in Washington and not have her picture taken with Bush that could be used as ammo. I would have went with Pat Robertson for his "chat with God", or whoever let him speak at the teenage republican convention.

This is clearly a case of Weenie bias. Schapiro attacked the whole blogosphere, and Robertson went nuts. Geroe then picks his Congresswoman who he has a personal vendetta against?

Vivian J. Paige

Have to agree with the others on this. Thelma made the right call.

ZB

Right call or not, Rep. Thelma Drake is still a weenie.

Total lack of brain power in this post. Thelma would have been hammered by everyone had she missed that vote in order to raise money.

Some people don't get it and this post proves it. One of the top ten rules in politics is: NEVER miss an important vote that brings a ton of money back to your voters because of a fundraiser.

Dannyboy

I do agree that it was politically a smart move. Still, I think the Pres deserves mre respect than that. That's all.

In regards to respect, it is earned and not an automatic of office.

Dannyboy

To an extent, I agree, anon. But I still believe that there's still a level of respect inherent in the office. That's just me.

If Thelma didn't want to be connected with Bush, don't hold the fundraiser. That's just how I feel. Thelma probably made the right move politically. That doesn't mean I think it was right.

Not Jack Herrity

NGB, you and Dannyboy really missed the boat on this one. I can't believe you would have a sitting congressman miss a vote to attend a fundraiser. That is among the dumbest political advice I've heard. Or maybe it's because you guys are in bed with Phil Kellam. :)

NJH

Madeline Abbitt

TO: The Honorable William J. Howell

FROM: Bruce F. Jamerson

DATE: September 21, 2007

RE: House Operating Budget; Member Salary and Expenses/Return of Funds

In response to your recent inquiry regarding salary and expenses for members of the House of Delegates, I trust that the following information, which is authorized in the Appropriations Act, will answer your questions:

Salary $17,640/annually Has remained the same since self-imposed 2% salary cut in May 1991.

Office Expense $1,250/monthly Has remained same since January 2000.

Interim Meeting Per Diem $200/day For legislative meetings attended when not in session; paid according to roll call. Rate has been remained the same since January 2000.

Session Expense $135/day Appropriations Act authorizes $75 per day or maximum allowed by IRS. In October 2006, the IRS maximum was set at $156 per day, but the House Rules Committee only approved a rate of $135 per day.

Mileage $.485/mile Travel from home to Capitol for session (paid once per week during the legislative session) and interim legislative meetings. This rate is set by the IRS.

Additionally, due to responsible management of the budget of the House of Delegates, the 2007 budget, approved by the General Assembly, included the return of $2 million from the House’s unexpended balances to the General Fund, subject to the approval of the Rules Committee. The Committee authorized this transfer in June, and prior to the end of Fiscal Year 2007 a transfer of $2 million was executed from the House of Delegates to the General Fund of the Commonwealth.

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