Monday, October 21, 2013

Campaign contributors buy $24,000 in meals for Billy Long over last six months

Billy Long's campaign slogan for 2014 could easily be "Well Fed Up."

According to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission, campaign contributors have footed the bill for more than $24,000 worth of meals for Long during the past six months, including $15,650.14 during the three months ended September 30.

The meals range from $4,476 September 9 at the Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield to $7.85 at Hebrews Coffee in Springfield on August 28.

While in New York on August 2 and 5, Long enjoyed two meals, worth more than $2,000 at Ruth's Chris Steak House, which promotes itself in this fashion:

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in New York City is sumptuously decorated in deep tones complemented by beautiful modern art and rich, mahogany-paneled walls. Art deco sconces throughout the restaurant dining room provide perfect ambience. Whether it’s a romantic steak dinner for two, an important business luncheon or a private party, Ruth’s Chris Steak House can accommodate your needs. Our Manhattan steakhouse provides guests with a warm, comfortable atmosphere.

Long also enjoyed $643.85 worth of "fine Northern Italian cuisine" at Alberto Trattoria in Washington July 25 and two meals, one for $1,322.67 and one for $234.10, both on September 23 at Bobby Van's Grill, which is described this way on its website:

Bobby Van’s Steakhouse has become a fine dining hotspot in DC with diverse dining options. Guests can enjoy outdoor or indoor dining as well as private rooms, including a private wine room. Bobby Van’s has become a frequent dining destination of Washington’s elite and an award winning DC establishment. Named Top Steakhouse by Washington Magazine and awarded Best Porterhouse in DC by the Washingtonian, Bobby Van’s Steakhouse serves unparalleled Prime, dry-aged beef, the freshest seafood, and numerous other fine dishes accompanied by an award winning wine list.
Bobby Van’s Steakhouse is open seven nights a week for dinner and for lunch Monday through Friday, with valet service after 5pm.
Remaining a personal favorite on Billy Long's fine dining list is the Capitol Hill Club, where Long had two meals on July 17, one for $452.67 and the other for $188.24.

In August, the congressman had a $183.64 meal at the Capitol Hill Club on August 12 and another for $337.51 on the same day.

On Sept. 18, Long's Capitol Hill Club meal only cost $181.47.

As noted in the April 13, 2011, Turner Report, one of the first things Long did when he reached Washington was to spend $1,133 from his campaign account to buy a membership in the Capitol Hill Club.

"The club is described on its website as "a national social club for Republicans. The stately second floor Presidential Dining Room offers splendid cuisine prepared by our renowned chefs. This room is a favorite place for Senators, Representatives and their guests to dine and discuss the day’s political agenda. The dining room is open for lunch and dinner and is a superb venue for your most memorable weekend events.

"On our lower level, members enjoy the informal atmosphere of the Auchincloss Grill for breakfast, lunch, afternoon drinks and dinner. Always a popular spot, the Grill is especially busy after a late-night session of Congress.

"Named after the Club’s earlier address on C Street, the 75 Room feels like your own living room, with its sofas and nooks. The room offers wireless internet service to members for additional convenience. 

"The third and fourth levels include a variety of dining and meeting rooms appropriate for all types of business and social occasions. The newly renovated fourth flour suites are an elegant setting for all events, whether a lunch meeting or evening reception. Groups from 10 to 400 can be accommodated with ease. High speed internet access is available in all our rooms. 

"The third floor Bolton Room with its graceful furnishings is the perfect setting for distinctive banquets and receptions."

Of course, membership in the club might be a good thing if Long was using the access to conduct people's business, but club laws do not allow that to happen:

No member shall carry on or transact any business or indulge in the practice of any profession in the Club at any time.

The club has a strict dress code, according to the website:

Gentlemen will please wear coats and ties in the Main Dining Room. Coats with sport shirts will be acceptable throughout the other areas of the Club. Current trends dictate the acceptability of ladies’ high-fashion attire.
Long's meals during the last quarter also included visits to the Tortilla Coast and Prime Rib in the nation's capitol, as well as stops at such local spots as Jim's Steakhouse and the Village Inn in Springfield and Smith's Restaurant in Bolivar.


Anonymous said...

Spends like he's been in government for a lifetime. Some outsider! Some average guy!

Anonymous said...

He looks likie he has spent that much on food!

Anonymous said...

Any farmer or rancher knows how much it costs to have over-conditioned livestock on full feed. Billy Long's campaign filings and condition score show he needs someone to formulate a different less expensive ration.

Anonymous said...

Looks like he ate $48,000 per annum. But wintertime is coming on and he needs to make fat for the slaughter.

Never trust a thin chef or congress-kritter.

Anonymous said...

643.85, $1,322.67, $234.10? Are those figures for Long, or for the table? There's more to this story.

Randy said...

While the FEC documents are not that specific, I would guess that those meals covered a large number of people.