Friday, July 15, 2016
Billy Long report: $50K in meals, trips to Vegas, Frisco, Seattle, Kentucky Derby
During the last three months, Long who hasn't had the time to schedule a town hall meeting during his first three terms (except for an embarrassing telephone town hall), found time to make at least three trips to Vegas, including one that appears to have been for a week, as well as excursions to Seattle, San Francisco, Charleston, South Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky, and Dallas, Texas.
His quarterly financial report, filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) showed that the fiscal conservative raised $201,315.56, but spent $308,620.26, including $50,061.39 for meals and drinks.
Of that total, much of it came in what appears to be four fundraisers done through the Theodore Company, a political fundraising firm, labeled as "food, beverages, entertainment," - totaling $24,987.74.
Other meals included: $606.80 at Capitol Hill Club, Washington, D. C., $513.47 at the Palisade, Seattle; $2,093.91 at Aqua by El Gaucho, Seattle; $425.10 at Metropolitan Grill, Springfield; $583.86 at the Ozarka Japanese Steakhouse, Midland, Texas; $1,920.73 at the Capitol Grill, Washington; and $332.15 at Javier's, Dallas;
During the 91-day period, Long's contributors paid for 187 meals, according to the FEC report.
Long also spent several days in Louisville, taking in the Kentucky Derby May 7. Though none of the Louisville documents was dated May 7, Long gave an interview to the Huffington Post while he was the Derby, promoting the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump:
The mogul was not utterly without his forthright supporters on Millionaires Row. One of them was Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), a bull-necked, affable fellow who had a giant unlit cigar jutting up out of his shirt pocket as we talked.
Long, a conservative from the most conservative part of Missouri (the southwest), was a radio talk show host and is well known as a top Las Vegas level poker player.
Long told me that Republicans were fools if they did not back Trump to the hilt.
“He kicked everybody’s butt, won far more votes, and we can WIN with him,” he said. “Voters are fed up with Washington, with politics as usual. If we can get all the men up off the couch and get them to actually vote we can win.”
Apparently, Long's hotel stay, which appears to have been at the Marriott Louisville Downtown was not paid for by his campaign account, but a $53.69 charge for lodging to the Marriott is recorded on May 9, as well as $57.94 in taxi fare on the same day.
A $16.61 meal and $9.43 in "lodging" were recorded the next day.
Long used his campaign account to pay for two trips to Las Vegas in April and one in June. Listings for those trips included:
$110.45 for cab fare
$255.36, Wynn Las Vegas, lodging
$30.17, cab fare
$2.45 Grand Lux Cafe, meal
$3,238.43, Wynn Las Vegas, lodging
$18.88, Starbucks, meal
$16.09, Hudson News, meal
$18.08, Starbucks, meal
Long's disclosure report shows $13,495.04 was spent on airfare.