Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Was Billy Long in Las Vegas when mass murder occurred?
Was Billy Long in Las Vegas October 1 when 59 people were murdered while attending a Jason Aldean concert.
There were two possible answers to that question- yes or no- so I was surprised when a spokeswoman from the congressman's Joplin office came up with a third.
I noted that Long's quarterly financial report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission showed that he had been in Las Vegas with an expenditure of $5,496.12 to the Wynn Vegas Hotel for lodging. on September 29, "so was he still in Las Vegas on October 1?
Her answer took me surprise. The congressman had not gone to Vegas, someone else had gone.
I wanted to ask a follow-up question or two. Is Billy Long in the habit of spending $5,496.12 in campaign money for someone else to take a trip to Las Vegas (for campaign purposes, of course), not to mention the $1,179.66 expenditure for a meal at Craftsteak in Las Vegas or $288.15 for another meal at Michael Mina's restaurant, which according to its advertising has the "best seafood in Vegas," but she did not give me a chance.
"That's all I can tell you," she said. "You'll have to talk to someone at our Washington office," and our conversation ended before I could even ask for the number.
Fortunately, I already had the number, so I called, identified myself (as I had during the Joplin conversation) and asked the same question. As expected, I was told I would have to talk to the media spokesperson who was "out to lunch."
That was approximately six hours ago. I am not expecting to receive a call, though there is always a possibility I will be pleasantly surprised.
As for my original question, I still do not have an answer.
I searched the Congressman's tweets for the day of the shooting and the following day. On his official Twitter site, he wrote, "My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrible act."
The FEC document covers the dates through September 30.
Odds are, we will have to wait until the next quarterly report is filed in mid-January to know whether Long or someone representing Long was in Vegas October 1.