ColoradoPols has a post up this afternoon expressing outrage over freshman Congressman Scott Titpton's office payroll, which for the first three months of 2011 was $243,431. They like to point out John Salazar's first quarter staff payroll in 2005 at $153,013, because that works for their faux outrage, but forget to point out a salient fact. As was first reported by Todd Shepherd at Complete Colorado, Salazar gave away bonuses worth over $100,000 after losing his re-election campaign. Salazar's last quarter payroll toll — $333,432.
Another interesting comparison, which Pols doesn't include, is Congressman Ed Perlmutter's staff payroll, which was $240,993 in the first quarter of 2011. Of course Tipton's district is the size of Florida, about a bazillion times more space to cover than Perlmutter's suburban 7th Congressional District.
Perhaps even funnier is the fact that the Colorado Congressperson with the highest personal office payroll is Democrat Diana GeGette, who spent a few dollars shy of 300k on just her personal office staff ($299,615). Since DeGette is a member of the Democrat leadership she gets additional staff support that is not reflected in the $300,000, making the 300k even more striking.
What we chalk Titpon's staff salary spending up to is the fact that there were 87 freshman Republicans and thus significant competition to get decent staff. Combine that with one of the largest districts in Congress and it requires some significant early spending. We hope, and expect, that Tipton would be able to reduce that substantially by year's end.
This is an issue worth revisiting at the end of the year as the full year data will give us a more complete picture of Tipton's spending. Until then, it's important to keep Tipton's spending in context with other Colorado representatives.
On a side note: kudos to Cory Gardner for having BY FAR the least staff payroll! While we're sure his staff may not be as joyful as we are about it, it's a sign of his fiscal conservative leadership.
To give our readers the full context of staff payroll spending for Colorado's entire Congressional delegation, here is everything: