Colorado's three Democrats in Congress spent the most on their personal office budgets of the entire Congressional delegation, USA Today finds. Despite having the second smallest district, geographically, Congressman Ed Perlmutter managed to spend the second most of his allotted budget when compared to other Members of Congress from Colorado.
Reports the Fort Collins Republican Examiner:
Forty-five members of the house spent over 95% of their budget, and 38 of those were Democrats. On the bottom end, those who spent less than 77.8% of their budget, 31 out of 40 were Republicans.
The top three spenders from Colorado? Diana DeGette (D) was the highest percent spending Colorado representative (spending $1.376 million, 93.9% of her budget). Ed Perlmutter (D) spent $1.353 million (91.8% of his budget). The new representative for Estes Park, Loveland, Boulder, and other parts of Larimer county, Jared Polis (D), spent $1.301 million (89% of his budget). Cory Gardner (R) spent the least percent of his budget, 79.1% ($1.156 million).
This is less of a problem for Diana "Do Nothing" DeGette, as she sits in a seat so liberal it would take an act of God to knock her off. It's more of a problem for Polis and Perlmutter who have serious opponents with the ability and resources to share facts like this with voters through well orchestrated ad campaigns.
Add this news to the fact that Perlmutter is consistently the second worst abuser of taxpayer funded franking privileges in the delegation, and the image of an overspending liberal begins to become clearer.
It's probably most troubling for Perlmutter who has previously been successful at convincing his constituents that he is a moderate, when it fact his record is far more to the left than he wants folks to believe.
Clearly, Perlmutter's personal spending problem is a limited amount in the scope of the huge, bloated federal budget, but it has symbolic value.
Liberals were quick to point out when Congressman Scott Tipton's office got a little spend happy in the beginning of his first term, so we're interested to see what they say about the numbers looking back at all of 2011.
Tipton got spending under control, but it appears Perlmutter hasn't even bothered trying.