Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Eat Your Hearts Out, Chicagoland Commuters

October 4, 2011

Hey, Chicagoland Commuters, when the big blizzard swooped down on you in February, did any employer say, “Since I’m not letting you go early, even though I know there’s a dangerous blizzard out there, I’ll put you up for the night in a hotel room?”

I thought not.

If you’ve got those ol’ Commuter Blues, come to Idaho and run for the Legislature.

Idaho offers a per diem of $122 for housing costs during the legislative session if you live more than 25 miles from the capital.

A couple of the legislators live in Nampa, a city about 26 miles from the capital, a straight shot down the highway. People commute to and from Nampa every day, and it doesn’t take hours (although to a commuter it always feels like it does).

So here’s what these legislators did:

Guy 1 stays at his parents’ house in Boise. But by law he’s entitled to the per diem, so he takes it.

Guy 2 took the $122 per day to stay on the couch in his office. His reasoning: He specifically got the office large enough to accommodate the couch so that he could sleep in the office at night; if he had gotten a smaller office that wouldn’t hold the couch, he’d be paying less rent, so he’s entitled to the money.

This charmer also, through a “clerical oversight”, charged the state mileage for commuting back and forth to Nampa, even though he was sleeping on his taxpayer-funded couch in Boise. Once it was brought to his attention he paid the money back. No response to the question, “How do you accidentally submit a mileage form?”  Don’t you have to sign those puppies? If not, let’s start.

So, friends, the next time you’re griping about the commute from Palatine to Villa Park, or Chicago to Roselle, just consider moving to Idaho and running for office. It’s way more fun.

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