Topic - Kent Cooper

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  • Construction workers continue work on the platforms on the west side of the Capitol where dignitaries and news cameras will witness the inaugural ceremonies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The pomp surrounding the inauguration of the president can carry a hefty price tag, from the glitzy galas to all those inaugural balls. Think of it this way: It can cost about the same as 150 luxury Bentley cars, several dozen yachts or some $20 million shy of the cash needed for a Boeing 737 passenger jet. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    Special interests abided for Obama’s second inauguration

    After President Obama lays his hand on a Bible and takes the oath of office for a second White House term next month, he will be surrounded by pomp, circumstance and celebration bought and paid for by the very special interests he once vowed to disenfranchise from Washington politics.

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  • "This type of free trip not only covers the members' expenses but provides a rare opportunity for the sponsor to cover the costs of a spouse or family member," Mr. Cooper wrote recently in his Political MoneyLine blog highlighting the Ireland trip. "For members who are not home that much, the free trip is a great payback to the spouse. The spouse or family member has plenty of time for sightseeing and enjoying the foreign city."

    Lawmakers have not tightened travel belts, fly in the face of budget rhetoric →

  • "The true costs of CODELs should be much more transparent, especially on transportation costs, which is the largest component. Up to now CODEL travel reports usually state that military transportation was used and no true or even estimated cost is disclosed," Cooper said, who runs CQ's Political Money Line.

    Lawmakers increase travel as rest of country deals with budget cuts →

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