MILEAGE ABUSE JUST LATEST IN STRING OF BAD BEHAVIOR BY HOUSE DEMS
CONCORD - Yesterday, the Union Leader reported on Rep. Peter Franklin's (D-Newport) blatant abuse of House mileage reimbursement policies, describing how Franklin has charged New Hampshire taxpayers $21,000 in what was described as "an obscene abuse of the system."
Rep. Franklin is not alone in the Democratic caucus in leaving Granite Staters on the hook for excessive travel. Assistant Majority Leader Dan Eaton (D-Stoddard) billed New Hampshire taxpayers over $20,000 in mileage over the last two years.
"Judging by the mileage racked up on the odometers of Representatives Franklin and Eaton, they must have been working overtime to increase spending by 17.5% and raise taxes and fees 22 times," said Fergus Cullen, Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
"In these difficult economic times, you would think legislators would be looking for ways to save the taxpayers money, not soak them," Cullen added.
This obvious abuse of taxpayer dollars is only the latest in a continuing series of ethical lapses, malfeasance, and general bad behavior by House Democrats under Speaker Terie Norelli's watch. These instances include con man and former member of House leadership Rep. Jim Ryan's (D-Franklin) arrest and stint in jail and Rep. Nancy Warren's (D-Rochester) five arrests for stalking, trespassing, and assault.
"Not only is spending out of control under the Democrats' watch, but their behavior is as well. From members of the Democrat leadership being thrown in jail to legislators abusing the mileage reimbursement system, Democrats in the House have acted recklessly. The people of New Hampshire deserve better," said Cullen.
Rep. Peter Franklin has billed NH taxpayers $21,063 for 422 travel days over the last two years: "Confronted with questions about the $21,000 he received in mileage reimbursements from the state over the past two years, state Rep. Peter Franklin, D-Newport, had no response." ("State Rep puts off answer to mileage abuse charges," by Kristen Senz, The Union Leader, 10/16/08)
Franklin's actions were described as "an obscene abuse of the system": Goff, an outspoken critic of the Sullivan County Delegation that Franklin chairs, called Franklin's mileage reimbursement record "an obscene abuse of the system" and demanded during a full delegation meeting yesterday that he pay back $8,482 to the state, the amount by which his total exceeds that of the second highest reimbursement in the county (state Rep. Jay Phinizy, D-Acworth, at $12,581). ("State Rep puts off answer to mileage abuse charges," by Kristen Senz, The Union Leader, 10/16/08)
Franklin was not alone in abusing mileage reimbursements: Rep. Dan Eaton has billed taxpayers $20,947.23 for 429 trips to Concord over the last two years. (State of New Hampshire, Office of Legislative Accounting, House Instate Totals for FY07 and FY08, As of 7/31/08)
This is just the most recent instance in a pattern of bad behavior by House Democrats:
Including former Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Ryan...
"Former state Rep. Jim Ryan (D-Franklin) has been released from prison on bail, The Conway Daily Sun reports. Ryan was bailed out by Jim Craig, a Manchester lawyer and former House Minority Leader...Ryan was jailed in late August for failure to pay the court $9,000 from charges relating to a forgery case." ("Ryan Released on Bail," by Brian Lawson, PolitickerNH.com, 8/16/08)
"Franklin Rep. Jim Ryan was in Carroll County Jail last night, unable to pay restitution related to 16-year-old felonies for passing bad checks. According to prosecutors, Ryan, 50, also has a criminal history from the 1980s and 1990s that stretches through three states, including multiple charges of larceny and forgery." ("Prominent Dem jailed over unpaid felony restitution," by Lauren Dorgan, The Concord Monitor, 8/30/08)
And habitual offender Rep. Nancy Warren...
"State Rep. and former city School Board Chairwoman Nancy Warren is back in Strafford County Jail following her fifth arrest in the past year, four of these arrests in just over two months...Warren, 48, of 101 Lowell St. was arrested Saturday on a Class A misdemeanor of stalking in violation of previous bail orders. She is alleged to have used her cell phone Friday to call the same victim in three of four of her previous arrests. She is being held on $5,000 cash bail." ("State Rep. Nancy Warren arrested for violating bail conditions," by Josh Rosenson, Foster's Daily Democrat, 5/12/08)