Pelosi's Last Hurrah

San Francisco's congresswoman of 23 years, the daughter of a Baltimore mayor, has a sense of self-entitlement and extravagance unimagined by most public servants and ordinary folk.  Her indulgences charged to American taxpayers are now documented and damning.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has spent or authorized spending at least $3.2 million on trips, hotels, food, high-priced liquor, and military jet rides in the past two years.

Pelosi spent at least $1.1 million of taxpayer funds ushering a delegation of at least 106 people to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (the "global warming" conference where nothing was decided). The entourage stayed two nights.  According to CBS News,

For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That's $2,200 a day...

Total hotel, meeting rooms and "a couple" of $1,000-a-night hospitality suites topped $400,000.

Fifty-nine House and Senate staff flew commercial during the Copenhagen rush. They paid government rates -- $5-10,000 each -- totaling $408,064. Add three military jets -- $168,351 just for flight time -- and the bill tops $1.1 million dollars -- not including all the Obama administration officials who attended: well over 60.

Speaker Pelosi would not comment about the expenses to CBS News. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Malibu) was also on the trip, but he says he "did not know" what expenses were incurred.

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, has just released a report on Speaker Pelosi's extravagant use of government aircraft:

According to the documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Speaker's military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period - $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

  • Speaker Pelosi used Air Force aircraft to travel back to her district at an average cost of $28,210.51 per flight. The average cost of an international CODEL is $228,563.33. Of the 103 Pelosi-led congressional delegations (CODEL), 31 trips included members of the House Speaker's family.
  • One CODEL traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, "to discuss matters of mutual concern with government leaders" included members of Congress and their spouses and cost $17,931 per hour in aircraft alone. Purchases for the CODEL included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey's Irish Crème, Maker's Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.
  • According to a "Memo for Record" from a March 29-April 7, 2007, CODEL that involved a stop in Israel, "CODEL could only bring Kosher items into the Hotel. Kosher alcohol for mixing beverages in the Delegation room was purchased on the local economy i.e. Bourbon, Whiskey, Scotch, Vodka, Gin, Triple Sec, Tequila, etc."
  • The Department of Defense advanced a CODEL of 56 members of Congress and staff $60,000 to travel to Louisiana and Mississippi July 19-22, 2008, to "view flood relief advances from Hurricane Katrina." The three-day trip cost the U.S. Air Force $65,505.46, exceeding authorized funding by $5,505.46.
Speaker Pelosi has a history of wasting taxpayer funds with her boorish demands for military travel. And these documents suggest the Speaker's congressional delegations are more about partying than anything else," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rated #8 of Washington's ten most corrupt politicians for 2009.

House Speaker Pelosi is one of the fifteen richest members of Congress, with a net worth between $33 million and $95 million. (So why does she charge us for her family's Grey Goose martinis on Air Force three? Nancy can afford to BYOB.)

There is a moral "disconnect" in the Pelosi family vineyard business. From, 2006:

As Peter Schweizer notes in his best-selling expose of liberal hypocrisy, "Do As I Say (Not As I Do)," part of the fortune of this defender of the working man is a Napa Valley vineyard worth $25 million that she owns with her husband. The vineyard produces expensive grapes for high-end wines. Napa grapes bring up to $4,000 a ton compared with $300 a ton for, say, San Joaquin grapes.

But Pelosi, winner of the 2003 Cesar Chavez award from the United Farm Workers, hires only nonunion workers and sells these grapes to nonunion wineries. Schweizer places Pelosi in a chapter titled "Workers of the World Unite Somewhere Else." UFW members need not apply at the Pelosi family vineyards.

With the above facts in mind, Pelosi voted against the Fence Act of 2006 to build a fence along the American-Mexican border, against requiring ID cards for illegal aliens, against electronic data-keeping of illegal aliens, and for driver's licenses for illegal aliens.

CIA "You Lie": Speaker Pelosi was indignant at so-called "torture" of Iraq war detainees by waterboarding. When the CIA produced memos showing that she attended briefings and gave consent before the interrogation tactics were used, Pelosi publicly claimed that President Bush and the CIA lied.

The CIA's displeasure at Pelosi's self-interested slander has caused months of rumors that Steny Hoyer will replace Pelosi as Speaker of the House next year, if she is reelected and if the Democrats still have a majority. Her leadership is privately questioned by her own party.

Pelosi's Poll Pallor

Rasmussen Reports Poll:

Just 35% of voters nationwide share a favorable opinion of Pelosi, though that is the highest level measured since last May. Fifty-seven percent (57%) view Pelosi unfavorably, down from 63% in December.

Field Poll California, January 27, 2010:

Two-thirds of voters here (66%) disapprove of Congress' overall job performance, while only 24% approve.

By a three to one margin (69% to 23%) Californians disapprove of the way Congress has addressed the health care issue.

Voters also have a more negative than positive view of the job that California Democrat Nancy Pelosi is doing as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Currently, 46% disapprove of her performance while 39% approve.

Madame Speaker bullies on. It's not clear if she doesn't care or is just oblivious to the fact that 57% of American voters think that passing nothing would be better than passing the current health care bill. Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle that health care would be passed one way or the other:

We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. If that doesn't work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.

From The Less-Significant-But-Still-Very-Weird Department: Code Purple.

Seated behind President Obama at his State of the Union address, House Speaker Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden were "color-coordinated." Pelosi had a lavender jacket; Biden had a purple-striped tie. Mrs. Obama wore purple. With al-Qaeda terrorists trying to blow up airplanes over American cities with underwear bombs, 10% national unemployment, and a ballooning deficit, why in the world would the second and third in line behind the president have time to think about wearing "matching outfits"?

If Nancy Pelosi were a Republican, she would have been hounded from office on the basis of any of the above. The tail-wagging national media have rarely and barely nipped at any of these Achilles' heels, but that may change soon with the release of the Pelosi expense reports.

Nancy Pelosi's home state now has an unemployment rate of 12.5 %. It has just been announced the state budget, already $21 billion in the red, will likely be out of money by April. Aren't the bluebloods of San Francisco beginning to get at least a teeny twinge of embarrassment from their congresswoman's elitist ramblings and rants? How many sandwiches could be purchased for the homeless people on Market Street in downtown San Francisco with what Pelosi spends boozing on her cross-country flights?

Since the national health care plan is ostensibly to help those same poor, elderly, and "little people" that Democrats are supposedly serving, don't any of Pelosi's liberal friends find this luxurious lollapalooza at public expense unseemly and elitist? Nancy Pelosi's effectiveness and credibility are irreparably harmed due to her own deeds and words. She can't blame Bush. There surely is a liberal "lieutenant" or two in San Francisco to take over the "reign" and run for Pelosi's seat. We can't afford Nancy anymore.

Whenever she retires from the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi will be entitled to her congressional salary and gold-plated health benefits for life, despite the fact she is a multi-millionaire and can certainly afford to fund herself and a small town.

Even so, Nancy Pelosi will be far less expensive for U.S. taxpayers as a retired congresswoman than she is when she is on duty.  

Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news/commentary blog,