August 01, 2007
Mighty expensive groceries you've got there, Mister Speaker

You might have seen RG Ratcliffe's report on how various legislators and statewide officeholders have been spending their campaign cash, which is something which my colleagues JohnCoby and Muse have been doing tirelessly for months now. Possibly the most interesting tidbit buried in the individual reports was in that of Speaker Craddick. As Eye on Williamson puts it:

Speaker Craddick spent $22,976.10 at H-E-B during the January-to-June reporting cycle.

To be fair, the regular session of the 80th Legislature occurred during this reporting period; however that still works out to $128 for each day of the 140-day session. That's a lot of Rice Krispies. So much that the groceries were running 5 percent of the $455,023 spent out of Craddick's campaign cash.

Now, I don't know what kind of tastes Tom Craddick has, or how many mouths he's feeding these days, but here's two things to keep in mind. One, legislators get a per diem that's supposed to pay for things like food. And two, all of the listed expenditures for "HEB Credit Receivables" are, as I understand it, in violation of the rules. He's supposed to list individual receipts on the day of the purchase, not monthly payments presumably made for credit card transactions (note that there's six of these, one per month; contrast to the two "HEB 382" and "HEB-Austin" items).

Like I say, I don't know what Mr. Craddick is spending all that money on - maybe he just likes buying a lot of chips and beer for Survivor-watching parties at his place - but I think he's gonna need to tell the TEC a little bit more about it. And he may have to budget a few extra dollars to pay a fine to the TEC when he does.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 01, 2007 to That's our Lege