Up for Debate

Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 8:38am

State Rep. Brenda Gilmore leads the Nashville delegation this year in per diem, having taken $16,192 so far. Legislators are allowed to use per diem for certain expenses, and those who must travel to Nashville for state business often rack up decent-sized bills. Other Nashville-based lawmakers, such as House Speaker Beth Harwell and Sen. Douglas Henry, give their per diem to charity or back to the government. Do you think Nashville-based legislators should keep their per diem? Why? 

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

13 Comments on this post:

By: treehugger7 on 8/11/11 at 7:03

I think it is up to them. People like Harwell have a lot of money. Some of the other legislators may have much tighter budgets. Not everyone represents Green Hills. Some legislators probably work a real job as well, and are raising kids (such as Gilmore) and the per diem is what allows them to be able to represent their district or the county. If it's done right, it is a hard job.

By: Moonglow1 on 8/11/11 at 7:53

Moonglow1: per diem is legal. Ms. Gilmore is following protocol. Instead of worrying about per diem taxpayers should be more concerned with the billions of dollars going to companies that feed off the government (Hallibuton, Blackwater) come to mind. On the state level taxpayers need to watch the procurements. Are they competitive? Be sure your tax dollars do not go to companies because of favoritism. Monitor procurement awards worth millions not small time per diems.

By: Loner on 8/11/11 at 8:06

I agree with treehugger7. I prefer elected representation by folks who are not rich but know how to budget, as opposed to representation by rich tycoons with a personal agenda.

If Rep. Gilmore's submitted billings are bona fide, honest, reasonable and authorized, then why the big fuss?

Are Reps. Harwell and Henry collecting per diem payments, but donating the money to charity, or are they simply not billing the taxpayers for their per diem expenses? The article is not clear on that.

If other reps are collecting per diem money from the taxpayers, but donating it to "charity", then how much are we talking about? The article does not delve into that matter.

Just who or what are the "charities" that Harwell and Henry donate their per diem money to?

Are these "charities" legit, or scams?

By: Moonglow1 on 8/11/11 at 8:12

Moonglow1: Loner, good point on questioning what charities.

By: Loner on 8/11/11 at 8:20

Moonglow, you made an excellent point...we shouldn't be worrying or fretting over how reps. use their per diem payments while sweetheart deals, no-bid contracts, and special interest corruption are siphoning off millions in tax revenues.

By: dargent7 on 8/11/11 at 9:33

Just hold their feet to the fire. $16,000 is chicken feed .
But, if Rep. Gilmore decides to upgrade to a higher position all her expenditures will be exposed.
eg., Bachmann champions against governmental assistence, but her husband took in millions in subsidies. Same with the Palins.
Karma has a wonderful way of working itself out.

By: bfra on 8/11/11 at 9:33

Do they have to show receipts for how the money is spent? As far as "don't sweat the small stuff", everything usually starts small, then excalates. Look at the ones in Washington, they probably trained on small payments.

By: BigPapa on 8/11/11 at 9:49

This is one of the small potatoes issues that mean nothing but that every day voters can understand and identify with.

Your typical tennessean can't wrap their head around millions of dollars in contacts or things like that, but get out one too many free meals or a car service and people freak.

By: bfra on 8/11/11 at 9:49

That should be "escalates"! Sorry about that.

By: bfra on 8/11/11 at 10:15

BigPapa - Your typical tennessean can't wrap their head around millions of dollars in contacts or things like that, but get out one too many free meals or a car service and people freak.
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You sound like Karl when he said, We (taxpayers) are not on a level to talk to him! Guess that is the reason he uses our money for out of State & out of the Country contracts.

By: Loner on 8/11/11 at 4:07

So, where was the gang today? The regular posters seem to be elsewhere...or is this posting community on the decline?

By: serr8d on 8/11/11 at 6:03

Brenda Gilmore (D, Moocher). All you needs know.

By: localboy on 8/15/11 at 10:00

"So, where was the gang today? The regular posters seem to be elsewhere...or is this posting community on the decline?" They were all at the meeting: didn't figure you wanted to travel from out of state to attend ;)