Money is always at the root of politics and state Rep. Deborah Boone has been caught in that web.
A group of Oregon lawmakers is dealing with an issue that has been raised before: use of campaign funds to pay for associated expenses while serving in the?state Legislature.
Among those named by The Oregonian, was Rep.?Boone who used money from the campaign trail to pay for travel, lodging and dry cleaning. The Democrat from?Cannon Beach did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.
But state Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, said that her view on the matter is one of greater transparency. Its been an issue thats come up in the past,?she said. I let other legislators run their own business and I come down on the notion of transparency is best.
Johnson said she makes no value judgement on lawmakers who choose to use campaign funds for the costs of being a lawmaker, but said she has chosen to take another path. Its a judgment call and I choose to pay for most of my expenses myself, she said.
Boones commute to Salem totals more than 200 miles round trip. With $2,735, she covered her driving costs as well dry cleaning bills and accommodations while in the 2013 Oregon legislative session.
Johnson echoed other legislators Wednesday in pointing out some of the hidden costs of being an Oregon lawmaker. Mileage is not reimbursed for legislators during the session, however, they receive a $123 per diem seven days a week. There are a lot of expenses and I knew that when I took the job,?she said.
The Oregon senator said she didnt want those financial burdens to keep good representatives from serving in the Legislature.