Members of Congress do not receive reimbursement for their housing while they are in Washington, D.C. Their $174,000 salary is presumed to cover that. Some sleep in their offices to save money. Others room together in shared living spaces. Most rent apartments. However, Michigan’s Congressman from the 8th District, Mike Bishop, seems to be using tax dollars to pay for housing out of his Congressional budget, a budget that is paid for by the taxpayers of the United States of America.
In the first two months of this year, the only quarter that we have information on at the moment, Bishop expensed $900 each month for “lodging” and paid it to McKinley Associates. According to my sources, Bishop’s office says the expense is to pay for lodging for Bishop’s Chief of Staff Allan Filip. Filip made a tidy $34,222.23 in the first quarter of 2015 (which equates to $136,888.92 a year) according to the House Disbursement Report for Q1 2015 where the lodging expenses can also be found.
Here’s a Google street view of Cole Gardens (click for a larger image):
So the question is, why is a highly-paid Congressional Chief of Staff being put up in what can only be described as a low-rent apartment in an area known for its high poverty and crime rates?
Another interesting thing to note is the McKinley Associates is owned by Ron Weiser, a former Bush-appointed ambassador to the Slovak Republic, a former RNC National Finance Chair, and a former Chair of the Michigan Republican Party (you can read a comprehensive list of his accomplishments as a Republican mover and shaker HERE.) Weiser and his wife Eileen have donated a total of $21,200 to Bishop since 2014, $10,400 in 2014 and another $10,800 in 2015. Coincidentally(?), $900 a month in rent equates to $10,800 a year.
Why, if you didn’t know better(?), you’d almost think Mike Bishop is taking taxpayer money and laundering it into campaign donations using his friend and well-known Republican operative Ron Weiser as the middle man!
We report, as they say, and you decide.