Million-dollar staffs

While the economy tanked last year, salaries of staffers working for San Diego’s congressional delegation were on the rise. The GOP’s Duncan Hunter, who retired in 2008 and was succeeded by his son, paid his workers a total of $1,058,046, according to figures compiled by the nonprofit website LegiStorm. In 2007, the Hunter staff total was $1,037,779. Democrat Bob Filner’s aides made a total of $974,145 for 2008, compared with $933,571 the year before, while his colleague Susan Davis paid out $1,078,261 versus $1,043,006 in 2007. Republican Brian Bilbray’s staff got a total of $925,145, compared with just $823,291 in 2007. His fellow Republican Darrell Issa’s workers got $995,540 compared to the previous year’s $944,030.

Of course, staff remuneration was not limited to salaries. This January, Issa aide Jason Scism went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, courtesy of $1612 from the Consumer Electronics Association. Listed purpose of the junket: to “tour the show area discussing new technologies and the impact of policy on technology.” Last August Scism went to an Aspen, Colorado, conference on “telecommunications and intellectual property policy” with $2097 from the Progress and Freedom Foundation, backed by the likes of Microsoft, Cox Enterprises, and Verizon.

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