Washington’s always-on political intrigue may have its peculiar charms, but last month ranking aides for San Diego House members Darrell Issa of the GOP and Democrat Juan Vargas took off for the 24-hour bright lights of Las Vegas to attend the National Association of Broadcasters convention, thanks to the beneficence of the well-heeled trade group.
“In my capacity, as Legislative Director to Rep. Issa, I handle issues relative to telecommunications and copyright,” wrote James Tyler Grimm in a March 23 disclosure filing for the two-day junket beginning Sunday, April 23. “The NAB show will provide an opportunity to learn from those affected by these policies.”
Wrote Vargas’s office of staffer Dayanara Ramirez, who also made the Nevada trip: “Dayanara’s the Deputy Press Secretary for Rep. Vargas & works regularly with broadcast media & reporters to relay info. to constituents. Conference will educate her on news/media landscape and comm policy.”
For unspecified reasons, Grimm’s transportation cost $825, compared to Ramirez’s $694, though his lodging tab was less ($337.87 to her $405.90). Each stayed at the Wynn Las Vegas and bagged meal totals of $124, according to their filings.
“Join key staffers from the House and Senate as they discuss the most pressing telecommunications issues currently facing Congress and the future of telecom policy,” says an attached flier. In both cases, “time and travel to Las Vegas require a second night’s stay.”