Monkey Business Report: NCGA per diem edition

Hang around state politics enough and you’re bound to hear whining about how little our legislators are compensated.

According to state law, rank-and-file legislators (not in leadership) get paid $13,951 per year plus $559 per month for expenses.  What you hear a lot less about are the per diem payments ($104 per day) plus mileage (0.29 cents per) on top of that.

That part has us intrigued.  So, thanks to a public records request — and the yeoman’s work by Haymaker super-fan Tim Martin — we have our hands on a whole lot of official internal General Assembly files detailing the disbursement of per diem and mileage payments to members.

A member of The Haymaker inner circle jogged my memory about this particular comment posted on our site last year:

So, of course, that prompted me to move Steinburg to the top of my list for review.

According to official records, Steinburg — in his six years in Raleigh — has collected $102,036.58 in per diem and mileage.  That’s a yearly average of $17,006 above and beyond his $13,951 salary and $559 per month “expense” allowance.

Another interesting find in Steinburg’s records was how often he was disbursed per diem in chunks of $728 (7 days x $104).  That appeared to be a rare occurrence among legislators.  So, I asked a former legislator about it.  This source told me:

“Seven days?  If you’re claiming seven days of per diem at a time, I’m sorry — pardon my French — but you’re full of crap. Nobody over there is working seven days a week.  Nobody.”

Per diem is meant to pay for meals for legislators while they are working in session in Raleigh.  My ex-legislator source told me there are some cases where legislators working on the budget near the deadline, or other important projects like redistricting (and responding to redistricting lawsuits) would get extra per diem.  

My source said the per diem is usually automatically disbursed when the House is in session.  But one would have to specifically request a seven-day lump-sum payment.

The official legislative calendar  shows nothing scheduled for either chamber for January 13-15 of 2018.  Yet, Steinburg collected $104 per diem for each of those days.

Steinburg collected per diem for January 17 ($104) and per diem / travel  ($104 / $80.28) for January 18.  The official calendar showed the only business for those days were committee meetings that were cancelled.  The official legislative web site shows there was no action on any bills in either chamber those days.

The week of January 25th – Steinburg collected $728, indicating seven days of work.  According to the legislative calendar, the House was only in session January 25 and January 29.

The committee he chairs, Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission,  had a meeting scheduled on January 30.

For February, it appears he claimed per diem for 22 days worked.   

Steinburg claimed $728 in per diem on 2/1, 2/8 and 2/15.   (He claimed $104 plus mileage on 2/21.)  The House was in session on February 1,5,7,8,9,12 and 13.

He had committee meetings on February 6, 15, and 21.  There was no House business on Feb. 28.  Committees met on February 22, 26, and 27 but did not include any committees he is assigned to.    

That’s ten days of actual verifiable legislative work for him in February 2018.   There were eight weekend days with no legislative business.   The calendar shows only 16 days with scheduled legislative business for either chamber.

If he worked every possible work day in the month, that would be 20 days.  He took per diem pay for 22.  

We also found signs of this type of thing in 2017.

According to the legislative calendar for February 2017, the House was in session for a total of fifteen days.  Steinburg took per diem pay for 28 that month. 

General Assembly records show he took $728 on Feb. 2, 9, 16, and 23.

The House was in session on Feb. 1, 2, 6,7,8,9,13,14,15,16,20,21,22,23, and 27.  (Steinburg missed all votes on 2/23.)

So, at most, it looks like he was there for verifiable official business on 13 days in February 2017.  But took per diem for 28. 

23 thoughts on “Monkey Business Report: NCGA per diem edition

  1. In the real world, this is called “padding the expense account.”

    In the political world, it is called “stealing from taxpayers”.

    There are few times a legislator will be working on a Friday, even IN Session. And Mondays are iffy.
    It’s a three day a week job while in Session.
    Or honestly,12 days a month.
    Sixteen days is stretching it, but explainable.
    Twenty eight days is flat out lying and cheating.

  2. Move along. Nothing to see here. It is very simple. He was conferring with our solar and wind energy friends. They had a lot of conferring they needed to do. Bobby is a very big friend of the polar bears and we should all look the other way on these things. Bobby is bought and paid for and needs to stay that way.

  3. I, for one, am SHOCKED that an esteemed “Honorable” would ever do such a thing !!! Next thing you know they’ll be groping LAs in the elevator.

  4. So we, the tax payers, paid him to be at the 5th District Soil and Water conservation meeting on February 15th when he missed the Joint Committee on Justice and Public Safety meeting right after those guards were killed in the prison in our District? Wow. When Dare County Commissioner Jim Tobin asked him about it, he had the audacity to get mad. See it here:
    And a pic of him doing it here:

    Have no fear, I screenshotted the whole conversation in case he deletes it.

    1. Oh yes Steinburg is the king of DELETING things as we all know..I have never seen a House Of Representative act this way. He has threaten people if I’m elected you’re not going to have a job.

      1. He’s even calling and yelling at people with Clark Twiddy signs outside their home/business. It’s ridiculous! How can you be an elected official and want to yell at someone for exercising their FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Now his camp wants to defend him getting paid by taxpayers to attend a Soil and Water Conservation Meeting instead of the Committee meeting that he should have been at.
        Be a speaker for an event and get some publicity and a boost to his ego, or attend a committee meeting where he’s suppose to be representing the people who elected him to serve? I’d take the latter of the two, but that’s just me.
        At some point, duty to those who elected you to represent them needs to win. Missing over 20% of votes for the past two years? Unacceptable. Regardless of the reason. That means in one out of every FIVE votes, his House District had no representation. None. Beverly Boswell was present for 99% of the votes. Whether you agree with her or not, at least she showed up. You can’t do anything if you aren’t there.

    1. Its the electric rate payers who should be scared of Green Energy Bob, also known as super-expensive electricity Bob.

      Bill Cook has been a great senator, and NOT in the hip pocket of the special interests like Steinburg is. Too bad he got gerrymandered out of his district and Green Energy Bob gerrymandered in. Bill looks out for the citizens, not the special interests like Steinburg.

        1. Hopefully, NC voters will do to the green energy politicians the same thing that the voters of the state of South Australia just did to theirs in their recent parliamentary election – throw them out of office. South Australia’s Labour Party was led by green energy fanatics, much like Steinburg, and in their 16 years in powers massively built renewable energy capacity – mostly wind – while tearing down coal plants. The result was a disaster for consumers, and cosnumers responded by tossing them out of office.

          All of that renewable energy capacity gave South Australia the highest consumer electric rates in the world. That is the same path that Steinburg and his cohorts have put North Carolina on. We badly need to get off of it before we end up like South Australia, and the way to do that is to dump the Solyndra Republicans like Steinburg in the primary. We need to follow the lead of the voters of South Austraiia and throw those bums out of office before it is too late.

          From another post here, about a third of Steinburg’s campaign money comes from one green energy PAC, and that is not even counting his other wind and solar money. Solyndra Bob is bought and paid for.

          Now as to Twiddy, the records at the State Board of Elections show that he gave a hefty four figures to McCrory for Governor, and none to Cooper for Governor.

  5. His Facebook also shows him in different counties in January when he collected the 7 day sum. Wow. Just wow. How is he not being brought up in charges for STEALING from taxpayers?!
    It’s funny how his Bob Mob is silent on his actions coming to light. Quick to make something up and spread it about his opponent, but he they hide from truth. Ha!


  7. This is so funny. Same tired stuff. You must be getting paid off by the RINO Clark Twiddy. It’s like there is nothing else in the state. I have posted a few things and you won’t release them for the same five people who comment. Rich guy going to try and buy a seat. You hate Jones Street Consultants, but the ones helping Rich RINO”s are good.

    1. Jennifer did you say the same thing about President Trump? Just because a man has money doesn’t mean they pay people off. This man was a Navy Officer he walked away from the family money to serve the military. Bob runs around acting like it’s a sin to have money that just means we want have this problem with Clark Twiddy.

    2. So Bob Steinburg is cheating the taxpayers out of thousands of dollars and it’s Clark Twiddy’s fault?
      If Clark Twiddy is a “rich guy trying to buy a seat” at least he’s using his own money, not stealing taxpayer dollars.

    3. A Steinburg supporter calling someone else a RINO is really rich!

      You can tell who the genuine conservatives are in the House by whether or not they are members of the Freedom Caucus. Big Bob is NOT. In fact, Steinburg recruited a liberal Republican to run in the primary against Freedom Caucus conservative Bev Boswell. Steinburg is an anti-conservative.

      Worst of all, Steinburg is owned by the most obnoxious, corrupt, and greedy special interest in North Carolina. Civitas calls them the “energy crooks”. This site calls them the “solar goons”. Steinburg sides with the interests of this special interest AGAINST the interests of the people of North Carolina. Steinburg is also siding with the positions of Barack Obama, Tom Steyer, George Soros, and Al Gore AGAINST the position of the Republican platform when it comes to the wind and solar scams..

      As I understand it, Twiddy’s consultant is not one of the Raleigh consultants but is a local eastern NC guy who operates out of Carteret County.

      1. I was unaware that the General Assembly had an organized Freedom caucus like the one in DC. They should set up a web site.

        1. It was organized in the last session. Mike Speciale chairs it. Yes, a website would be nice, and so would an affiliated PAC (the national group has one of those)

    4. It isn’t our fault that BS (fitting initials BTW) decided to retire at the ripe age of 39 and start collecting disability. Disability really doesn’t pay what it use to lol Poor Marie, having to be the breadwinner. Maybe that’s why he’s stealing taxpayer dollars? He’s sick of his wife bringing home the bacon?

      1. What is Steinburg’s disability? At 39? Just curious what facts are available to substanciate? Not saying it is not true….because it is primary season, I have learned to check everything.

  8. This AM, on Chad Adams’ Radio Show, Steinburg referred to this website as “a self-licking ice cream cone”. I bet he uses that analogy a lot. …. it was obvious that TDH is living rent-free inside his head.

    Congrats… and keep up the good work!

    1. sorry but I want to clarify it was not the site he called “self licking Ice cream cones” it was the people the post here in the comment section that he was calling that name.

      Personally I have never gotten any Ice cream from this website nor have I ever eaten ice cream while reading or posting a comment here. You really do not want to drip ice cream all over your keyboard that would be really bad

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