It takes money to raise money, and that process can be stressful, so of course you need to relax with a nice thermal mud bath and a bottle of Napa wine. Those items also help to loosen up your donors and open their wallets.
Leadership Political Action Committees allow our congressmen to make friends and be a friend. The glue holding those friendships together is cash, and plenty of it.
During the last election cycle, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus’ PAC, the John S Fund, raised $384,250. It spent about half of that money on fundraising and gave $178,000 to 75 other Republican candidates. There was a sole Democrat in there getting $1,000 — Virginia state Sen. Leslie L Byrne, who was formerly a member of Congress.
While the John S Fund allows Shimkus to buy friends and influence neighbors, it also allows him to relax as he rubs elbows. The Solage Calistoga Hotel offered a luxury hot spring and mud bath retreat for $31,818. Here’s what the Solage Calistoga says about itself: “Solage Calistoga provides guests with a full range of spa services, unique wellness experiences, a Michelin-starred restaurant and complimentary cruiser bikes to explore the resort and the surrounding locally-inspired activities.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
And their mud isn’t that brown stuff enjoyed only by our local pigs; Solage Calistoga mud is a creamy white.
Mmmmm. Sounds nice, but there was also $11,057 spent at the Four Seasons, $9,942 for Napa Valley Tours and a $9,502 bill for the Ritz-Carlton.
People can spend their money as they wish. If they want to give John Shimkus $10,000 per two-year election cycle to boost his influence in congress as the PAC rules allow, that is their business.
But if you are someone being represented by that man of the people, you should know that Abbott Labs, Ameren, cable TV, Koch Industries, chemical distributors, convenience store operators, Honeywell, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, orthopedic surgeons and AT&T all were members of the John S Fund’s $10K club and helping pay for those enjoyable mud baths.