Rick Crawford

This is rich. Rodeo clown Rick Crawford, whose personal financial disrepair was an issue in his election as Republican congressman from the 1st District, is a professed spending hawk. Our problem is excessive government spending, don’t you know?

Heal thyself, congressman.

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Legistorm is out with an analysis of congressional staff pay. Registration is required for access to legistorm, but it’s free.

They ranked the staff pay of the freshmen members of Congress. The Hon. Rick Crawford’s staff payroll, at more than $216,000 for the first quarter of 2011, was fifth-highest of the 94 freshmen in Congress. He didn’t sponsor a single piece of legislation his first six months, BTW. But he had fun. Remember, his staff is the fun-loving crew with “bowtie day.” See his full staff pay list here.

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Freshman staff pay is usually lower than the pay of long-time members with longer-serving staffs. The average congressional staff pay in the first quarter was $246,911, a figure that Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, another budget hawk, managed to top with $247,545.

Staff pay for the quarter for other Arkansas reps.:

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Tim Griffin: $192,849.

Steve Womack: $177,824.

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Cheapest freshman? Joe Walsh of Illinois, who spent $98,000 on staff. Nine others spent under $144,000. Seven of the top 10 spenders were Republicans. Nine of the 10 cheapest (no Arkies there) were Republicans.

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