Billy Long is a professional auctioneer. So, yes, he knows a thing or two about bidding.
He campaigned on a message that the "liberals of this country are bankrupting our country
and threatening our values."
But the freshman Missouri Congressman who famously noted that the his district was Tea Party "before Tea Party was cool"
is also one of he biggest spenders among his freshman class of new U.S. representatives.
Billy Long, the Republican who took over the Seventh District seat from Senator Roy Blunt, spent $204,498 outfitting his office staff
for the first three months of 2011, making him the tenth-highest paying boss among the House's 92 freshmen representatives. By contrast, Joe Walsh, a conservative newcomer representing the west and north suburbs of Chicago was the most frugal new freshman. He spent just $98,900 on pay to his office staff, according to an analysis by watchdog agency LegiStorm
To be fair to Congressman Long, he did spend less on staff in the first quarter than the $246,911 that the average member of Congress spent on salary. Then again, freshmen usually spend less than incumbents in the first months of their term as they build up staff. The other Missouri freshman, Vicky Hartzler (R - Fourth District) spent $184,000 on her office staff from January through March.
You can check out what the other six incumbent Missouri representatives spent on salary and how much each of their staffers earned at Legistorm. For the record, JoAnn Emerson (R - Eighth District) spent the most on staff salaries of the Missouri incumbents at $286,0744; Sam Graves (R - Sixth District) spent the least at $207,413.