State Sen. Tom McClintock, a fierce critic of government spending, has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax-free per diem payments from the state that are meant to help legislators who, unlike McClintock, live far from the capital ... The Republican lawmaker [who makes $116,000 a year] said he is entitled to the $170-a-day payments because his legal residence is a family home in his Senate district of Thousand Oaks, where he is registered to vote ... McClintock and his family live year-round in Elk Grove, 14 miles from the state Capitol ... His children attend Elk Grove schools and his wife works at a Baptist church there.One of the arguments McClintock uses to justify accepting $300,000 tax free dollars over the years - while living in his 4,090-square-foot Sacramento suburb home - is the expense of maintaining two homes. I think I could buy into this except for the following:
The Thousand Oaks house, where he grew up, is owned by a family trust controlled by his mother, who lives there ...Insert your own punchline here______________.
P.S. And for the record, Democratic state Sen. Darrell Steinberg and Assemblyman Dave Jones, both from Sacramento, do not accept per diem payments. Republican Sen. Dave Cox of Fair Oaks, who lives about 25 miles from the Capitol does accept per diem (but he pays taxes on them).