Friday, January 2, 2009

Let them eat cake

I was just perusing the Daily News website and came across this story from today about Rep. Costello and Sen. Baddour spending $49,000 on food and stuff in the last 2 years.

Picking up the $49,000 food tab: Baddour, Costello run up big bills at restaurants

It's said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

That's an idea that both state Sen. Steven Baddour and state Rep. Michael Costello embrace.

Between them, they spent $49,000 on food during the past two-year election cycle. Their food choices ranged from high-end steak houses like Ruth's Chris, to popular neighborhood eateries like Shadi's in Baddour's native Methuen.

Both insist the money they spent on food is all about politics, rewarding supporters and winning alliances.

Kind of snarky, huh? Just when I had posted about news stories not being like blogs!

What I want to know is, what is the source for this information? I'm not saying it ain't true - I just want to know where the info came from. Basic reporting stuff ...

Hey, I saw Mike Costello eating lunch in a fine establishment in town a couple of months ago - it was Angie's! (For those of you who don't live here, Angie's is a .... ummmmm ... local diner place. Vinyl booths and the like.)

I guess coming from the corporate world, I don't have a personal gripe with this.

When I worked in Boston, I rarely was taken to Subway for work-related lunches. Hell, even when I worked in Newburyport, "work lunches" were never at Angie's and dinners were always at places like Glenn's, Ten Center or Mission Oak Grill when it was that Kiwi place.

You know, places I don't go when I have to pay for myself! I know, it's taxpayer money. But when some CEO takes his cronies out to lunch, we pay for that, too. Now if these guys were getting free food ...

Not making excuses, but I was in Boston's Back Bay a few months ago and I noticed a definite lower number of moderately-priced eateries from when I lived there. *sigh*

That's part of why I moved away ... but I do miss the city sometimes.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gillian,

Are Mike and Steve spending taxpayer money or spending the money given to them by campaign contributors? Small point, but maybe important.

James Shanley

Bubba said...

This isn't taxpayer money - it's paid out of their campaign accounts.

I went to a Costello fundraiser at the PIG - he probably spent $30 a head on food/drinks times 100 attendees and collected $100 a head in contributions - so he spent $3000 and made $7000. Of course he also sent me a Christmas card of him and his family. How snarky....

Gillian Swart said...

Thanks for the info, Bubba and James. It is an important distinction.

But who paid for the Christmas cards? That's what I want to know ... (not really).

Dick Monahan said...

Funny story about business meals. Many years ago, I worked with a guy who had a lot of money. One day he told me he had met a great woman and had taken her to lunch at the famous "21" in New York City. Not being smart enough to let the experience speak for itself, he said, "So how did you like lunch at 21?" She replied, "It was really great. I've never been here for lunch before, only for dinner."

She was a buyer for Hudson's Dept Store in Detroit. Every time she came to New York, some manufacturer took her to one of the famous restaurants. She'd been to all of them. :-)

In spite of this faux pas, the date went very well, and they ended up married.

Gillian Swart said...

Great story, Dick! Especially the Hudson's angle. That was a great department store (later the flagship store in downtown Detroit was torn down in the usual Michigan way).

I remember once watching a TV interview with Lily Tomlin in which she talked briefly about going to Hudson's with her grandmother (wearing her white gloves, of course). Hudson's was like the original Macy's in stature. We used to drive 75 or so miles down there to shop at Hudson's.

Anonymous said...

Was Hudson's a chain store? When I was a kid, back in the late 1800's, there was a Hudson's in Portsmouth. I can remember going there with my grandmother when she went shopping for her Industrial Bras. Mortifying!
What took the edge off the trip for a young lad was the really cool vacuum tube system they had for shuttling the sales slips and cash up to an unseen office.

James Shanley

Gillian Swart said...

Hi James,

You're that much younger than I am? Wow

No, our Hudson's apparently only extended as far as Buffalo (which kind of surprised me; I thought it was exclusively a Michigan thang).

Also, I never connected J.L. Hudson (founder) with Hudson cars, which also surprises me.

The big flagship store was imploded on Oct. 24, 1998, according to Wikipedia. What a loss.

I loved those vacuum tube systems they used to have in stores. So much more fun than computers, don't you think?