Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Contact: Matt Rexroad
Allard to Gaines: Show You’re Serious About Per Diem –
Pay Back $120,000 Your Family Has Already Collected
Roseville – In response to Assembly candidate Beth Gaines and her husband Senator Ted Gaines’ pledge to turn down per diem payments, Assembly candidate John Allard is challenging the Gaineses to take their “generosity” a step further and return the $120,000 that the Gaines family collected during the four years that Ted Gaines was in the State Assembly.
“While it may seem altruistic for Senator and Beth Gaines to pledge to forgo per diem, the reality is that they have already collected $120,000 in unnecessary taxpayer money over the course of Ted Gaines’ Assembly career despite the down economy,” said Allard.
“I challenge them to prove they are serious about their concern for taxpayers and return the pay that is usually reserved for Legislators who live more than 25 miles from the Capitol, which the Gaineses do not. When you already plan to collect over $200,000 in taxpayer income per year, I would hope you would not take further advantage of taxpayers by adding per diem to that.”
John Allard vowed he would not accept per diem payments at the outset of the race, which means voters are saving the $60,000 per diem pay no matter if Gaines or Allard is elected. However, while Allard will turn down per diem regardless of the state’s economic situation, there is evidence that Gaines may choose to accept per diem in the future.
“This is an especially important issue since a recent Sacramento Bee article quoted Senator Gaines as declining to say whether he would accept per diem ‘if the state’s budget outlook brightens.’ Whereas it seems the Gaineses want to portray their act as valiant, they have refused to say whether they will continue to decline per diem if the economy picks up. On the other hand, I have vowed to forgo per diem – regardless of our state’s economic situation.”
In her January 12 article “Roseville senator decides he doesn’t need per diem after all,” Sacramento Bee Capitol reporter Torey Van Oot writes, “Gaines’ decision to reject per diem comes at a time when his wife, Beth Gaines, is considering whether to run for the Assembly seat he vacated….He declined to say whether he would accept per diem if the state’s budget outlook brightens.”
California Legislative Per Diem pay is to subsidize living expenses for Legislators who keep their primary residences a great distance from the Capitol and need alternate living arrangements while in Sacramento. The Gaines home is less than 25 miles away from the Capitol in downtown Sacramento.