Jeff Smith 8 p.m., Aug. 30
Congresswoman stays at the Taj on free junket to Bangalore
Top traveled San Diego representative and husband hit the road again, racking up $17,096 in travel tab paid for by corporation-backed think tank
San Diego Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis, who last summer was ranked by a database maintained by Washington-based Legistorm.com as the 17th biggest spending congressional free traveler, including both the House and Senate, has taken off again, this time on a nine-day, $17,096 jaunt with her husband, retired Kensington physician Steve Davis, to Bangalore and New Delhi, India.
As previously reported, over the years the widely wandering representative has turned up in a dazzling array of luxury locales, including a swanky resort on the beach near Tunis, Tunisia (before the revolution):
Since 2005, Davis, often accompanied by her husband, has junketed to Dublin, Ireland (U.S.-Russia-Europe relations, $8746); Punta Mita, Mexico (U.S. policy in Latin America, $7305); Montego Bay, Jamaica (U.S. education reform, $5853); Kraków, Poland (U.S.-Russia-Europe relations, $8166); San Juan, Puerto Rico (No Child Left Behind, $7036); Shanghai, China (U.S.-China relations, $25,068); Ljubljana, Slovenia (Political Islam, $7172); Rome, Italy (Political Islam: Challenges for U.S. Policy, $14,280); Dubrovnik, Croatia (Political Islam: Policy Challenges for the New Administration, $11,058); and Banff, Canada (U.S. education standards and public policy, $6000), all paid for by Aspen. The $5985 tab for a jaunt to Tel Aviv, Israel, last November was picked up by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center.
Much of the Davis's free travel, including their latest excursion to India, has been donated by Aspen Institute, a D.C.-based think tank backed by various corporate interests, including Microsoft, Pepsico, Levi Strauss, Duke Energy, and Credit Suisse, according to the non-profit's website. The Ford and MacArthur foundations have also kicked in.
Such was the case with this year's trip to India from February 16 through 25, according to Davis's post-travel disclosure report, posted online by Legistorm.
As her justification for taking the junket, officially entitled "South Asia: Policy Challenges for the U.S.," Davis wrote, "as a member of the Committee on Education and Workforce, and the Armed Services Committee, I will be able to participate in discussion with experts in foreign policy in education in regards to technology and biotechnology."
The San Diego Democrat was among 20 House members invited along on the excursion, which according to the itinerary included a tour of a General Electric facility:
Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India, and a leading center of innovation. Information technology and biotechnology are two major sectors of 21st century development that have taken place here over the last two decades.
The GE Innovation Center exemplifies this trend. We will visit their research center and learn about creative approaches to modern challenges that have implications for the U.S. and the world.
According to the disclosure, the couple flew business class and stayed at the Taj West End hotel in Bangalore and the Imperial in New Delhi.
Next to the Golf Club and across from the Turf Club track stands The Taj West End, a lush, 20-acre garden in the middle of Bangalore, a bustling city. Noted as a Leading Hotel of the World, The Taj West End is a sanctuary for today's discerning business traveler...
For the leisure seeker, there is plenty to do. Sip drinks under a 125-years old Banyan tree. Laze in the sun. Linger over high tea and let us demonstrate that even though the old days certainly had plenty going for them, the present is even better.
More like this:
- Road tripping with a Congressional Democrat — June 9, 2015
- A congresswoman’s wartime vacation — Sept. 15, 2014
- Bangalore – India's Silicon Valley — July 12, 2012
- Day Trip from Delhi: Taj Mahal and the Red Fort of Agra — Feb. 21, 2012
- What a beach — June 30, 2010