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San Diego House Democrat Susan Davis, infamous for years of free world travel, thanks to various lobbyist-related groups, stuck closer to home in her latest gratis mid-winter foray from the nation's capital.

A travel-disclosure form filed last month with the House ethics committee and posted online by shows that Davis legislative director Matt Weiner wintered at the Trump International Hotel in Sunny Isles, Florida, from February 20 through 23, attending a conference put on by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Davis reported attending the event from February 21 through 22.

The Beltway-based group bills itself on its website as "a non-partisan research and educational institute — a think tank — whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states."

The board includes Jeffrey Campbell, director, technology and communications, Cisco Systems; Maria Cino, vice president, government relations, HP; and San Diego's own top influence-peddler and ex–Bill Clinton appointee Greg Farmer, vice president of government affairs at Qualcomm.

The purpose of the excursion, Davis reported, was to attend the foundation's "annual conference with business and government leaders discussing public policy to advance technology innovation."

"Because of my role as a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, it is important that I research innovation to increase technology and decrease the gap and lag with current training at our nation's universities."

Davis's travel cost $811, lodging was $314, and food amounted to $193, according to the disclosure. Weiner's transportation was less — $476 — but his room tally was $942, with food costing $454.

Topics at the event, called a "winter policy retreat," included "Can We Ever Free Up Federal Spectrum?" and "Corporate Tax Reform: Where Are We and Where Should We Go?"

The foundation has also advertised its displeasure over the leaking of details about electronic spying by the National Security Agency. The leaks, the foundation said in a report, “will likely have an immediate and lasting impact on the competitiveness of the U.S. cloud computing industry if foreign customers decide the risks of storing data with a U.S. company outweigh the benefits.”

According to a report in the Washington Post last August: ”U.S. cloud providers have already lost business over the NSA leaks, but now the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has a report putting a dollar amount on the short-term costs: $21.5 to $35 billion over the next three years.”

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dwbat April 7, 2014 @ 4:06 p.m.

Members of Congress already make $174,000 a year (and they only spend a fraction of a year's time actually working, unlike all private sector jobs). They also get huge benefits and perquisites. Weiner most likely makes a fat salary, too. So why are they accepting--what some would call bribes--from foundations for their travel? Let them pay their own way. And does Davis really need to spend $194 on meals for two days? What is she eating? As Ricky used to say to Lucy: "You have some 'splainin' to do!"


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