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Susan Davis does Japan

House junket queen and husband rack up more frequent flier miles

Susan Davis
Susan Davis

San Diego Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis, long the county's most junketeering House member, was on the road again in February.

Three years ago, Davis placed 17th on a list of Congress's biggest spending free travelers, at a total cost of $200,652 for 28 trips paid for by private sponsors.

Though she's slowed down a bit since then, the globe-girdling congresswoman and her husband, physician Steve Davis, logged ten August days in Israel last year, thanks to $17,908 from the American Israel Education Foundation, which is backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Then it was off to Turkey, where the couple spent a week courtesy of the Aspen Institute, which picked up the $13,533 tab.

Last month Davis and spouse headed for Japan, where the couple partook of a seven-day "2015 U.S. Congressional Member Study Tour to Japan."

The couple's total transportation expenses were $20,275. Lodging was $948.76, and the couple's meals cost $1056.86. Other expenses, including "guides, professional interpreters, meeting room charges," and "small gifts for meeting partners," totaled $1206.48, bringing the grand total to $23,487.

"As a member of the Committee on Armed Services," wrote Davis on her disclosure form for the trip, which lasted from February 14 through 21, "I will participate in educational seminars, briefings and meetings with experts to discuss U.S.-Japan energy policy, trade negotiations, and military stance."

Sponsoring the junket was the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, whose website says it "has created programs to educate about the role of Congress, assist Congress in its international relations, and support emerging democracies abroad, all while providing opportunities for members to stay connected with their colleagues."

A nonprofit corporation, the group isn't required under federal law to identify its donors. The association's 21-member business advisory council, listed on its website, includes Eli Lilly, Allianz, Daimler, and the American Honda Motor Company. On March 25, it is scheduled to give its annual "corporate statesman award" to PepsiCo chief executive Indra Nooyi. "Presenting sponsorships" for the banquet go for $50,000.

Another sponsor of the trip is listed as the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, U.S.A., whose chairman and CEO is retired Pacific Fleet admiral Dennis Blair, onetime director of National Intelligence for president Barack Obama. Blair is a member of the homeland security group of the Aspen Institute, a past sponsor of many Davis family trips.

Among other events during the February tour was a meeting with U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late president, which was "limited to members of congress." Noted the itinerary: "Electronics, including cell phones, will be taken at the door."

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe threw a reception for Kennedy and the visiting dignitaries, according to the itinerary. The tour also got close-up looks at the Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station and the city of Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb in August 1945.

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Susan Davis
Susan Davis

San Diego Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis, long the county's most junketeering House member, was on the road again in February.

Three years ago, Davis placed 17th on a list of Congress's biggest spending free travelers, at a total cost of $200,652 for 28 trips paid for by private sponsors.

Though she's slowed down a bit since then, the globe-girdling congresswoman and her husband, physician Steve Davis, logged ten August days in Israel last year, thanks to $17,908 from the American Israel Education Foundation, which is backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Then it was off to Turkey, where the couple spent a week courtesy of the Aspen Institute, which picked up the $13,533 tab.

Last month Davis and spouse headed for Japan, where the couple partook of a seven-day "2015 U.S. Congressional Member Study Tour to Japan."

The couple's total transportation expenses were $20,275. Lodging was $948.76, and the couple's meals cost $1056.86. Other expenses, including "guides, professional interpreters, meeting room charges," and "small gifts for meeting partners," totaled $1206.48, bringing the grand total to $23,487.

"As a member of the Committee on Armed Services," wrote Davis on her disclosure form for the trip, which lasted from February 14 through 21, "I will participate in educational seminars, briefings and meetings with experts to discuss U.S.-Japan energy policy, trade negotiations, and military stance."

Sponsoring the junket was the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, whose website says it "has created programs to educate about the role of Congress, assist Congress in its international relations, and support emerging democracies abroad, all while providing opportunities for members to stay connected with their colleagues."

A nonprofit corporation, the group isn't required under federal law to identify its donors. The association's 21-member business advisory council, listed on its website, includes Eli Lilly, Allianz, Daimler, and the American Honda Motor Company. On March 25, it is scheduled to give its annual "corporate statesman award" to PepsiCo chief executive Indra Nooyi. "Presenting sponsorships" for the banquet go for $50,000.

Another sponsor of the trip is listed as the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, U.S.A., whose chairman and CEO is retired Pacific Fleet admiral Dennis Blair, onetime director of National Intelligence for president Barack Obama. Blair is a member of the homeland security group of the Aspen Institute, a past sponsor of many Davis family trips.

Among other events during the February tour was a meeting with U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late president, which was "limited to members of congress." Noted the itinerary: "Electronics, including cell phones, will be taken at the door."

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe threw a reception for Kennedy and the visiting dignitaries, according to the itinerary. The tour also got close-up looks at the Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station and the city of Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb in August 1945.

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Comments
7

Guess this type of trip is just one of the reasons that Rep. Susan Davis will not come out against what happened at San Onofre and/or using Nuclear Power to generate Energy, she might lose too many industry related donations and perks.

With both the CPUC and SCE now under investigation for the 4+ Billion Dollar debacle at San Onofre, ratepayers may be some justice but we have yet to hear a peep from Susan Davis.

Rumor: The USS Reagan may've its home port changed to Japan in order to keep it away from prying eyes since its task force got exposed to ☢ pollution immediately after Fukushima

Documents Say Navy Knew Fukushima Dangerously Contaminated the USS Reagan http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/26/navy-knew-fukushima-contaminated-uss-reagan

March 17, 2015

CaptD, such an important point -- so important to keep this unfolding story alive as Big Energy interests here and in Japan hope to bury the actual and political fallout from both San Onofre and Fukushima in the sands of time. What's the dark saying: we get the representation we deserve? No mention of Fukushima recovery efforts on Susan Davis' most recent Japan itinerary.

Also, I would think an elected official with freebie world-travel habits of the Democratic Congresswoman and husband would cut back on their paid gallivanting in the face of the Reader's regular reporting on and scathing criticism of these "educational" junkets.

March 17, 2015

Follow the money and you will find the owners and operators of the politician. Politicians of all stripes whores. By the time the stupid voter gets to chose the choice has been narrowed to those who have paid to play.

March 17, 2015

Actually, Alex, not ALL politicians are whores, even if these days everyone pays something to play.

March 17, 2015

Matt keeps reporting on her junketeering and nothing changes. She's in a safe Dem district, and can get away with anything/everything that she wants to do. She votes the party line in DC, and beyond that, what has she done for the district or the rest of SD? I'm pressed to think of one thing. She's about as do-nothing as Filner was, when it comes to legislating. Just a rich wife of a rich (now retired) doctor, who when she served on the school board, sent her kid to a private school! How do people like her get away with it? Answer: the voters vote the party line, and are otherwise brain-dead. If it were not for the Reader, nobody would ever know of her paid tourism, masquerading as investigation.

March 18, 2015

RE: "I will participate in educational seminars, briefings and meetings with experts to discuss U.S.-Japan energy policy, trade negotiations, and military stance." So did Rep. Davis deliver a report on her findings to the Armed Services Committee? If so, is it available to the public to read so WE can learn what she learned over there, to justify the $23,487 spent?

March 19, 2015

someone should tell her about the internet, and perhaps she can use it to learn from her home.

March 19, 2015

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