Via Roll Call: Members of Congress have immunity from many routine parking tickets in the District of Columbia, but that doesn’t mean they can’t try to rack up fines. According to a Roll Call survey of vehicles parked on Capitol Hill and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, as of mid-March, lawmakers were carrying at least $15,000 in outstanding tickets — ranging from expired meters to speeding camera violations — and potentially thousands of dollars more.
Three-quarters of those tickets, worth about $11,500, were in default at the time of the survey, having gone more than 60 days, and in some cases years, without payment.
Aides to Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) said the lawmakers repaid their respective tickets after being contacted by Roll Call. The District’s database showed Weiner received nearly $2,180 in tickets from 2007 to early March, including some instances in which he appears to have incurred multiple violations at the same time, such as failing to display current tags while parked in a taxi stand zone. “All of the Congressman’s parking tickets have been paid. He is pleased to have helped decrease the D.C. budget deficit,” Weiner spokesman Dave Arnold said.
Thompson spokesman Lanier Avant likewise said the Mississippi lawmaker repaid $610 in outstanding tickets that his vehicle received from 2004 to 2010. During Roll Call’s survey, a second vehicle displaying Thompson’s Member parking permit also returned $250 in parking tickets, which Avant said were his own and were also repaid.
Question: Why did these Congresscritters wait until they were called out to pay their fines? Would you ever consider not paying a ticket for over six years? We know us mere citizens wouldn’t get away with that. And they wonder why we don’t trust these folks in D.C.
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