Alabama's congressional offices received numerous free trips on the dime of special interests since the beginning of 2004. But aides were the beneficiaries far more often than the lawmakers.
The Associated Press conducted a review of congressional travel paid for by third-parties. It showed that eight of nine Alabama lawmakers sent their aides on more trips, usually FAR more, than they took themselves. Trips are allowed, but expenses and purpose of the visits must be disclosed.
Democratic Representative Artur Davis was the only Alabama lawmaker who filed the paperwork for more trips than his staffers since January 2004. Most trips were domestic and for low-dollar speaking engagements.
Republican Representative Spencer Bachus sent his aides on more trips than any other Alabama House office. He participated in only six of the 36 trips reported by his office since the beginning of the year.