January 29, 2010

Per diem payments mostly higher this year than last

Five Democrats topped the State Assembly's per diem list -- collecting the highest amounts for tending to business in Madison during 2009.

Cory Mason, D-Racine, is among them.

What that means is that these five legislators spent the most time in Madison during the year -- 153 days, in fact, since they received $13,464 and the per diem payment is $88 per day. You don't have to do the math; the complete list is here.

Mason is a member of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, which was very busy in this budget year.

The four others were Thomas Hixson, Whitewater; Ann Hraychuck, Balsam Lake; Marlin Schneider, Wisconsin Rapids; and Leon Young, Milwaukee.

Here are the days worked in Madison and total per diem payments for our area representatives. All collected more -- and perhaps worked harder? -- this year than 2008, except for Bob Turner who was in Madison the same number of days both years. Here's last year's accounting.
  • Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-83, Waterford: 131 days = $11,528.
  • Rep. Bob Turner, D-61, Racine: 110 days = $9,680.
  • Rep. Cory Mason, D-62, Racine: 153 days = $13,464.
  • Rep. Robin Vos, R-63, Caledonia: 118 days = $10,375.
Legislators also receive mileage reimbursement for the trip to Madison, and a salary of $49,943.

Mason, by the way, donates all his per diem money to charity.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker of Weston collected the most last year, $16,368, followed by Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, with $15,488.

UPDATE, 2/1: The full Senate per diem listing has just been released, and Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, is in the middle of the pack. He worked 109 days in Madison, earning $9,592 in per diem payments, well in the middle of the pack with 14 senators taking home more.


  1. Corry is toast. All the puff will not help

  2. When your main home is in Dane County how can you have the highest per diem rate. Seems like he is milking the system on this one.

    Will someone with name recognition please run against this guy.

  3. I hear a Rino will be,even so be a far better Rep then Mason. No sweet laws for buds.

  4. HAHA worked extra hard F'in things up for our state! LOSERS!

  5. Cory's constituents would be better off if he was paid a per diem for when he was actually in his district. What's he done in Racine other than hang out with his union pals and get free lunches from Jeff Neubauer?

  6. "Mason is a member of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, which was very busy in this budget year."

    That's right, deep into the night, behind closed doors, legislating through the budget, sneaking in changes we never voted for.

    Cory Mason is a traitor and deserves a traitor's fate.

  7. "Corry is toast. All the puff will not help"

    Someone has to run to make that happen. Who's running? (And please don't say it is one of the libertarians in town who never win elections.

  8. 12:54

    Think Rino you get it.

  9. Pete - the argument could be made that rather than "tending to business in Madison" Cory was wasting taxpayer money working on unnecessary legislation that would tax his constituents even more!

    Could also explain why he seems to be out of touch with many in Racine.

  10. Urban Pioneer1/31/2010 2:23 PM

    There are at least 2 People in the the final stages of running for this seat against Mason. Neither of which I would describe as a RINO. But main stream enough nice folks who would do well for Racine. We should hear more in the next few weeks.

  11. The one I am thinking about is a Rino's Rino. Thinking he will even get help from The Mayor due to favors wanted and received but still better then Mason

  12. Oh please, the mayor is a joke.

  13. I keep hearing a RINO is runnung against Mason, has Helding made this public yet?

  14. The fact that he donates the money to charity is not germain. He is still taking tax money. My bet is that the donations while charity lean heavily toward a non-mainstream groups. The reason he takes the money is that the donation is a tax write off. If he didn't file for the per diem he wouldn't get the "goog guy" donation credit and the state tax payers would be saving money. It's all about Cory - it's alwasys about Cory.

  15. 7:57

    Not yet. Guess he has to ask The Mayor when he can.

  16. http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_d8c84b02-0ef4-11df-9be6-001cc4c03286.html

    Of all the things to be agest Helding does not stop at Garage sales now it's Churches.
    What the Hell...

  17. The Post - any chance they have to promote Mason. Sorry guys he's out the next time around.

  18. Perhaps there is a better solution for all. As we recognized, when Cory files per diem, we the tax payers cough up the reimbursement. Cory then takes our tax dollars and donates it to charity - a tax deduction that benefits his return at our expense.

    I wonder why Cory simply does not file per diem and saves our tax dollars. It would also save Cory time allowing him to work on greater opportunities for the Racine community.