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Quayle, Bentsen Differ in Cashing In on Senate Fringe Benefits

September 5, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Vice presidential candidates Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle are in sharp contrast when it comes to two of the more valuable congressional fringe benefits - speaking fees and free trips.

In the last six years, Quayle, a Republican senator from Indiana, reported honoraria earnings of $250,050 from speechmaking and another $4,830 from writing articles.

Bentsen, a Democratic senator from Texas, accepted absolutely nothing for outside speaking and writing, according to the required financial disclosure statements covering 1982 through 1987.

This doesn’t mean that Bentsen, the chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee, isn’t popular on the speechmaking circuit. It’s because he is one of a handful of senators who decline to take honoraria.

Quayle’s receipts put him in the mainstream of the Senate, where most members routinely pick up $1,000 to $2,000 a speech from trade associations, corporations, non-profit groups, think tanks and universities.

The only restriction in the Senate on such outside income is that if a member’s speech and writing fees total more than 40 percent of the official salary - $89,500 - the excess must be given to a bona fide charity.

Quayle’s 1982-1987 disclosure forms also show that he was far ahead of Bentsen in getting free trips - air fare, lodging and sometimes meals - often in connection with a paid speech.

The Indianian reported 44 expense-paid excursions, including destinations in Florida and Hawaii. In the same six years, Bentsen took four free trips, three to his home state, the fourth to Modesto, Calif.

The two rivals showed parity in one fringe-benefit area, gifts.

Bentsen listed two gifts, each a Steuben glass sculpture, with a combined value of $2,750. Quayle’s $2,436 in gifts were in the form of golf equipment and clothing, including $825 worth in 1987 from pro golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, a fellow Indianian. Quayle is an avid, low-handicap golfer.

Quayle’s top honoraria year was 1983, when he got $54,150 for 50 speeches and $1,500 for an article for the Institute for Socioeconometric Studies. There was no limit then on how much a senator could keep.

Quayle gave $1,250 of his 1983 speaking fees to charity, the same amount as in 1982, when his honoraria totaled $40,650, including $1,000 from his alma mater, DePauw University, for one of his 38 paid speeches.

A 30 percent-of-salary limit was in effect for 1984, when he made 25 speeches, received $26,700 and gave $4,930 to charity. In 1985, he got $32,600 from 28 speeches, $40 from one article and gave $10,277 to charity.

The following year, with a 40 percent limit, he gave $19,991 to charity after earning $49,400 from 37 speeches and $585 from three articles. Last year, he got $46,900 from 35 speeches and $2,355 from nine articles and gave $14,302 to charity.

During the six years, Quayle spoke most often to the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. His 21 appearances there brought him $6,600.

Quayle was popular with the Grocery Manufacturers of America, making a speech to the trade association in 1982 for $1,000 and in 1984, 1986 and 1987 for $2,000 each of those years.

He also received pay for speaking to defense contractors, drug companies and health care associations. He is a member of the Armed Services and Labor and Human Services committees, which handle defense and health care issues.

Quayle received speaking fees on 35 of the 44 free trips he made during the six years.

There was no speaking money on a five-day stay in Hawaii with his wife in 1982, compliments of the Association of Steel Distributors. He did get $1,500 for a speech on a trip to Palm Beach, Fla., that year paid for by the Independent Bankers Association.

His peak travel year was 1983 with 15 trips, including three nights in Orlando, Fla., - and a $2,000 honoraria - from the American Medical Association. Other free destinations that year included Miami with Magnavox Electronic Systems Inc., and West Palm Beach, Fla., with Chase Manhattan Bank.

Six trips in 1984 included three nights in West Palm Beach with his wife. United Technologies picked up two nights’ lodging. The airfares and the third night were paid by the Indiana Constructors Association.

After a quiet one-trip year in 1985, he made three in 1986, including three nights at an Arizona tennis resort for the ″13th Annual Senators’ Cup″ charity event. From there, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America flew the Quayles to Palm Springs, Calif., for three days.

Last year, there were eight free trips, including charity sports events in Park City, Utah, and Sun Valley, Idaho. He also received a six-night stay in Monterey, Calif., from AT&T; four nights in Ft. Myers, Fla., from the Electronic Industries Association; and a day trip to White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., from the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, which paid $2,000 for a speech.

Each of Bentsen’s four trips was reported as a one-day excursion. In 1985, the West Central Texas Oil and Gas Association took him to Abilene, Texas. The following year, he went to Modesto with the National Venture Capital Association; to Houston with the Forum Club of Houston; and to Dallas with the National Association of Home Builders.

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