GOP to Help Quayle Pay Some Staff Costs
The Republican National Committee has made $25,000 available to Vice President-elect Dan Quayle to help pay staff costs not met by the government, including the expenses of two aides who accompanied Quayle on a family skiing trip in Colorado over the Christmas holidays.
Republican Chairman Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. and aides to Quayle said Tuesday that the national committee funds would be used because Quayle’s legal adviser had decided that the government should not be billed but that the Indiana senator would not have incurred the expenses if he had not been elected vice president.
According to Quayle’s aides and Fred F. Fielding, a former White House counsel who is overseeing legal and ethics matters for Quayle during the transition, the vice president-elect paid all of his own costs and those of his wife and three children.
Fielding said he had decided that the cost of the trip for the aides should not be paid by transition funds provided by the government, “if we could find other sources.”
The use of Republican Party funds for a vice president-elect would apparently violate no ethics rules or laws. And several Democrats who had served in past transitions said that they saw nothing improper in the arrangement.
Quayle will not be sworn in as vice president until Jan. 20.
Fahrenkopf said that the fund is similar to assistance the party provides “on a regular basis to the President and the vice president.”
He noted that the national committee routinely sets aside $1 million a year “so the public doesn’t end up paying for” such things as White House polls, postage on President Reagan’s Christmas cards and the presidential cuff links that he often gives to supporters--items which might be construed as having a political rather than an official purpose.
That fund would not cover the additional expenses that Quayle is incurring as vice president-elect, Fahrenkopf said. Thus, he said, the Quayle staff sought the additional money in mid-December from the party, to cover Quayle’s costs--other than those met by government transition funds--up to the inauguration, to be held a week from Friday.
According to Quayle’s staff, the money will be used to pay for the air fare, a hotel room shared by the two aides and a $30-a-day meal allowance for each, as well as the cost of renting a copying machine and a facsimile machine, installing a direct telephone line in Quayle’s quarters and the $1,600 rental of a four-wheel-drive vehicle for the staff members.
Quayle, his wife and three children were chauffeured by Secret Service agents during the holiday. The family spent Dec. 22 through Jan. 1 at a condominium they rented in Vail, Colo.
Fielding said that, in seeking the funding from the Republican National Committee, “I didn’t ask for any specific amount. I asked if they could help out.”
The request, he said, was made to Fahrenkopf, who is about to step down as chairman of the committee. Fahrenkopf, at a previously scheduled budget meeting the next morning, gained approval for a contribution of up to $25,000, Fielding said.
So far, “no bills have been submitted” and the party hasn’t made any payments, Fahrenkopf said. But he said he expects the party to be billed for the staff cost of the Colorado trip--an amount that he said would be “considerably less than $25,000.”
A Quayle staff member said that the vice president-elect and his family traveled on a commercial airliner.