A story is making the rounds today from an Atlanta TV station about the costs of a bathroom remodel at the Department of Interior when Idaho's former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was secretary.
We caught it on one of the cable channels as we were flipping channels at our little Capitol Mall office.
It says a four-year-old Freedom of Information Act request by a reporter at WSB-TV was finally answered, and came with photos of swanky hardware used and other high-cost elements of the $222,000 remodel.
That story is here.
But it got me thinking - I remember some of this coming out in 2009 (that was after Kempthorne's term was over). So I looked it up: turns out the Washington Post reported back then that the bathroom remodel cost $236,000.
That's a $14,000 savings!
I guess the lesson for elected officials is always be careful - no scandal really has a shelf life (even if there isn't much new in the latter revelations). For reporters, it's all about being diligent and patient - I know writers who have finally gotten their hands on government documents 10 and 20 years after they requested them.
Looking back at a Statesman story written by Erika Bolstadt, who reported from D.C. for the paper back then, Interior officials said the bathroom was typical of other secretary-level offices, was part of a $243 million renovation of the whole building, and that Kempthorne barely got to use it - it was completed just weeks before the end of his tenure.