SBeing a member of the US Senate is a great job if you can get it. You get paid $ 174,000 a year, you only have to show up for about 200 days, and you almost always land an even better paying private sector job when you retire or lose an election.
For all of these benefits, all you have to do is give your opinion from time to time on matters of serious importance. Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema seems to enjoy all of these aspects of his job in addition to the last one.
Sinema, and his fellow Conservative MP Joe Manchin, remain the two Democrats resistant to adopting Joe Biden’s ambitious program, Build Back Better. The duo are effectively keeping an array of social spending proposals in limbo – including parts that would keep people from dying, give under-fives a better start in life, and significantly tackle climate change. Help for real people across the country, and the planet itself, is ahead.
Manchin was blunt in the details of her opposition, but Sinema said she did not want to go public with her opposition to the bill. She’s far from a private person, however – here’s how she seems to prefer spending her time besides doing what her constituents apparently sent her to do in Washington.
Earlier this year, Business Insider reported that Sinema spent a few weeks interning at the Three Sticks winery in Sonoma, California. For her work at the facility, she was paid $ 1,117.40. Sinema’s appreciation for wine has been well documented on his social media accounts, so it may be just a coincidence that the owner of the winery in question is William S Price III, co-founder of TPG Capital, the one of the world’s largest private equity firms, which has spent over $ 3 million lobbying politicians in the past two years.
Not that kind of race. Sinema has spent the last year training for long distance races. An avid athlete, she has competed in the Boston Marathon before but had to withdraw from the competition this month after injuring another race in Washington over the summer.
This week, it was reported that Sinema had traveled to Europe for a fundraiser. It was not clear whether she, in addition to attending events to raise funds for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, herself organized private fundraising events. Sinema’s itinerary for the trip remains a secret, but it is believed that she is visiting Paris and London.
As Democrats scrambled to find a solution to the budget deadlock earlier this month, Sinema abruptly left Washington on a Friday for what she called a medical appointment. Also on the agenda this weekend is a donor retreat to a luxury spa in Phoenix. That same week, Sinema hosted another fundraising meeting with industry groups opposed to Biden’s agenda. During the 45-minute meeting, the groups were asked to write checks of $ 1,000 to $ 5,800 to his election fund. In total, Sinema has received at least $ 750,000 in pharmaceutical interest and $ 920,000 from other industry lobbies.
Sinema has taught at Arizona State University since 2003, with two to three classes per semester. Among its recurring courses is one called Developing Grants and Fundraising. As the course description explains, the course is designed to teach students “how to cultivate donors” through “opportunistic fundraising”.