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Ritchie among most frugal

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State Sen. Patty Ritchie, a Heuvelton Republican, spent less than any of her 32 Republican colleagues in her first three months in office, and less than all but two of the 62 members of the chamber.

Mrs. Ritchie spent $94,000 in her first three months in office. Only freshmen Democratic Sens. Timothy Kennedy ($93,000) and Gustavo Rivera ($84,000) spent less.

The lion's share of Mrs. Ritchie's spending was on staff, totaling $89,000. She was paid $24,500, the going rate for a senator and a committee chair (ag).

The following employees haven't been in Times or my blog's archives as having worked for Mrs. Ritchie, so, for the purposes of the paper trail, here they are:

Stephanie J. Andrews, legislative assistant.

Patricia Holst, constituent liaison.

Patricia Rabideau, constituent assistant.

Mark Walcyzk, legislative director.

Catherine Wehrle, director of constituent services.

The rest of the money went to identification for personnel, travel expenses for Mrs. Ritchie and Ms. Rabideau, phone services, mailing equipment and subscriptions to publications.

State Sen. Joe Griffo, R-Rome, spent $243,000, a figure that also includes the last three months of 2010 (unlike Mrs. Ritchie's figures... Mrs. Ritchie took office in the beginning of 2011). That puts him about on pace with other veteran legislators.

Meanwhile, in the last three months of his tenure from October 2010 to the end of the year, then-state Sen. Darrel Aubertine, a Democrat from Cape Vincent, spent $218,634. That figure was higher than usual because his staff members cashed in on unused vacation time when he left office.

The Senate GOP is giving itself a good pat on the back about spending less than the Senate Democrats did. Instead of quoting dueling flacks on this, I'll just say the arguments are probably something along the lines of, "I am rubber and you are glue," and, "I know you are, but what am I?"

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