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Political Plate

A report from the FEC reveals where—and how much—politicians spend their money

In Washington, everything is  political—even where you eat. At least it is for politicians, and now we have proof: A list made public this month by the Federal Election Commission and analyzed by US News & World Report reveals where and how much money Capitol Hill bigwigs spend in area restaurants.

The data, which compiles receipts going back to January 2009, suggests that lawmakers’ favorite restaurants are: Charlie Palmer Steak ($392,602), Johnny’s Half Shell ($361,392), Bistro Bis ($340,884), Sonoma ($184,399), Bobby Van’s on 15th Street ($176,529), the Monocle ($135,363), the Capital Grille ($124,692), and the Caucus Room ($98,766).

Of course, like everything in this town, restaurants swing left or right. Democrats like Bistro Bis and Sonoma, while Republicans prefer the Capital Grille and the Caucus Room. Not to say there isn’t any overlap; Bistro Bis counts both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina as regulars. They probably don’t sit at the same table, though.

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