One portrait of Tom Vilsack for the low, low price of $22K
posted at 11:32 am on November 20, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham
The Environmental Protection Agency spent nearly $40,000 on a portrait of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, while a painting of Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley will cost $41,200, according to federal purchasing records. The price tag for a 3-by-4-foot oil portrait of Agriculture Department Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack: $22,500.
All told, the government has paid out at least $180,000 for official portraits since last year, according to a review by The Washington Times of spending records at federal agencies and military offices across government.
Painting people high up in all branches of the federal government is a long-held tradition for Republicans and Democrats alike in Washington. Taxpayers picked up the tab for official portraits of top appointees in the Bush administration, too, including more than $40,000 spent on a painting of former Attorney General John Ashcroft, records show.
A portrait of former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, another Bush appointee, cost about $30,000, according to EPA records.
I’m sure if you argued we should switch to photo portraits to save money, it’d be an attack on painters. I bet you hate cowboy poetry, too.