Feds Flocking to Phoenix Luxury Resort for Swanky August Conference


We just read a letter from a reader outraged at an upcoming five-day conference for federal employees being held this August at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge luxury resort hotel. We can see why she's ticked.

The government is going to borrow 46 cents of every dollar it spends this year, but it's sending 100 employees from all four corners of the country to a swanky hotel in Phoenix to learn about employee relations. Our reader says each attendee will be booked into a $129-a-night room and receive per-diem reiumbursements for rentals cars, food and the $1,000-per-person cost to get in the door.

"Employees do NOT have to attend all classes," says our anonymous letter writer. "Federal employees know how to have a good time -- maybe we should go watch them spend our money."

It looks like the conference has sponsors like Geico Insurance, but naturally we'd like to know how much of this shindig will be supported by the increasingly indebted public. 

We called LRP Publications, which is running the conference, to find out. A woman who answered the phone says she's not at liberty to give out the names of anyone in charge of the conference, but she'd pass along a message.

We imagine that the federal employees will receive useful information at this conference -- but a three-ring binder would have been cheaper.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.