Heard on the Hill: Kevin Yoder’s Office Moves On Up

Posted December 11, 2011 at 10:14am

Freshman Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) has traded in a supposedly inhospitable district office he inherited from his predecessor for new, constituent-friendly digs.

HOH picked up on the real estate swap after noticing that Yoder reported spending around $22,000 on “habitation expenses” in the latest Congressional disbursement filings. Turns out the sizable investment facilitated the creation of an entirely new district office in Overland Park, a nice little suburb of Kansas City.

Yoder staff explained that retiring Rep. Dennis Moore (D) had maintained three district offices, including one located within a federal courthouse in Kansas City. That meant constituents had to contend with parking difficulties and security screenings just to visit their Congressman.

Yoder decided to uproot the operation, moving to a well-known but vacant retail spot that has since been refurbished. “We get a constant flow of people in and out of there,” a Yoder aide said of the new office, which formally opened in April. “It’s just night and day compared to where we were.”

A review of Congressional records confirms Moore had been shelling out roughly $5,200 per month in rent for his three offices. Yoder’s consolidation to a single office helped him trim rental fees to $3,800 per month. By our calculations, taxpayers should recoup the full value of the relocation by July.