Reb -- I think the opensecrets link told the whole story. I'm always hearing with detective stories, to get to the real criminal, follow the money trail. Well, that's exactly what I think about political races, and that link sure told me everyting I was certain of anyway from my own research. Thanks a bunch for all the information.
Oh, and one of the articles I scanned on one of the other links mentioned that Kerry was wrong in saying new salaries were $9000 less. Now, I'm going to go back and read that in depth....but my initial impression was they left out the "benefits" factor in their review. I know that benefits are being slashed right and left, even with some of the bigger companies -- and I always believed that was part of the overall package. Thanks again.