Lloyd Smith, Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party, released the following statement regarding Jay Nixon’s excessive use of the state airplane:
“Over the past two years, Jay Nixon has refused to stand up for Missourians or fight for good jobs. Instead, he has remained on the sidelines—spending too much time and wasting too many taxpayer dollars flying around on the state airplane to attend sporting events and photo ops. As Missouri faces an economic and fiscal crisis, Nixon has squandered more than $400,000 of YOUR money flying across the state and the nation. More and more, Missourians are realizing that Jay Nixon is only interested in being governor for the perks—but when it comes to addressing the most pressing issues facing our state, Nixon is nowhere to be found. We applaud the bipartisan efforts of Missouri’s elected officials who are working together to hold Nixon accountable.”
According to KMOX, which broke the story this afternoon, Nixon has spent more than $400,000 in taxpayer dollars on the state plane. That amounts to more than 250 flights, or an average of one every three days. What’s worse: the cost of Nixon’s flights are being incurred not by the Governor’s office, but by various state agencies—which diverts precious taxpayer resources from the missions of these agencies in order to chauffer the Governor around the state.
In January, then-Auditor Susan Montee released an audit criticizing the diversion of funds from state agencies to pay for the Governor’s travel.
In 2009, the Associated Press reported that the Governor had even billed taxpayers almost $1,300 to fly to a college basketball game—a trip which had absolutely no public purpose.
Now, Auditor Tom Schweich has announced that his audit of the Governor’s office will include a review of his travel expenses. And there is an effort underway in the General Assembly to prevent Nixon from forcing state agencies to waste their limited resources on his travel.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Missouri GOP criticizes Nixon's use of state plane
In a news releease issued today, The Missouri GOP harshly criticized Gov. Jay Nixon's use of the state airplane: