Monday, May 23, 2011

McDonnell used state plane to fly family to Apple Blossom Festival

Governor Bob McDonnell really enjoys the perks of his job:
The governor’s office insists McDonnell is "vigilant about reducing the cost of government," but we found two flights that look more like road trips than official state business. In March 2010, the governor flew his family to Martinsville where Governor McDonnell served as Grand Marshall of the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief NASCAR race. That trip cost you more than $1,600.
The governor's office defended trip calling it "part of an ongoing effort to promote Virginia events and tourism."

A month later, the governor used a state plane again this time to fly his family to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival where the governor's daughter was crowned queen.

"We all like to take our families places, and again, was that urgent, was it an emergency trip, were there other ways to get there," Miner Hurd questioned.

While the email to 13News encouraged the governor's staffers to come up with examples of how the use of the state plane actually 'may have saved us money,' we were not given a single example of a trip where the governor's use of a state plane saved you money.

The state has more than $12-million invested in planes for the governor's use. Four full-time pilots also are on the state pay roll, collecting combined salaries of about $300,000.
So while ordinary Virginians struggle to pay for gas to get to their jobs (if they are lucky enough to still have one) Bob McDonnell is soaring overhead with his family on their way to enjoy NASCAR races and Apple Blossom Festivals--all on the taxpayers' dime. That doesn't seem like shared sacrifice to me.

Read the entire story at

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