Governor Bob McDonnell’s use of a $6 million King Air one of three state planes has been questioned today. Not only that in an email from governor’s staff trailing emails to “come up with good explanations” appeared in response to the investigation.
Thanks to David Alan an anchor at WVEC in Norfolk an ABC affiliate who took the veil of secrecy off the expenditure. As Alan pointed out “State travel regulations make it clear that state funds can’t be used for personal comfort, taste and convenience.”
At first the governor refused to talk to Alan about it. These records are open to the public. Staff set out to spin the use of airplanes and helicopters while other state governors have given them up in an effort to curb expenses.
Governor Tim Kaine also used aircraft but not to the extent Governor McDonnell has in his first year in office. Didn’t McDonnell campaign on transparency in government? Whatever happened to that? Secrecy leads to distrust as if we citizens haven’t lost trust in all levels of government already. The motto – “Get By With All You Can and Spin The Rest.”
According to the Virginia Department of Aviation’s aircraft use policy and guidelines (effective Oct. 1, 2010):
Costs to travel by other modes should be calculated. Include the cost of transportation, lodging, M&IE per diem, ground transportation at the destination, and any other costs associated with the trip. Rules of thumb:
Normally, a round trip exceeding 4 hours (two hours each direction) of travel by another mode of transportation can justify the use of a state or charter.
Transporting three or more people by state aircraft will normally be less expensive than commercial airfares.
Any trip beyond 300 miles is normally cost effective.
David Alan’s detailed investigation for WVEC is HERE.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Finance, Politics, State Politics
Tags: budget, economy, governor, McDonnell, transportation