Report on Ted Strickland’s Plane Use Will Save Taxpayers Thousands
From Lyndsey Teter in The Other Paper:
In the wake of the Gategate scandal, it was revealed that Strickland’s office accidentally made the habit look more sinister than it was when they reported that schedulers employed the time-saving plane-moving tactic by their count, about 90 percent of the time.
Records obtained by the Associated Press, however, indicated Strickland had one of two Beechcroft King Air planes moved only 25 of the 60 times he’s flown since taking office in January 2007, or less than 50 percent.
Strickland’s office was more precise about the flying habits of former Gov. Bob Taft, who flew 71 times during his first year in office, more than Strickland’s entire career as governor thus far.
Strickland’s limited use of the plane saved the state way more than the cost of the center-city skipping, Wurst said.
Additionally, news of the jaunts had folks around the state digging out decades-old news articles that confirmed the scheduling blunder was a bipartisan sin. Taft’s flights out of CMH were questioned back in 2000, when it was reported that they cost taxpayers about $1,310, even though former Taft officials claim that Taft flew out of Don Scott 90 percent of the time.
For now, the practice has ended, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars for generations to come—or at least until the next guy is elected governor.
Regardless of what the the incredibly unprofessional Channel 19 (Cleveland) news team thinks, this was a legitimate story. And here we have an alternative newspaper with limited resources do what newspapers with vast teams of political reporters often forget to be: a thorn in the side of anyone and everyone who is in office. And because of this report, a few taxpayer dollars were saved- A small moral victory in the era of wild stimulus spending.
Plane expenses are an easy target to look into, as such records are available online. The next obvious question to look into is when Gov. Strickland uses the plane, what guests are listed in the public record, do certain trips line up with out of state fundraising opportunities, et cetera.
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