New MOGOP radio spot highlights “Air Jay” Nixon’s abuse of state plane
February 28, 2011
In the first salvo of the 2012 campaign cycle, the Missouri Republican Party has released a new radio spot airing statewide this week slamming Governor Jay Nixon for his abuse of the taxpayer-funded state airplane.
“As Missouri hemorrhages jobs and Jay Nixon slashes funding for education and other vital state programs, Nixon has still found a way to squander more than $400,000 in taxpayer money to fly on the state plane to events such as college basketball games,” said Lloyd Smith, Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party. “This new radio ad highlights the fact that Jay Nixon is only interested in being governor for the perks such as the state plane and prime tickets to sporting events—but when it comes to addressing the most pressing issues facing our state, Nixon has remained on the sidelines. It’s time that we ground ‘Air Jay’ Nixon.”
Background on “Air Jay” Nixon’s excessive travel:
- In 2009 & 2010, Jay Nixon spent nearly $400,000 in taxpayer money flying on the state plane—averaging one trip every 3 days.
- Nixon has charged his nearly 250 flights to various state agencies, diverting money away from their already-stretched budgets.
- On April 6-7, 2010, Nixon flew to Kansas City, Columbia, and St Louis to announce that he was cutting travel reimbursement for everyone else in state government—costing taxpayers $2,370.
- On March 1, 2009, taxpayers were billed almost $1,300 to fly Nixon and his wife to a college basketball game.
- Nixon has come under fire from Republicans, Democrats, and the media for his excessive use of the state plane.
- The Missouri House of Representatives voted 155-0 to shine a light on Nixon’s travel expenses.
- The former State Auditor, a Democrat, criticized Nixon’s practice of billing state agencies for his airfare.
- The current State Auditor, Tom Schwiech, has announced that he will review Nixon’s travel practices in an upcoming audit.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called it “robbing peter to fly Jay,” the Jefferson City News-Tribune declared that “many of the governor’s flights are self-serving, dog-and-pony show photo opportunities” and called Nixon a “flying freeloader,” and the SE Missourians called on Nixon to “use his own budget to cover his” use of the state plane.
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