This just looks bad. In an election year where lobbyist corruption and energy policy are hot issues, this might be a twofer for the Ellsworth campaign. As I mentioned a few days ago, House Republican Leader John Boehner came to Evansville to do some fund raising for John Hostettler. Apparently he was provided with a round trip flight to and from Evansville by Vectren, the Indiana/Ohio electric company. According to the Courier Press report, that’s a $1,200 value. Also according to the Courier Press report, under the current ethics rules, Members of Congress are supposed to reimburse companies for these kinds of transportation services, but the rules do not require either the Member or the corporations to report the flights, so there doesn’t seem to be any way to verify how often a Member takes a corporate jet or whether he is reimbursing the company for the service.
I doubt the Democrats will make much of this. I know it from people in corporate aviation departments that both parties avail themselves of corporate aircraft.
You’re probably right. Be that as it may, it’s probably best to avoid the electric company’s airplane. That’d be right up there with an airplane owned by an oil company, a trial lawyer, or a member of NAMBLA.
Looking at the story in more detail I was reminded of another of our politicians’ inside jokes which is that the value for use of a corporate aircraft equals the price of first class airline tickets for the city pairs visited. While first class travel is hardly cheap, it is still far less than the cost of chartering an aircraft and pilots for a day.
Still, you won’t get any argument from me that the Republicans seem to have lost touch with reality this year.
It’s the circle of (political) life I suppose: get power, get corrupt and content, get tossed from power, get hungry, get somewhat in touch with the citizenry, get power, rinse, repeat.
Cecille Costley says
Boehner ought to stick to giving his advice in the barroom (where he is known to spend considerable time). As for tax cuts, he opposes reinstatement of the cuts made by the Bush administration – the cuts for the very wealthy and were not in anyway helpful to the average taxpayer. The re-instatement of those taxes would mean the economy wouldn’t have the added burden of $3.6 trillion dollars. As for giving the very rich the tax cut with claims of it somehow trickling down to the rest of us – no way – they pocket the cash and continue to send jobs overseas. The wealth distribution in America has grown so bad that we might start considering a large number of American citizens have become nothing less than 21st century serfs tied to jobs they cannot afford to lose for fear there is nothing beyond crappy minimum wage in a service job atmosphere. The Republican Party and their cohorts have killed the American dream. If the Republican Party had anything to offer – it would have, instead of spending the last 18 months voting against virtually every piece of legislation brought before the Senate. They stifled the government to the point that it brought government to a near stand still. And how American was that – they wave the flag and talk about what patriots they are as they protect big industry and line their pockets with money while American workers are moved into the streets and the welfare lines.