What is it with Republicans and misusing state aircraft, touting fake surpluses, and generating jaw-droppingly low approval ratings? As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
In the wake of Chris Christie’s infamous copter-gate episode, it is now clear that jet-setting governors John Kasich of Ohio and Bob McDonnell of Virginia may have both wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars aboard state planes. McDonnell was also caught red-handed trying to postpone pension payments to tout an artificial state surplus.
Down in Kentucky, voters are just plain fed up with Kentucky GOP gubernatorial candidate David Williams, who is down by a colossal 24 points in the latest poll.
While Republicans call for a “shared sacrifice,” it looks like they’re only willing to give up their credibility.
Here’s the rundown:
Only weeks after Chris Christie’s helicopter debacle, John Kasich has been caught red-handed “using state planes to excess.” In just six months, the governor took 38 trips on the state planes, racking up more than $53,000 in bills for Ohio taxpayers.
Kasich even had the audacity to criticize the previous governor during the last election for using the state plane. Now he’s using them four times more often, and his “raging hypocrisy” is glaringly clear.
Ohioans deserve a governor who is willing to stick to his word – and the ground.
Today The Washington Post reported that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has used the taxpayer-funded state plane for personal events, attending political events with Tea Party groups, NASCAR races, and a festival. As George Mason political scientist Mark Rozell put it, “At this time, when people are in a rage about government spending, I would imagine they would be more cautious.”
The revelations about McDonnell’s jet-setting come in the same week that The Washington Post editorial board painted a disturbing picture of Bob McDonnell’s supposed state surplus in Virginia: “Imagine a business that declares a profit two years running but achieves it by withholding payments owed to an important supplier,” the paper wrote.
The Virginia governor has done just that by postponing $620 million in payments to the state pension system, which covers 600,000 teachers. McDonnell declared the withheld funds would be repaid “starting in 2013 — conveniently, the year his gubernatorial term ends.”
McDonnell is clearly more concerned with maintaining his political image than he is with leveling with Virginians.
Why is the Republican Senate President experiencing such devastating numbers? The poll makes it clear: Kentucky voters simply don’t like him or his extremist policies.
With an approval rating of 21%, Williams is losing to Beshear in every geographic area, and the former is barely winning among members of his own party—just 58 percent.
Across the country, Republicans like Williams are now facing the consequences of their radical ideology and rampant hypocrisy.