JUNE 21, 2007
Illinois taxpayers are dishing out nearly $6,000 a day for a private jet to fly their new governor to work because he refuses to live in state capitol’s publicly-funded executive mansion where he is supposed to stay when the legislature is in session.
Governor Rod Blagojevich takes a private jet from his Chicago home to the state capitol in Springfield each day at a cost of around $5,800 for the round trip. Since May, the governor’s commute has cost taxpayers roughly $76,000 because he insists on using a private plane. A round-trip ticket on a commercial flight would cost between $500 and $700 with short notice.
Besides his lavish and costly commute, the governor also seems to have an aversion to putting in a full day at the office or a full week for that matter. He often flies in only three times a week and stays in town for as little as three hours before flying home.
Ironically, Blagojevich’s staff members recently slammed state lawmakers for working three days a week or less, saying “everyone in America works five days a week and is expected to put in full-time work in order to complete their jobs.”
When Blagojevich was sworn in as governor earlier this year, the Democrat promised to restore the people’s confidence in state government but so far his actions clearly contradict that mission.
In January, Judicial Watch filed an open records lawsuit against the office of Governor Blagojevich. Filed on January 16, 2007 in the Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court, the suit seeks, among other documents, any and all grand jury subpoenas received by the Governor’s office or any state agencies under the Governor’s control.
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