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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    Default Nancy Pelosi... lavish use of Air Force Aircraft.

    $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

    Judicial Watch Uncovers New Documents Detailing Pelosi's Use of Air Force Aircraft in 2010

    Pelosi Logged 43 Flights Covering 90,155 Miles from January to October 2010

    Received "Chocolate-Covered Strawberries" for Birthday Surprise

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained new documents from the United States Air Force detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's use of United States Air Force aircraft in 2010. According to the documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Pelosi used Air Force aircraft for 43 flights from January 1 to October 1, 2010. According to documents previously uncovered by Judicial Watch, by comparison, Nancy Pelosi logged 47 flights in the prior nine-month period, April 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010.

    The most recent documents uncovered by Judicial Watch include a Passenger Mission Activity chart detailing all of former Speaker Pelosi's flights January 1 to October 1, 2010, as well as detailed shopping lists for some flights, flight authorization forms, Mission Expense Records and internal Air Force correspondence related to the flights. Among the highlights from the documents, obtained pursuant to a FOIA request filed on September 10, 2010.

    Pelosi used the Air Force aircraft for a total of 43 trips, covering 90,155 miles, from January 1 through October 1, 2010. The Air Force documented in-flight expenses for 22 of these flights totaling $1,821.33. The Air Force did not provide expense information for the remaining 21 flights.

    Former Speaker Pelosi received chocolate covered strawberries as a birthday surprise on a March 26, 2010 flight. According to one internal Air Force email sent on March 25, 2010: "The speaker's office is requesting egg salad sandwiches on wheat toast with fruit (watermelon, etc) for desert [sic]. It's the speaker's B-Day tomorrow so we're also asking for something like chocolate covered strawberries (dark chocolate preferred)…" The immediate response to the email from another member of the Air Force staff: "Copy all. We'll plan something for the birthday and take care of the meal."

    According to previous documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the former Speaker's military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over one two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol. For example, purchases for one Pelosi-led congressional delegation traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Baileys Irish Cream, Maker's Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewar's scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniel's whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.

    Judicial Watch also previously uncovered internal Department of Defense (DOD) email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's last minute cancellations and changes. For example, in response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one DOD official wrote, "Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi's team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?...[T]here's no need to block every weekend 'just in case'..." The email also notes that Pelosi's office had, "a history of canceling many of their past requests."

    Judicial Watch also uncovered emails from the DOD that show the Pentagon worked hand-in-hand with congressional offices prior to releasing documents regarding congressional military travel under the FOIA. These "heads up" emails involved FOIA requests filed by Judicial Watch, The Wall Street Journal, Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call, among other organizations, related to the use of military aircraft by a number of congressional members, including Pelosi.

    "Despite the media firestorm over her military travel abuses, Nancy Pelosi continued to use the United States Air Force as her own personal travel agency right up until her final days as House Speaker," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Nancy Pelosi demonstrated an alarming disregard for the men and women in the U.S. Air Force during her tenure as House Speaker. We are pleased that Speaker Boehner will not follow Pelosi's corrupt example and will instead fly commercial. But this scandal is not only about travel by the Speaker of the House. Through the Speaker's office, other members of the House are able to obtain permission for the use of military luxury travel for congressional delegation trips abroad. These trips, known as CODELs, have exploded in number and cost. Speaker Boehner needs to reform this abuse of our military's assets. This is the right thing to do for the U.S. Air Force and for the American taxpayer."


    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...114654234.html
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  2. #2
    Wear the fox hat... Filthy 150's Avatar
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    I heard on the radio that since she is no longer Speaker of the House she is going to scale back and start flying commercial. Specifically she is looking at Southwest Airlines.
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  3. #3
    Hang 'Em High Hurricane Halen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filthy 150 View Post
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    Bags fly for free.

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  4. #4
    Good Enough SassyLassy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filthy 150 View Post
    I heard on the radio that since she is no longer Speaker of the House she is going to scale back and start flying commercial. Specifically she is looking at Southwest Airlines.
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    Bags fly for free.




    I'm really glad I work at Starbucks for minimum wage so this old bitch can sip Jack Daniels and smoke banana peels and do whatever the hell it is she does on these flights. I'm really fucking glad.
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  5. #5
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    Well, we can't possibly expect her to spread her ass on a grubby old seat in Coach!

  6. #6
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    Not only are this woman's morals and views trash, but her ethic is complete shit too. Gee, big surprise here eh?
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
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  7. #7
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    One question......

    So is the concern here is that a politician misused public funds, or that a democratic politician misused public funds?
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  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    One question......

    So is the concern here is that a politician misused public funds, or that a democratic politician misused public funds?
    Speaking for myself, a politician that misused public funds. I was equally as hard on the GW administration as I dislike almost all politicians.
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
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  9. #9
    Wear the fox hat... Filthy 150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    One question......

    So is the concern here is that a politician misused public funds, or that a democratic politician misused public funds?
    Democrat, republican, independent, libertarian, whig...I don't give a damn.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Agreed and agreed. What say you, original poster?
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  11. #11
    Sinner's Swing!
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    I'm not a Pelosi fan, but I don't really have a problem with the Speaker using the Air Force for travel, especially after what happened in AZ. I applaud Boehner for flying commercial, but I wouldn't expect it.

    But, it sounds like Pelosi went waaaaaay overboard with her use. I know it cost us a ton of money all of the times trips were scheduled, then cancelled last minute. What's the deal with all the alcohol?? Good lord, aren't they on "official business?" Having a little something is alright I guess, but damn.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    I'm not a Pelosi fan, but I don't really have a problem with the Speaker using the Air Force for travel, especially after what happened in AZ. I applaud Boehner for flying commercial, but I wouldn't expect it.

    But, it sounds like Pelosi went waaaaaay overboard with her use. I know it cost us a ton of money all of the times trips were scheduled, then cancelled last minute. What's the deal with all the alcohol?? Good lord, aren't they on "official business?" Having a little something is alright I guess, but damn.
    It was W. Bush who stressed that the Speaker should be using Air Force travel after 9/11, but yes...you do have a valid point. Pelosi is guilty, just like 99% of all politicians, of misusing these resources.
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  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    Agreed and agreed. What say you, original poster?
    Democrat. Republican. I dislike them all. Politicians, regardless of political affiliation, should be scrutinized.
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  14. #14
    Eruption gabby gabbster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus H Christ View Post
    Democrat. Republican. I dislike them all. Politicians, regardless of political affiliation, should be scrutinized.
    So will you scrutinize ol' Denny Hastert for doing the exact same thing?

  15. #15
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabby gabbster View Post
    So will you scrutinize ol' Denny Hastert for doing the exact same thing?
    Sure.

    Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s perk costs taxpayers $1 million
    Hastert’s aides and allies benefit from archive fund

    Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has plowed through about $1 million in taxpayer dollars in the last two years for an office and staff in west suburban Yorkville, thanks to a little-known perk given to ex-speakers.

    Hastert, 68, a lobbyist and business consultant who retired from Congress in 2007, has hired three of his former staffers at salaries of more than $100,000 apiece to run the publicly financed office.

    Taxpayers also are paying monthly rent of $6,300 to a company partly owned by three sons of a Hastert mentor and business partner. Other public funds go for an $860-a-month 2008 GMC Yukon leased from a dealership owned by a Hastert friend and campaign donor.

    Federal law allows former House speakers to maintain a taxpayer-funded office anywhere in the United States for up to five years. The purpose is to "facilitate the administration, settlement and conclusion of matters pertaining to or arising out of" a former speaker's tenure in the House.

    Hastert is not allowed to use the office for his moneymaking ventures, including lobbying for the countries of Turkey and Luxembourg, sitting on the board of Chicago-based financial giant CME Group Inc. and giving speeches with an asking price of $25,000.

    Hastert declined to be interviewed for this story, but spokesman Brad Hahn said the Republican ex-speaker keeps his business ventures separate from the operation of his Yorkville office. And in fact, Hastert could have spent considerably more under the law if he had wanted.

    The office's spacious rooms — part workplace, part museum — are in a modern, two-story brick building next to the Kendall County Courthouse. Other tenants advertise on exterior signs, but not Hastert.

    The glass front door to the suite has a sign reading, "Office of Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert." Inside is a handsome leather couch, framed photos of Hastert and then- President George W. Bush, autographed speaker's gavels and other memorabilia. A bust of Abraham Lincoln occupies Hastert's personal office, plus a Bible and a map of his old congressional district.

    Staffers now are sorting through documents and mementos from Hastert's House career; handling requests for speeches he gives at no charge; and working with the J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government and Public Policy at Wheaton College, Hastert's alma mater, Hahn said.

    According to Hahn, the office also works with Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, which has held classes at the Yorkville office, said Jeff Noblitt, college spokesman.

    Hahn said the taxpayer-funded office also has assisted Hastert's work with nonprofit groups, including the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid committee and Advance Illinois, an education reform group.

    One legal observer cautioned that the tax dollars should be used strictly for administering and concluding matters relating to a former speaker's congressional service.

    "When taxpayers give a million dollars, they intend specifically for the former speaker to wind down and finish his old job, and not for him to have a second career," said Charles Tiefer, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Tiefer, a Democrat, is the former deputy general counsel of the House.

    Hastert represented Illinois in the House of Representatives for almost 21 years and was speaker for eight years. When Democrats regained the majority after the 2006 elections, Hastert lost the top spot. He had not been speaker for almost 11 months when he resigned from the House in November 2007.

    The Tribune examined the Yorkville office's spending — which Hahn said Hastert reviews and approves — from Dec. 1, 2007, until Dec. 31, 2009. The figures from the last three months, which have not yet been released by the House of Representatives, were provided by Hastert's office at the newspaper's request.

    The bottom line is $997,076 and counting. The figure does not include salaries and other expenses for the last month and a half, so the grand total has likely exceeded $1 million.

    Most of the money went to pay Hastert's employees, all of whom worked for him while he held office. Bryan Harbin, an administrative assistant, now is paid $138,551 a year. Secretary Thomas Jarman earns $116,365, and secretary Lisa Post $101,000.

    The office pays other talent too. Some $38,000 went for services from Burnham Strategies Group, a campaign and communications firm in Geneva. It was begun by Hahn, Hastert's former press secretary, and David From, his former campaign manager.

    The rent for the office, at 759 John St., goes to Norske L.L.C., a limited liability company with four members, according to public records. Three of the members are grown sons of lawyer-lobbyist Dallas Ingemunson, the former GOP Kendall County chairman who mentored Hastert and has done business with him. The sons are Gregg, Boyd and Kirk Ingemunson.

    The sport utility vehicle that is leased for $860 a month is kept in a barn on Hastert's property in Plano, Harbin said. It's used "strictly for transporting him to various functions," Hahn said. But use of the vehicle has declined, so when its lease is up at the end of March, it will not be renewed, Hahn said.

    Reports show the vehicle is leased from Gjovik Auto in Sandwich, a dealership owned by Olaf Gjovik, a Hastert donor and friend.

    Public funds also go for the office's computers, phones, BlackBerrys, utilities including Comcast and DirecTV, and incidentals such as FedEx bills and a $618 invoice for moving a wall clock from Washington.

    Travel, too, is on the public dime: airfare, hotels, taxis, tolls, gas, parking and mileage reimbursement for use of private vehicles. According to Hahn, two of the staffers used taxpayer funds to travel with Hastert to Washington last year when a portrait of him was unveiled on Capitol Hill.

    Hahn said spending is far below the annual allowance for the office, which is $902,000. That's up from $881,000 in the year ended last Sept. 30, when, according to Hahn, Hastert spent $447,440, or 51 percent of the allowance.

    The media outlet Politico first reported on Hastert's use of public money for the office, but did not include the total spent and other details uncovered in the Tribune's investigation. The little-known funding began to gain notice after Hastert's successor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., directed the online posting of expenses of members of Congress and affiliated offices last year.

    Though Hastert is no longer in office, he keeps a hand in GOP politics. According to Federal Election Commission records, his political action committee had $380,707 in cash at the end of 2009. The PAC gave a $10,000 contribution to his son, Ethan Hastert, 31, for his recent unsuccessful bid for Dennis Hastert's old congressional seat.

    As a House member, Hastert declared himself a foe of government waste. In 2005, he boasted of winning a "Golden Bulldog" award from the "Watchdogs of the Treasury" each year he was in Congress.

    Perks for ex-speakers date to 1959, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    Democrat Tom Foley, speaker from 1989-95, kept such an office in Washington state for less than three years until being named ambassador to Japan, said his wife, Heather Foley.

    Republican Newt Gingrich, speaker from 1995-99, when contacted by the Tribune about whether he had such an office, said, "That's not a topic I want to talk about," and hung up.

    Is Hastert's office a good use of taxpayer money?

    "Absolutely," Hahn answered, saying Congress has determined there is value in supporting the official functions of a former speaker as well as in creating a historical record on his tenure. But Hahn did not know how long the office would remain open.

    "The archiving continues to go on," Hahn said. "I wouldn't want to speculate on a timeline."
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

 

 

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