Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) sure does love an all-expense included flight, especially when it is at the expense of Louisiana taxpayers.
In a new report by USA Today, Landrieu was just one of two dozen US Senators who flew on taxpayer-funded private airplanes during 2013, costing taxpayers a total of roughly $1 million. But it gets better.
The report is solely based on taxpayer-funded private planes, also known as charter flights, that the Senators enjoyed while traveling in their home state, not around the country.
Landrieu cost taxpayers $47,000 for her taxpayer-funded private flights, just in 2013 alone. One of the trips was simply so that Landrieu could get a round-trip from New Orleans to Lake Charles. Landrieu’s spokesman, Matthew Lehner, spun the report to make it seem as though the flights are warranted so that Landrieu can visit constituents.
“Sen. Landrieu believes in visiting with constituents throughout the state so she can hear their concerns and better serve their needs. Currently there are no flights between cities in Louisiana. All commercial flights go from Louisiana to a neighboring state and back again, costing significant time. When driving is not possible, due to long travel distances, Sen. Landrieu used 1.6 percent of her office budget last year for occasional chartered flights so that she and her staff are able to visit multiple areas of the state within a short time frame. This alleviates the need for multiday stopovers and maximizes the senator’s interaction with her constituents.”
However, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) did not fly on private jets at all when traveling throughout the state, opting for car-rides and commercial flights, according to his spokesman, Luke Bolar.
Vitter took to Facebook to mock Landrieu for her use of private planes, saying “Drive to meetings? How old fashioned of me…”