Originally posted by Lemon.Fresh
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
I understand that, but is it not hypocrisy, considering they chastised the auto company heads for using private jets and not flying coach?
[edit on 8/8/2009 by Lemon.Fresh]
They rarely use those jets domestically though, most often internationally or when a group of congress people really have official business that they
have to travel to as a group.
Some congress people will serve their entire terms, even multiple terms without ever getting on a congressional jet.
If you are the Chairman of say Asian Economic Development and you are going to take a trade delegation of American businessmen to say Jakarta chances
are you are going to request to use a Congressional Jet by asking the Congressional Travel Office if you can use it.
You are likely doing it for two reasons, no American flagged carrier gets there anywhere remotely on your schedule or your delegation is to large to
be equitably accomodated on the same commercial flight, in other words it's you and 30 other people, and business class only olds 15, first class
only holds 10, and there aren't 30 seats left available in coach.
Lets say you are on the armed services committee and you want to get into Iraq with 40 people in your delegation or Afghanistan, the comercial flights
just don't exist.
Congress People really do travel to some out of the way destinations and as the Town Hall Meetings demonstrate but really the best example is Senator
Geary in the God Father II movie shaking down Michael Corleone and saying "Look lets cut to the chase, I really don't want to be here one second
longer than I have too".
They never do want to be any where one second longer than they have too either, even if it's a wife, mistress or homosexual lover they are meeting
These people have to fleece a lot of people in one day! Time is money you know.
The reality is they really do need private Jet aircraft on select and limited basis to conduct their business.
If Nancy Pelosi asked the Travel Office for a Jet to go to New Mexico for the day to see an arts and craft fair they would say no. If she wanted it to
make a campaign trip they would say no.
If she wanted to take the Congressional Blue Dogs to the Lyndon B Johnson Library for the afternoon to dedicate a new building there, they would
probably say yes, if no one ranking on an important committee didn't need it for more important business.
These jets are only at their disposal when it makes economic or logistic sense.
Everything still has to go through the Government Accounting Office afterwards and if it's cheaper and just as efficient to load up 10 people coach
on a flight, than it is to fuel a jet and pay a pilot and flight crew then they really are going commercial if it's available.
There are over 500 congress people and a 100 senators and a pool of what a dozen jets? Do the math.
I can tell you this once Christopher Cox former Congressman of Newport Beach and former Head of the Securities and Exchange Commission asked me to
book a flight for Alan Keyes from Baltimore Maryland to Costa Mesa California to appear at a campaign dinner, which Chris said to bill him personally
for and not the Treasury Department. When Keyes called me he insisted he would only attend if he was going to be flown first class, at the time Keyes
headed a not-for-profit corporation named "Citizens against Government Waste". I told Chris he was being difficult and he said "Screw him, tell him
he goes coach or stays home" he ended up getting Peter Ueberoth to speak instead who drove down on his own dime from San Francisco.
These guys really take congressional travel policies very seriously.
There are lots of special interests groups that will fly them by private jet or first class if they really want to go some place that way, they don't
need the government to pamper them.
All I can tell you is that as someone who made a career of working out the logistics of getting people from point A to point B, often beyond and then
back again, and a number of them who were Congressmen, Agency Heads, White House Counsels etc., that there really are times and places where they
logistically need a jet to get there and back in a timely and efficient way. That's when they use the jets and to my knowledge the only time they use
the jets and most experienced travelers know that the best way to end up splattered in a corn field or on the side of a mountain top is a small poorly
maintained jet, commercial is much safer, and I have lost some clients over the years to mountain tops and corn fields that didn't heed my advice,
smart travelers do though.
To me this isn't an issue, there sure are a whole slew of other things this corrupt government does that are issues for me.