Pelosi's monumental abuse of military aircraft privileges (Updated)
Doug Ross has been on this story and broke some news yesterday about the millions of dollars - that's right, millions - that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has rung up in travel using military aircraft.
Now we learn from Doug that it appears Pelosi is using military jets to facilitate the personal travel of her children and grandchildren. No member of congress involved, just the junketing of her kids:
Since Nancy Pelosi took over as Speaker in 2006, she's rung up millions in military travel expenses
Worse still, she also appears to have requisitioned entire flights for the personal use of her children and grandchildren. That is, unaccompanied by any member of Congress, her kids, in-laws and grandchildren are utilizing entire military passenger jets for their routine travel needs.
Using the documents obtained by Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, I have discovered the following manifests and travel requests.
22-Feb-2007: A military jet is requisitioned for the sole travel needs of the Speaker's son, Paul Jr.
13-Apr-2007: A military jet is utilized for the unaccompanied travel of the Speaker's daughter, son-in-law and grandson.
30-Oct-2008: A military jet is requisitioned for the Speaker's daughter and a son-in-law, Peter Kaufman. to commute between San Francisco and Washington.
Military flights cost between $5-$20 thousand dollars per hour to operate. Pelosi only reimburses the government between $120-$400 per flight. You and I pick up the rest of the tab with our tax dollars.
It's all perfectly legal, of course - or is it? Even if it is, perhaps we should start asking why a politician's children and grandchildren should have their travel subsidized at taxpayer expense?
Update and Clarification:
I received an email from Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch whose FOIA request brought these documents to light.
He informed both Doug Ross and me that documents Judicial Watch received last year "seem to show that the Speaker was on most if not all of the flights in question."
That may be true. But as a commenter points out at Doug's site:
":Even if these were scheduled flights, the individuals are not dependents of the Speaker. While they may be her children, they are grown adults, and do not meet the eligibility requirements of DOD 4515.13-R. Her son and daughter should not be flying on military aircraft at all.
The idea that any of her adult children should be subsidized by the taxpayer for anything is ludicrous. Pelosi's husband owns real estate worth as much as $25 million:
The Pelosi family has a net worth of nearly $12.5 million as of 2008, largely from investments. In addition to their large portfolio of jointly owned San Francisco Bay Area real estate, the couple also owns a vineyard in St. Helena, California, valued between $5 million and $25 million. Pelosi's husband also owns stock, including $1 million in Apple Computer, and is the owner of the California Redwoods of the United Football League. Pelosi continues to be among the richest members of Congress.