Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Romney Travel Cost Mass. Extra $40 Grand

Today's Globe has the story that while Governor Mitt Romney has ramped up his out-of-state travel in the past eleven months, he's also cost taxpayers nearly $40,000 more than the previous year in State Trooper security detail costs. Here are the numbers:

Travel, lodging, and meals for state troopers accompanying Romney cost $103,365 for the last 11 months, up from $63,874 that the security details cost during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2005, according to the records.
Romney's mouthpiece Eric Fehrnstrom, defended the security details, saying that every other governor in the nation had security travel with them. Of course, no one suggested that Governor Romney not have any security. The bigger issue is that Romney's constant out-of-state travel is actually costing the tax payers. I wonder if every other governor in the nation has spent nearly half of their time out of the state they govern. My guess is that Romney leads the pack on that measure.

Normally, Fehrnstrom would claim that whatever Romney is doing, former Governor Mike Dukakis did first in 1987 and 1988 while running for President. The Globe caught up with Dukakis, who had this to say for himself:
Dukakis, the last Massachusetts governor who ran for president, criticized the use of taxpayers' money to provide security details for Romney's trips. He said such a cost should be borne by a candidate's political committee. "I never traveled with a trooper," insisted Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee who spent much of 1987 and well into 1988 campaigning across America before he was given Secret Service protection. "It always seemed to me that the troopers should be out catching criminals, not holding my coat."