President Barack Obama boards Air Force One. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:26 PM
Who paid for the president to fly all over the place in Air Force One when he was campaigning?
As The Informer has noted before, taxpayers cover presidents’ travel costs. But the chief executives’ campaigns are required to reimburse the government for all election-related costs.
“For political trips benefiting his own campaign, Obama’s team repays the government for air travel under a formula that’s based on what it would cost to charter a Boeing 737 for a comparable trip, according to the White House. Obama’s campaign doesn’t have to pay the full cost for a chartered plane, though,” The Associated Press reported in April.
“It pays a reduced amount based on the number of people aboard Air Force One who were traveling for political reasons. That number excludes Secret Service agents and other support staff who always travel with the president.
“Obama’s political team also pays for items on the ground like food and lodging that are related to political events. Similar reimbursement rules govern political travel by the vice president and first lady, who fly on smaller, less costly military aircraft.”
The Informer last week received an email from a reader who was angry about a post-election story he’d read.
“Who has the guts to investigate and report this on all of our national news medias?” wrote the reader, whose message included a link to the offending story.
The story — titled “Military Absentee Ballots Delivered One Day Late, Would Have Swung Election For Romney” — appears on The Duffel Blog, a site that offers military-related satire and fake news.
“Sources confirmed today that hundreds of thousands of military absentee ballots were delivered hours after the deadline for them to be counted, with preliminary counts showing that they would have overturned the vote in several states and brought a victory for Governor Mitt Romney. ...,” reads the story, which the site says was written by a Navy veteran.
“Twelve boxes of ballots were dropped overboard during delivery to the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in the Persian Gulf, then while the ship sailed to Bahrain, postal clerks allegedly pocketed whatever ballots they wanted.”
The remaining absentee ballots were loaded onto a C-130, but the flight was delayed until November 1st so the crew could get tax free pay for the month. Once the ballots arrived stateside they were promptly mailed to each state’s counting facility, reaching their final destination on November 7th.
“It’s a shame,” Rear Admiral John Dawes said when asked for comment. “I expected a delay so I ordered that everyone cast their votes eight months ago. It’s really unfortunate that our mail system failed us and directly affected the course of history.”
The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email firstname.lastname@example.org