Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) reportedly used taxpayer money to hobnob with wealthy potential donors and campaign for Republican candidates in 2010.
Records obtained by the Clarion-Ledger indicated that Barbour spent over $300,000 to pay for out of state trips in 2010 alone.
The governor had called for deep budget cuts to education and mental health in 2010, even as his travel spending topped 2009.
In one trip, two of Barbour’s body guards were reimbursed $858 a night for hotel rooms in New York. That trip, which included a round-trip ride on the state’s Cessna Citation jet, cost taxpayers nearly $15,000.
“In the months leading up to the November congressional races and gubernatorial elections in some states, Barbour frequently campaigned for Republican candidates in other states – using the state’s plane to get there and having his state-paid bodyguards accompany him,” the Clarion-Ledger‘s Elizabeth Crisp wrote.
In September, Barbour took the state plane to New Hampshire to campaign for GOP gubernatorial candidate John Stephen. The trip included a stop in Washington for the president’s oil spill commission meeting. The cost for the whole trip was $8,164.54.
The Mississippi Republican is not accused of any wrongdoing since he scheduled at least one official meeting during each trip.
“If it’s purely for personal reasons then I think it’s a violation of state law,” Democratic state Rep. Cecil Brown told the paper. “Only he can answer that.”
Barbour came under fire in December after a Politico report found that he had spent $500,000 in the last three years on air travel alone.