According to a Don’t Carmen My Foreman report in The Oklahoman, that trip only cost taxpayers $12,199, which equates to about .003 cents per resident.
Via The Oklahoman_:
Oklahoma taxpayers will foot the bill for Gov. Kevin Stitt’s charter flight to Texas last week to join Republican governors for a news conference to criticize President Joe Biden’s immigration and border policies.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, whose plane was not available due to maintenance issues, is processing the $12,199 bill for Stitt’s charter flight to and from south Texas, the governor’s office said Monday.
The flight appears to be the only taxpayer-funded cost associated with the governor’s trip, an event that some critics have called a political stunt.
Stitt and his staff did not stay overnight in Texas and the cost of security at the border was not paid for by the state of Oklahoma, the governor’s office said.
That’s kind of funny. One of my favorite media tropes is the classic <politician> spent <dollar amount> in taxpayer funding on trip to <destination> to do <blank>.
I should know – we had a bunch of fun with it back in the Mary Fallin days, when she and Hipster BooBoo would spend the taxpayer dime to attend bowl games, east coast speaking gigs, and trips to Italy.
In fact, Mary spent $250,000 on travel expenses during her first two years in office. Since Kevin Stitt seems to go out of his way to hand Mary his beer, he has some catching up to do in that department.
That being said, although I appreciate the outrage pageviews they deliver, I don’t have a major problem with politicians using a little bit of taxpayer funding every now and then to sneak away on a little “work trip.” It’s a bipartisan perk of the job that politicians in both parties enjoy, and people who didn’t vote for them like to complain about it. What’s the fun in being Governor if you can’t take a free work trip every now? Those Santa Fe ski slopes are nice!