Diane Denish Used State Planes 143 Times, Charged Taxpayers $208,000 Plus

The Lt. Governor has no real power. She sits on boards, presides over the Senate, votes in cases of a tie, etc.  But she has a small staff, and no executive powers to direct any part of state government.  Yet, she flew around the state for brief meetings, photo ops and parades.  Sometimes her only passenger in a jet with two pilots (costing us over $1,200 per hour) was her husband.  What’s interesting is the comparison between our Lt. Gov. and the Governor of the entire state of Texas.  That state has five times the land mass of New Mexico, a lot more people and a whole lot more photo opps awaiting.  But Perry uses state aircraft “sparingly” according to a report by Texas Watchdog.  In the period of time they examined, he used state jets only five times, not including eight trips to responed to the Hurricane Ike crisis.  Denish, by comparison, used state planes 26 times, and her use spiked before elections.  We hash it out over at New Mexico Watchdog.