Federal cash didn’t pay for Denish’s flight to Gallup
But federal dollars didn’t pay for the trip. The flight was paid for with state general fund money.
Weh’s ad is based on a January Albuquerque Journal article that reported that Denish’s office had been billed more than $170,000 for use of state planes since she took office in 2003, and that $33,000 of the money that paid those bills came from the federal Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.
Among trips Denish’s office had been billed for, the Journal reported, was an Aug. 15, 2009 trip from Santa Fe to Albuquerque to pick up a security agent and then to Gallup. There, Denish attended an Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial parade.
The article doesn’t state that the Gallup flight was among the trips paid for by the $33,000 in federal money instead of the other $137,000 Denish’s office had spent on flights. But Weh did make that leap.
“Our lieutenant governor spent stimulus money to fly a jet to a parade,” Weh says in the ad as the screen shows a plane flying from Albuquerque to Gallup. Also on the screen is a quote from the Journal article: “$33,000 came from… federal jobs stimulus bill.”
“Jobs created? Zero,” Weh says.
The paper trail
Public records obtained by NMPolitics.net show that state general-fund money, not federal dollars, paid for the trip to Gallup.
The paper trail is a little tedious, but let me lay it out here:
• Check out this document, which shows that $3,420 in “FY 2010 Aviation travel for Lt. G” was paid for out of fund account 542900, which is listed as class 90118 and came from a general fund appropriation made by the state Legislature.
• Then check out this document, which shows that out of account 542900 a voucher was issued for $3,420 – the cost of two flights the lieutenant governor took in August, including one that cost $1,482.
• Finally, check this document that shows that the flight that cost $1,482 was the Aug. 15 flight from Santa Fe to Albuquerque to Gallup and then back to Albuquerque and Santa Fe – the same flight referred to in the Journal article.
Most campaigns release a fact sheet to accompany attack ads. I e-mailed the Weh campaign to ask for a copy of the fact sheet for this ad. I have not received a response.
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