Illustration by Chris Williams
If there's one thing Governor McCrory loves
, it's traveling all over the state and country on his taxpayer-funded airplane.
The North Carolina Democratic Party says the governor used state aircraft for trips that include campaign fundraisers on multiple occasions in 2015—unnecessary flights totaling $60 thousand—and that that's just not going to fly (sorry).
The NCDP thinks the administration is using a security protections adjustment to state statute
to make his in-state flights less transparent, by not publicly reporting some state flights he used to attend events. The Democrats want all records pertaining to taxpayer funded flights for trips in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.
"North Carolina taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for Pat McCrory jetting around to re-election fundraisers," said Patsy Keever, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. "We know from recent reports that Governor McCrory has billed taxpayers for over a hundred unnecessary flights. This is about basic transparency: the governor needs to release these records and show North Carolina families if they are funding his campaign travel."
"This false accusation is just another attempt to get the liberal media to deflect attention from the nation's fastest growing economy, the largest increase in teacher pay and the investments being made in our community colleges and universities," said Josh Ellis, McCrory's communications director, in a statement.
The following reports of state plane usage coincide with 2015 fundraisers held for the governor, according to the NCDP:
October 29'th, 2015: McCrory Fundraiser
o Location: Pembroke, N.C.
o (The Robesonian
o 2:30 p.m.- Travel by plane from RDU to Pembroke (Indicated on WLOS
o Flight Records
o RDU 2:53 p.m. —-> 3:15 p.m. Lumberton Rgnl.
o Lumberton Rgnl. —-> 4:29 p.m. RDU
o 3:30 pm- Signing ceremony at UNC-Pembroke
o 4:30 pm- Office Hours at UNC-Pembroke Chancellor’s House
o 6 pm- Crossed out event on WLOS-obtained schedule
o 7:30 pm- Travel by car from Pembroke to Charlotte
May 6'th, 2015: McCrory Fundraiser
o Location: Winston-Salem
o Source: Joe Neely gave $250 in kind for “beverages for fundraiser”
o 1:15 p.m.- Traveled by plane from Raleigh to Winston-Salem (Indicated in schedule obtained by WLOS)
o 2 p.m.- Tour of Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind
o 3 p.m.- Crossed out events on WLOS obtained schedule for the rest of the evening
o Note- No indication of traveling back to Charlotte or Raleigh. Attended an event in Greensboro the following morning at 8 a.m.
April 30'th, 2015: McCrory Fundraiser
o Location: Salisbury
o Source: William Graham gave $275 in-kind for “event costs”. Was also mentioned in local paper
o 11:30 a.m.- Traveled by plane from Raleigh to Salisbury (According to WLOS-obtained schedule)
o 2:30 p.m.- Livingstone College Men’s Basketball Event in Salisbury, N.C.
o 3:30 p.m.- Crossed out events on schedule obtained by WLOS
April 17'th, 2015: McCrory Fundraiser
o Location: Durham?
o Source: Robert Ingraham gave $5,000 for “fundraiser expenses”
o Flight Records:
· 7:16 a.m. Raleigh —-> Concord Rgnl. 7:46 a.m.
· 11:41 a.m. Concord Rgnl. —-> Smith Reynolds 12:04 p.m.
· Smith Reynolds 2:33 p.m. —-> RDU 3:02 p.m.
o 10 a.m.- Chancellor Installation at Appalachian State, McCrory schedule obtained by WLOS indicates that he arrived by car from Charlotte.
o 1 p.m.- Transportation Announcement in Winston-Salem.
o 2 p.m.- Crossed out events on schedule obtained by WLOS throughout the evening.
o Cities listed on schedule for the day are Boone, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, and another struck through location.
Keever says the McCrory administration has not fulfilled previous requests that the party has made for public records.