Vice President Dan Quayle took a $27,000 weekend golfing trip on an Air Force jet that left only hours after President Bush promised a full-scale review of taxpayer-financed travel, reports CBS News.
Quayle and Transportation Secretary Sam Skinner played 18 holes last Friday at the Augusta National course, home of the Masters tournament, and 18 more on Saturday before jetting back to Washington, the network said Wednesday night.They were guests of broadcasting executive Ron Townsend and were joined at Augusta by Arkansas financier Jackson Stephens, a political campaign contributor. Only Quayle and Skinner flew on the government plane.
Quayle spokesman David Beckwith said vice presidents have been traveling on Air Force planes as a normal procedure for decades. "Anytime he goes on any trip whether it's for any purpose it's on a governmental plane, that's the way the policy is set up and it has been for 40 years."
"So where is the news value in this?" Beckwith said. "This is another media cheap shot at Dan Quayle."
The vice president does routinely travel aboard Air Force planes for security reasons.
CBS reported that the particular 12-seat Air Force C-20 used by Quayle, a counterpart to the civilian Gulfstream, lacked the "United States of America" markings of others in the fleet.
The network said the trip cost $27,000, including $12,000 for flying time, $10,000 for Secret Service and military travel expenses and $5,000 for meals and lodging for a five-member Air Force crew.
Meanwhile, The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that 30 of 102 flights Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher took from early 1989 until last month were aboard private or corporate airplanes.
Commerce Department spokesman Gary Foster, however, said in a statement that Mosbacher paid for personal trips aboard the planes with a credit card. Those made to help in political campaigns were paid for by the campaigns themselves, according to the statement.
In a memo released simultaneously, Barbara Fredericks, assistant general counsel for administration, recalled that in 1964 the department received permission from Congress to accept "gifts and bequests to aid and facilitate its work."