Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pelosi's Children and Grandchildren Used Military Jets As Cross-Country Shuttle Service So They Could Avoid Dealing With the Rabble

Update: Judicial Watch provided separate documents from an earlier FOIA request which show that "most, if not all" of the flights did indeed have the Speaker aboard. This is being researched and, until complete, corrections are noted below.

Update II: Commenters provide links to DOD 4515.12-R "DoD Support for Travel of Members and Employees of Congress and DOD 4515.13-R "Air Transportation Eligibility", both of which seem to indicate any travel by the Speaker's adult -- non-dependent -- children and grandchildren is off-limits.

Update III: An article at Mudville Gazette offers additional useful information.

Earlier: This post serves as an update to yesterday's original revelations that military jets appear to have been improperly utilized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to shuttle her children and grandchildren around the country.

Is it a legitimate use of military jets to transport the Speaker of the House and her favored Congressional coterie for routine travel? Even if you believe it is -- and, personally, I do not -- any rational taxpayer would admit that it is monumental waste of money. Military flights cost between $5,000 and $20,000 per hour to operate. The Speaker and her passengers routinely reimburse the Air Force $120 to $400 for each flight.

Since Nancy Pelosi took over as Speaker in 2006, she's rung up millions in military travel expenses to commute between San Francisco and Washington.

Worse still, she also appears to have liberally requisitioned entire flights for the personal use of her used these flights to shuttle her children and grandchildren back and forth to DC. That is, unaccompanied by any member of Congress, her kids, in-laws and grandchildren are utilizing entire using military passenger jets for their routine travel needs.

Using the documents obtained by Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, I have discovered the following manifests and travel requests.

22-Feb-2007: A military jet is used for the travel needs of the Speaker's son, Paul Jr.

13-Apr-2007: A military jet is utilized for the travel of the Speaker's daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

15-Jun-2007: A military jet is used for the travel needs of the Speaker's son, Paul Jr.

09-Jul-2007: A military jet is used for the travel needs of the Speaker's son, Paul Jr.

13-Jan-2008: A military jet is used for the travel needs of Paul Pelosi, Jr., son of the Speaker.

29-Sep-2008: A military jet is used for the travel needs of Paul Pelosi, Jr., son of the Speaker.

30-Oct-2008: A military jet is used for the Speaker's daughter and a son-in-law, Peter Kaufman.

25-Nov-2008: A military jet is used for the Speaker's daughter, her son-in-law and two grandchildren.

* * *

This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch. On dozens of occasions, various of the Pelosi children and grandchildren appear to have traveled with (or possibly even without) the Speaker.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi -- in my humble opinion -- has abused her office by using military jets for the travel convenience of her children. It would seem that the instances highlighted above constitute, at minimum, a complete disregard for the American taxpayer's funds.

Pelosi must resign. Or she should be forcibly removed out of office. These activities, if not outright criminal, smell to high heaven.


68 comments:

S said...

While nothing would please me more than to see Pelosi ridden out on her arse, the truth is that she is the best thing the Republicans can hope for. No one takes her seriously and most just ignore her.

I fear that whoever would replace her as Speaker would actually be someone competent. That could be bad for the Right.

Anonymous said...

That would be Stennie Hoyer, MD. He is more incompetent than the incompetent Pelosi, if that's possible, but it actually is!

Anonymous said...

Whether Pelosi is, or is not, replaced by someone "competent" is a diversion from what is wrong or right. This is unacceptable by any measure.

Anonymous said...

The answer is simple: she should have to reimburse the actual cost of all these flights -- which is millions of dollars. I love the idea that they only had to reimburse the gov't $199 for the private use of a military jet flying from DC to San Francisco. If only the govt could offer us mere taxpayers services at the same rate!

Anonymous said...

Her son and grandkids are on official business of the Speaker?

Gee...what might THAT be?
-----------
Matt

Anonymous said...

Not that it would make too much of a difference in how much I loathe the speaker, but I wonder if the military jets she requisitioned were going to fly especially for her brood, or if they were doing a "Space Available Flight" (http://www.baseops.net/spaceatravel/) on a plane that was going that way anyway and she just put in a request for her family to fly too.

I know it wouldn't make it right - those flights should be reserved for military ONLY, but it would mean she wasn't spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money specifically for private flight for her family.

Louis said...

"Paul Pelosi, Jr. is the son of Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the United States House of Representatives) and a speaker on environmental policies that encourage individuals and local governments to take a more active role in conserving natural resources and reducing carbon footprints. Over the past 12 months, Pelosi has spoken at international conferences in Stockholm, Milan, and Amsterdam. Pelosi is a contributor to the anthology Inside the Minds: Navigating Green Construction and Energy Initiatives, forthcoming from Aspatore Books in Spring 2009.

Pelosi is a graduate of Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts in History (Cum Laude, 1991) and a JD/MBA (Joint Degree 1995) with an emphasis in International Business. "

Anonymous said...

These are not military "Space A" flights. These are specific shuttle flights solely to transport the passengers indicated on the letters. The first e-mail touches upon that.

(Space A flights would mean passengers could end up on a C-5 facing backward in the troop compartment with no windows, or on a tanker sitting in palletized seating, or in nylon strap sling seats in a C-130... I'm guessing these flights were on a comfy C-21 learjet in leather seats.)

Anonymous said...

Okay then. Tar, feathers.

Hucbald said...

I'm an Air Force brat - dad was a pilot - and I grew up taking "Space A" flights with my parents to leave destinations, so you really do need to look into that angle to determine with certainty how much of a problem this is. If the flights were created from whole cloth by Speaker Pelosi, well, that's a huge scandal, but if they just hitched rides on flights already planned by the USAF, not so much (Still not kosher by my reckoning though). In either case, it's ironic that the TSA gauntlet that the rest of us schlubs have to run seems to be too much of of a nuisance for Madam's kin.

Anonymous said...

I flew Space-A a couple times on C21s between Andrews and Wright-Pat as a midshipman in the late '80s. It was very odd to have USAF lieutenants (the copilots) making coffee. It was always at the discretion of the muckety-muck the flight was primarily for - usually asst undersecretary of something. It would be interesting to know if our scions of elected royalty allowed Space-A passengers to fly with them...

Diggs said...

These are NOT Space-A. The Speaker is requesting a particular flight, at a particular time, for a particular person. Space-A does not work that way, and the Speaker does not work that way. I can guarantee you that the Speaker's family members would far prefer flying first class on a commercial flight rather than on Space-A, and the Speaker knows that.
There isn't a Democrat in the United States that would want their family members or themselves flying with mere soldiers; on any flight, in any manner, at any time.

bandit said...

As always the Dems just view the public as their means of support.

Anty said...

See that header "Special Order"?

That ain't space A friends.

Anonymous said...

Whether the ouster of Pelosi would be 'bad' for Republicans is not only immaterial, it is the type of thinking typified by the left.

Anyone in government who commits such abuses of power is no friend of liberty and has no business remaining in office, regardless of any other considerations.

Who cares if enforcing such rules are bad for any particular party. The higher concern is the benefit of the nation. All corrupt politicians need to go, and go now

Anonymous said...

I'm fine with Tar and Feathers...as long as ther eis a Tall tree & a Short rope involved for a select few (and any that have committed treason against the American Taxpayer/Citz.)

Steve said...

Any resemblance between Paul Pelosi Jr and Patrick Bateman is purely coincidental, I'm sure.

miriam said...

Pelosi ineffective? Would it wwere so. She damn near burdened the whole country with her cockamamie health care bill which no-one has ever even read.

I wish the Repubs had someone who could ride roughshod over the rights of the taxpayers like Pelosi--on second thoughts, no I wouldn't wish that.

Ron said...

This behavior can easily be explained by economic research. See The Dictator Game

Anonymous said...

Could you do the same research for leading Republicans?

betheweb said...

I seem to recall some highly voluble complaints, ethics charges, lawsuits, and all manner of teeth gnashing, wailing and rending of garments when Sarah Palin submitted travel claims to Alaska for commercial air fares for her kids and husband between Anchorage and Juneau. Only possible explanation for the different reactions that I can possibly think of is that Federal regulations are different than state. Couldn't be anything else.

sfanetti said...

I don't care what political party Pelosi works - using the government as her own personal travel service is wrong. This is not a left vs right issue. You guys that boil everything down to that fail to see that the oligarchs that run this country are not working for YOU - they are looking out for themselves. This is inexcusable from any political party - regardless of their ostensible party values.

You right wing folks did not seem to mind the flights back and forth to Crawford for brush clearing, the staged aircraft carrier landing expense, or these damn wars. But you are all up in arms about the hypocrisy of a politician that got her kids flights?

Be upset about both things - understand that none of the national politicians are good people. They are all vipers that got where they are by sinking anyone that was in their way.

sfanetti said...

So - looking into this further - none of the documents indicated anything like what the author is asserting. How exactly does the author know that these flights were not reimbursed by Pelosi - as it seems to indicate the reimbursement rate in the memos? How does the author know that these flights were improper or illegal?

it seems like you guys are starting with the perspective that Pelosi is some monster to be destroyed - then you find some rumors that you can drum up into a scandal.

I am no fan of hers - I think she is a mealy mouthed wimp - but you guys just seem to be tilting at windmills.

Tony L. said...

I would take these conspiracy, corruption stories of Pelosi more seriously if I didn't believe it was more about politics. Even before she was speaker of the house, she was hated by the Republicans and conservatives with a passion. After she became speaker, their has been a drive by these groups and all they influence to destroy her. It's no wonder she is so partisan. I'm not a big fan of Pelosi either, but I'm an even lesser fan of destructive politics.

craig said...

sfanetti, the reimbursement rate indicated in the memos is less than a typical coach fare for that same route (even one with stops!). The significant costs of a jet, crew, and fuel are not, in the case of the Pelosi family, being amortized across the fares of 100-200 passengers and cargo (as they are in commercial flights). So this is, by any measure, a huge expense to the taxpayers for the personal benefit of the Pelosi family.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I'm no fan of Speaker Pelosi; but I have defended her in the past for getting privileged military transport. She's in line of succession, and needs the protection. And if she overuses it and under-reimburses... Well, that's par for the course. I don't like it, but RHIP.

But her family aren't in line of succession. Put 'em on a Greyhound, and make 'em pay for it themselves.

This was a non-issue before. Now it's a huge issue.

Anonymous said...

Space A means space available... on a flight already happening. When I was in the military, I looked into using space A to fly to Europe. Can't make reservations, have to count on adding at least a day on each end of the trip (since you often don't make the flight that you want). There is NO WAY this was space A travel for her FAMILY!

It's not a question of Right Wing/ Left Wing. If her family members were not on a flight WITH HER, this is a HUGE scandal. Paying $200 to have a private jet fly you across the country on the taxpayer's dime??? Seriously?

Besides, Pelosi is LOADED! They can afford to fly 1st class commercial at THEIR expense.

This is a HUGE deal, if they flew alone. The Air Force should not be the private Air Taxis for family members of those in power... (Less of a deal if they accompanied her on a necessary flight.)

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. There are many reasons Pelosi needs to be voted out of office (not pushing single payer, for one) but these flights are already happening. See where is says "on or about" before each day? These are not private flights by any stretch of the imagination and I guarantee you will find these same "letters" for every member of Congress except Ron Paul.

Anonymous said...

King George Bush ORDERED the Speaker of the House to obtain safe military transportation. The previous speaker, Hastert, took these trips EVERY WEEKEND - Pelosi is averaging about one per month.

Nice of this guy to gloss over the 'standard' a Republican made for this use after being ordered to use it by the President.

Anonymous said...

These flights she is taken are ORDERED by the President for her to take - and they are a form of Space A flights. You see, because some of you were in the Military, you think her situation applies. It does not - you were not the Speaker of the House and the President (GBush) did not order that you and your family ONLY take military flights. Yes, GBush started this when he ordered Hastert to fly only on military flights...which he did - every weekend.

hello? said...

As a tax payer, I would really be angry about this issue if the Pelosi children weren't so sexy.

craig said...

Even if Speaker Pelosi were "required" (by what authority?) to take military transport for her own security, that is not at issue. Her family members taking military transport in her absence, however, and calling it official House business, is unjustifiable.

Anonymous said...

I know just about nobody that commented on this article knows anything about military flights and the Congressmen that abuse the perk, but for starters, they are not taking Cargo planes they are taking Gulfstream, Lear and CJ3s and larger! These are all Jets and range from $8-$40million. What she typically does, it reserve the largest plan just about every weekend, sometimes 2 planes. however, sometimes she doesn't tell the airforce, who has to have a crew standing by just in case she actually wants to go home. So even when she doesn't take the flights it is still costing us money. its not exactly a secret that Pelosi and the Air Force wing at Andrews are not exactly best buddies. Lets just say, she isn't the nicest person to deal with...

Anonymous said...

So "King George Bush" required the Speaker's FAMILY MEMBERS to take military flights?

Is your problem with reading comprehension or wilfull ignorance?

Anonymous said...

Even if these were scheduled flights, the individuals are not dependents of the Speaker. While they may be her children, they are grown adults, and do not meet the eligibility requirements of DOD 4515.13-R. Her son and daughter should not be flying on military aircraft at all.

Anonymous said...

These are most certainly Space A flights. Check the cited authority (DOD 4515) for more information. Also they are specified as "on or about" as far as the dates, further corroborating that they are Space A flights.

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/l/blcode2.htm

gs said...

According to Anonymous@12:09 PM, King George Bush ORDERED the Speaker of the House to obtain safe military transportation. The previous speaker, Hastert, took these trips EVERY WEEKEND - Pelosi is averaging about one per month.

The US government has three coequal branches: executive, legislative and judicial.

The President does not have authority to give orders to the Speaker.

Ian Lipsky said...

Does anyone have any information on the rest of the senators as to how common or uncommon this is? Regardless of how common or not it is, it should be stopped.

Anonymous said...

in my opinion, once they are seated, elected, ordained,,,, they all become part of one deprecating, incestuous family. And occasionally, they get together for dinner in Washington

Mitchell said...

Yet another little sneaky perk these oligarchs set up for themselves. By inserting some rule that if they reimburse (not sure she even did that)the government for some ridiculously low published commercial rate, that affords them the right to use military transport for their pet hamsters if they wish.

Just watch, if this story even makes it around it will be shown that she didn't do anything against the law, but the appearance of impropriety must be addressed, especially in tough financial times when regular folks are hurting and all.

I expect that some new very strict guidelines will be enforced exempting pets except in the case of vet emergencies.

Anonymous said...

We live in a very divided two class system.

The elite class and public class.

The elites can commandeer private, military jets at a whim too rush around and govern the public class.

Meanwhile, the service personnel in the public class are forced too spend months overseas away from their loved ones fighting the elites war games separated from children and spouses.

Anonymous said...

This is the most corrupt, inept, and political Congress and Administration in history.

Josh said...

OK, LET'S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.

1. This story is almost A YEAR OLD! http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/10/pelosi-repeated-requests-military-aircraft-documents/

2. This IS Space A travel. You see how every document ends with the line "Authority DOD 4515.13R"? That is the regulation dealing with Space A travel. These flights are NOT chartered for her family, they are space on already scheduled flights reserved for her family in accordance with Space A military regulations.

3. Space A flight is normally reserved for Military only, but after 9/11 the Bush Admin granted the House Speaker (then Republican Hastert) the ability to fly Space A.

THIS IS A 1 YEAR OLD NON-STORY. Thanks.

Nice Deb said...

Dude! Are your ears burning? Rush is talking about this report, naming your blog twice, right now.

MOTUS said...

Thanks for the expose' Doug Ross. I am a valued member of Team Obama, on a national security field assignment and I was bumped to commercial.
Keep up the good investigative work, but could you cut my boss some slack?

You're a peach.

Hugs,
MOTUS

Cecil Turner said...

I could only track down two of these quickly, but the June 15th, 2007, and July 9th, 2007 flights were both carrying the Speaker and her son (and others). The authorization to fly letter does make it look like it's for Paul Jr. alone, but if you look at the travel request (Docs-19.pdf p.61 and Docs-20.pdf p.10), it's obvious he's part of a group.

That's obviously a whole lot less egregious, and not "sole travel needs" as claimed above. I'd like to look over each flight, if you've got the footnotes handy, but so far I can't confirm much "there" there.

Claire said...

The official business for Pelosi's son might be to secure funding for the new green technology "algae for oil" in southern New Mexico that he is involved in and so much Fed money is pouring into. Conflict of interest? Cap and Trade? Noooooo, not the Pelosi's- say it ain't so!!!

Claire said...

One more thing- these pigs have been helping themselves to the trough for years. I know an Air Force general who sent a Lear jet to the east coast from NM one year just to collect his daughter from college so she could make it home in time for turkey when she couldn't find a commmercial flight.

Anonymous said...

Pelosi's head ought to be on a pike outside the capitol. The same is true for most of the other 535 tyrants in there.

Anonymous said...

http://www.snopes.com/politics/pelosi/jet.asp

Cecil Turner said...

More of the same, the 30 Nov 08 travel (the Nov 25th request) included Speaker Pelosi along with her daughter and the Voses (Docs-18.pdf p.11). The same goes for the 22 Feb 07 travel (Docs-18.pdf p.64). So far every one I've checked had the Speaker aboard. Sorry, but I think you're reading these wrong.

Anonymous said...

RE: At 12:47 PM - President Ordering Speaker to use secure Military Travel.

When did Bush care what he was authorized to do? Simple answer to that question - Executive Order.

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Anonymous said...

According to DoD Directive 4515.13 (Google it - it's out there),

"C10.5.2.2. Dependents of members of the Congress and employees of the Congress, to permit them to accompany their principal in the 50 United States when essential to the proper accomplishment of the mission, desirable because of diplomatic or public relations, or necessary for the health of the individuals concerned. When
reimbursement is appropriate, it shall be at the same rate as applicable to the principal."

So, taking this at face value...if the Speaker is invited to some bring-your-spouse official event, her husband can go military air to join her. If she's participating in some family event, her family can go military air to join her. The grandson might be pushing it, depending on his age and the nature of the event.

Complain about the regs, if you like, but attacking Pelosi for doing something to which she is specifically entitled strikes me as a rather substance-free attack.

(If you want real fun, point out that this also applies to EMPLOYEES of Congress; their families can go military air to join them for Family Day, or whatever "official business" might require their presence. That's an audience far larger than 535...)

TonyAverrsano said...

Nancy's grown children are not her dependents, so they would not be eligible.

pgoody said...

These requests are not for separate flights nor are they Space A requests. They are requests to allow family members fly with the Speaker aboard her shuttle.

Since 9/11, the Speaker has been provided military transport referred to as the Speaker Shuttle. This was apparently authorized by White House memorandum with specific guidelines also detailed in a letter from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. I couldn't find either of these documents online, but the details are summarized in this story:

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/national_world&id=5014655

The fact that she is allowed to bring family members implies that she is required to use military transport (similarly to the Vice President and Secretary of Defense) Can't know without seeing the actual docs.

DoD 4515.13R was apparently cited in error -- as members of Congress don't fall under that directive and nondependent family members aren't eligible to fly Space A under any circumstance.

pgoody said...

fyi,
DoD 4515.12p governs use of military aircraft for members of congress and references the ASD(LA) letter dated February 7, 2007, to the Speaker of the House regarding policy
guidance on Speaker Shuttle airlift support.

Dod 4500.56p includes guidelines for SoD and other required use travelers

Anonymous said...

I am outraged! Any abuse of power by politicians for their personal benefit should be scrunitized by all true Americans and Patriots to this country. So I would be happy with seeing the Speaker pay the price in full for these flights. That being said the same goes for Bush, he owes America billions from the unjust and expensive invasion of Iraq - so when he pays then Pelosi does - after all his tab is quite a bit higher right? So get mad at all abuse not just the ones which fit your worldview or political leanings

Versatile said...

So sad! Poor Children!

http://www.247jet.com

Anonymous said...

The real story since the documents show travel is reimbursable is did she or her family pay it back? This is the kind of story that hurts the conservative blogs and the conservative side of the isle when folks who trust this blog as a source believe it repeat what amounts to as "reported" a half truth or inuendo... Some follow up is necessary.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, folks, quit arguing that this is Space-A travel. It isn't. If you look at 4515.13R, it includes a table of "Eligible Space-Available Travelers" - and Congressional spouses/family aren't listed. In fact, neither are Members of Congress; they don't get Space-A either!

4515.13R covers Space-A,but it also covers several other means of military air transportation, including those "Special Actions and Procedures" (Chapter 10) used by Congresscritters.

pgoody, both directive authorize military travel for Members of Congress and their families; however, they refer to different circustances for said travel. That's why some requests are filed under 4515.12 and others under 4515.13R. It wasn't cited "in error."

Anonymous said...

Can't Understand Nancey's Thinking

Cost Us Noney Too

Did I misspell Money, well I had to or the acronym wouldn't work.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that the amount reimbursed is $200. Since when can you fly from SF to DC nonstop for that price? I fly a lot and it isn't that cheap. As for Bush's use of an aircraft to go to Crawford he isn't President anymore. Kick Pelosi out and we wont complain about her.

Anonymous said...

There BS and then there are facts. See this: http://www.snopes.com/politics/pelosi/jet.asp

I don't care for Pelosi but smears don't cut it in my book and this is just a smear.

Neatnic said...

Why can this stealing and wasteful spending by Pelosi be brought up to the President in the next White House press meeting? I would liek some answers.
If I stop paying taxes until the wasteful spending stop, I would be put in jail, but yet it's ok for WDC to keep steeling our money! Who can we contact?? I tried contacting Peloai's office, but of course they do not want to hear from you.

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