Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney keynotes tonight’s GOP Governor’s Dinner in Little Rock, a fundraiser for the state Republican Party that will be emceed by Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Romney and Huckabee are expected to vie for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, and while they don’t see eye to eye on issues like abortion, gay marriage, and gay adoption, they do share a weakness for free airplane travel.
Less than a year ago, Romney flew on a Pfizer jet to a Republican Governors Association meeting in California. At the time, Romney was working on health insurance legislation, and he later avoided signing that legislation “in the wake of charges of possible ethics violations arising from his trip on a Pfizer-owned jet.”
In 2004, Romney allegedly used taxpayer funds to attend political events at least twice and then held a press conference to say that he had no intentions of reimbursing the taxpayers for the costs. The Massachusetts Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint against Romney, accusing him of illegally spending taxpayer dollars on a trip to raise money for the New Jersey Republican Party.
Huckabee, as you know, has used the state police airplane to fly around the country at taxpayers’ expense (with no record of reimbursement), and recently he flew to a North Carolina GOP event on a plane owned by the Lord’s Ranch, which has a $8.5 million Medicaid contract with Arkansas.