Before winning last year’s election, Gov. Kasich used the state’s Beechcraft King Air planes to score political points against then-Gov. Ted Strickland. During the campaign, Mr. Kasich’s spokesman criticized Gov. Strickland’s travel patterns and called for a review to decide if the “planes’ cost can be justified at all.”
As governor, Gov. Kasich flew on state aircraft forty-six times from January through August, at a cost to taxpayers of $60,320.50. In all of 2010, Gov. Strickland used the state’s planes seventeen times at a cost of $27.188.22.
Janetta King, president and chief executive officer for the policy group Innovation Ohio, criticized Gov. Kasich for his plane use. “Any time that an elected official is using taxpayer money to travel, I think the bar needs to be very high when making those decisions about using the state plane, which is more expensive than traveling by vehicle,” King said. “I do think this does raise significant questions about how responsible the Kasich administration is being with taxpayer dollars, especially in light of previous criticism that they lodged against plane use.”