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George Santos' Airfare Controversy: How Politicians Misuse Flights

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George Santos has used significant campaign funds to fund his airfare. The spending spans different airlines over a long period of time, and is unlike any spending relative to his contemporaries. We will look deeper into how politicians misuse flights through an example involving George Santos. (aeroxplorer.com) More...

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stansdds
I don't think George Santos is the only member of the U.S. government to misuse taxpayer funds for travel.
boughbw
boughbw 11
The members of Congress tap into GSA-negotiated "City Pairs" for travel to and from their districts. Congress for the last 30 years has been known as the "Tuesday-Thursday Club" because members will fly in on Tuesday and do business for a couple days before flying home on Thursday. There are several things driving this: 1. It is expensive to live in DC. Yes, members of Congress receive a good salary, but it is nowhere near enough to afford two homes (on in DC) unless you are wealthy already. 2. The need/desire to be in the district to meet with constituents and raise money toward re-election. 3. Congress controls its own budget for these things.
I can think of several great reforms that could be enacted, but these are at the top of the list: A requirement that members work in DC at least 18 days per month and be limited to no more than 2 trips to/from the district at taxpayer expense. Campaign finance reform to include campaign contribution limits and public disclosure from all sources. Finally, every meeting a member of Congress has with anyone outside of the institution itself should be noted and made available for public review.
Term limits are a bad idea because they tend get rid of people that develop good congressional acumen to get things done -- but what seems a much better idea (especially lately) is age limits. There is a minimum limit, why not cap membership at 70? Ditto executive offices. Why not just build/renovate/maintain several apartment buildings for use by members of Congress to get rid of the need to return home every week to save money on housing?
As for what Santos did, it is an abuse of his campaign finances as he clearly chose to fly first class. But in and of itself, I am not sure how much regulation is really required. If a member chooses to spending money stupidly on his own campaign, this tends to be a self-resolving problem
franciemr
Had a gov't employee friend who accepted a job with a congressman in DC. He was very proud that he worked less than 50% of the time but got paid for 100% of a 40 hr work week.
boughbw
boughbw 2
In my experience -- from my graduate school I know many people who ended-up in DC legislative jobs in Congress (staffers) -- that is the exception. They worked very hard and were dedicated, but most ended-up leaving because the pay wasn't enough to afford living in the DC area.

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MarcusGiddens
Marcus Giddens 1
Idiot comment
topgunnh
Peter McGrath 4
Term Limits are always a good idea because they get rid of "people that have developed good congressional acumen to get things done" but for themselves!!! Show me one congressman or staffer that has been in DC for 20+ years that still cares for his constituents or for the country. It's all about their wealth and power at that point!
ko25701
ko25701 11
These were flights paid for by his campaign fund, which is money he raised from donors. There are strict rules for how that money is spent, and it cannot be used for personal vacations.
Santos used his campaign funds like a slush fund for all sorts of illegal things.
TheDogeof88
Chuck Lavazzi 5
And I'm sure we're all shocked. Shocked, I tell you!
TheDogeof88
Chuck Lavazzi 3
Possibly not. But that's only one aspect of his many corrupt and apparently illegal practices.
MichaelDealey
Michael Dealey 1
You mean like Bob Menendez?
linbb
linbb 8
No but he has to be the most stupid one to do so right now.
twschmidt4
twschmidt4 1
It was campaign funds.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

dvbavcon
Dean Brossman 20
I don't believe either side is worse! I just know "We the People" are getting screwed by both sides right now. They just keep us fighting amongst ourselves and not joining to fight them.
Nooge
Nooge 10
So who is the "King of abuse" Jared or inmate number P01135809?


April 10, 2022
Six months after leaving the White House, Jared Kushner secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi crown prince, a close ally during the Trump administration, despite objections from the fund’s advisers about the merits of the deal.

A panel that screens investments for the main Saudi sovereign wealth fund cited concerns about the proposed deal with Mr. Kushner’s newly formed private equity firm, Affinity Partners, previously undisclosed documents show.

Those objections included: “the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management”; the possibility that the kingdom would be responsible for “the bulk of the investment and risk”; due diligence on the fledgling firm’s operations that found them “unsatisfactory in all aspects”; a proposed asset management fee that “seems excessive”; and “public relations risks” from Mr. Kushner’s prior role as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, former President Donald J. Trump, according to minutes of the panel’s meeting last June 30.

But days later the full board of the $620 billion Public Investment Fund — led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and a beneficiary of Mr. Kushner’s support when he worked as a White House adviser — overruled the panel.

Ethics experts say that such a deal creates the appearance of potential payback for Mr. Kushner’s actions in the White House — or of a bid for future favor if Mr. Trump seeks and wins another presidential term in 2024.

Mr. Kushner played a leading role inside the Trump administration defending Crown Prince Mohammed after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that he had approved the 2018 killing and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for The Washington Post and resident of Virginia who had criticized the kingdom’s rulers.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Nooge
Nooge 2
Oh yes her and her hubby made a fortune while her father was in power.



April 10, 2022
Six months after leaving the White House, Jared Kushner secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi crown prince, a close ally during the Trump administration, despite objections from the fund’s advisers about the merits of the deal.

A panel that screens investments for the main Saudi sovereign wealth fund cited concerns about the proposed deal with Mr. Kushner’s newly formed private equity firm, Affinity Partners, previously undisclosed documents show.

Those objections included: “the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management”; the possibility that the kingdom would be responsible for “the bulk of the investment and risk”; due diligence on the fledgling firm’s operations that found them “unsatisfactory in all aspects”; a proposed asset management fee that “seems excessive”; and “public relations risks” from Mr. Kushner’s prior role as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, former President Donald J. Trump, according to minutes of the panel’s meeting last June 30.

But days later the full board of the $620 billion Public Investment Fund — led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and a beneficiary of Mr. Kushner’s support when he worked as a White House adviser — overruled the panel.

Ethics experts say that such a deal creates the appearance of potential payback for Mr. Kushner’s actions in the White House — or of a bid for future favor if Mr. Trump seeks and wins another presidential term in 2024.

Mr. Kushner played a leading role inside the Trump administration defending Crown Prince Mohammed after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that he had approved the 2018 killing and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for The Washington Post and resident of Virginia who had criticized the kingdom’s rulers.
magyar1956
Laszlo Furdek -2
Ethics experts say that such a deal (creates the appearance of potential payback for Mr. Kushner’s actions in the White House) — or of a bid for future favor if Mr. Trump seeks and wins another presidential term in 2024. The significant word is appearance. The Bidens have been doing this for at least six or seven years. Why don't you mention that in your comment?
Nooge
Nooge -1
I was responding to another conned-servative like you who failed to mention a republican in his partisan and clueless comment

I think Hunter is being prosecuted his taxes were not under audit like Trumps But I say his testimony before the dimwit Comer should be on live TV

Menendez needs to be in prison...what evidence do you have on Pelosi or Joe ByeDon?
ewrcap
David Beattie 13
Well, as a decorated war veteran, lunar astronaut survivor of 9-11 WTC and signer of the Declaration of Independence, he deserves a free flight.
watkinssusan
GEE WHIZ FOLKS..I THOUGHT FLIGHT AWARE WAS A SITE TO DISCUSS AIRPLANES AND AIRLINES AND ALL THINGS RELATED,WHICH POLITICS IS NOT!santos was/is a con artist who managed to somehow get people to elect him..the rest of the story,including his misuse of campaign funds is under investigation.."nuff said" about him and other very old political comments about people like kerry and feinstein (recently deceased)..
TheDogeof88
Chuck Lavazzi 2
A fair point. I'm pretty much tired of hearing about George (or whatever his real name might be) anyway.
Nooge
Nooge 0
whatever his real name might be you say

George Santa

The son of Santa even though he is Jew-ish
LeanderWilliams
George Santos is not the first corrupt politician in Washington. He just was a little more obvious in his seeming to get elected to Congress to further rape the taxpayers of his district. Hopefully, he will not be entitled to a dime of Congressional pension. But, he is just one of many that use their office for personal gain.
rabramowitz
This posting is political and has no business on this aviation website. Of Flight aware intends to use this for a forum for politics I will be signing off permanently.
Clean up your act. No politics. No religion. Just aviation.
cmuncy
Chris Muncy 2
There is a valid reason you NEED an ad blocker for aeroexplorer.com...... More ads than content
Jaime1949
Jaime Terrassa 1
it's the American way.
Tflys1
Tflys1 -7
Santos is like the rest of the "public" servants, but when it comes to using one of these clowns as a poster child how about John kerry. You know the guy who uses a private jet to go get a gallon of milk every other day, and then preaches to us that we are the problem. I'd bet we tax payers are funding that also.
C172Rpilot
C172Rpilot -5
"clown"....well said.

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avionik99
avionik99 3
Far better than standing with a bunch of baby beheaders don't you think?? I have yet to see Israel parade a womans dead body thru the streets in a disgusting show of triumph. Remember if Hamas lays down their weapons their will be Peace, if Israel lays down its weapons there will be no more Israel!
So yeah I think the Americans are definitely on the correct side here!!

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avionik99
avionik99 0
BTW the USA is being overrun by immigrants crossing the Mexican border,

Just as the liberal Democrats in that country have planned it to be. They have the power to bring it to a complete halt but have refused to do so. They just look the other way as they are far too busy hating on the Republicans and anything morally decent.

[This poster has been suspended.]

avionik99
avionik99 3
Those are far fewer and LEGAL!!

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