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Frequent Flyer Kottkamp

February 9th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp will reimburse the state $12,974 for his families travel on state planes. But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the cash is just a small part of the expense Kottkamp has run up commuting from his home to the state capitol.

Hear it Here: Frequent Flyer Kottkamp

When Charlie Crist chose Jeff Kottkamp for his running mate at a news conference outside Kottkamps Ft Myers home, few people realized that once elected, Kottkamp would continue living in Southwest Florida and bill the state for his commute.

Documents provided by the state show the Lt. Governor flew state planes at least 365 times since taking office, two thirds of them between his home and the Capitol.

One of the most striking examples was the day the Lt. Governor was picked up in Ft. Meyers, flown here to Tallahassee for a news conference, then flown back home.

A newspaper report pegged the cost at 425 thousand dollars. The state says that includes other state employees as well.

So, its somewhat egregious to make it sound like this is kind of an irresponsible amount of money to be spending on air travel, when youre thinking about all the state employees included in that travel, Cathy Schroeder, Management Services Spokesperson, said.

At the state air pool, we were allowed onto the secure tarmac, but then were told that we couldnt take pictures of the lone state plane inside the hanger. The other plane was in the air.

Kottkamp is also reimbursing the state just under 13 thousand dollars for travel by his wife and son. The agency responsible for collecting the cash is taking the heat .

This was the agencys oversight, Schroeder said. This was not an oversight by the Lt. Governor.

A spokesman says that both Kottkamp and the Governor are using the planes less as the economy gets cloudier. Here’s the spreadsheet showing the flights: lgov-air-use-jan07-dec08-012009

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