Last week, Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire issued a Right to Know request to Governor Maggie Hassan's office and DRED requesting more information about her upcoming trip to Turkey from June 20-27, which according to our email correspondence with DRED, will utilize at least $15,000.00 in taxpayer funds. Our request was specifically in response to the governor issuing a May 22, 2014 Executive Order banning all out of state travel expenses.
The specifics of the Right to Know requests can be found in our news release from last week by clicking HERE.
While we have yet to receive a response from either Right to Know requests, when Governor Hassan's office was questioned by the Union Leader about whether she would still be traveling to Turkey despite her own travel ban, her spokesman said, "there's no point in turning back now."
The Union Leader article went on to also report that while the $15,000 for the state's share of expenses was included in the budget passed by lawmakers last year, so was other money for travel that is now put on hold.
The full Union Leader article can be read HERE.
While we await a written response to our Right to Know request, from Governor Hassan's spokesman's comments in the press that "there's no point in turning back now," it certainly appears she plans to continue with her costly trip to Turkey despite her own executive order against it. This leads us to wonder why her trip to Turkey is exempt when all other out of state travel, including those that already have had funds allocated, is being denied?
Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire is not opposed to efforts to grow New Hampshire's economy and we certainly have a record of supporting policies such as an out of state travel ban to save taxpayer money. However, we are vehemently opposed to political stunts and hypocritical actions by our elected officials. To put it bluntly, the attitude that career politicians like Governor Hassan believe they are somehow above the rules and laws they expect others to abide by is exactly why Granite Staters distrust our elected officials.