Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cheney sucking on the tax payer tit.

Cheney Sidesteps Travel Disclosure Rules, Reports CPI

Unlike the Rest of the White House, the Vice President Refuses to Let Sponsors Pay for His Trips - Instead, Taxpayers Pick Up the Tab

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Vice President Dick Cheney and his staff have been declaring themselves exempt from the travel disclosure laws followed by the rest of the White House, a Center for Public Integrity investigation released today found.

The vice president's office appears to have stuck taxpayers with millions of dollars in travel costs and has avoided disclosing its expenses and destinations.

The private sector routinely covers the travel expenses associated with government officials' appearances -- of which Cheney himself has made more than 275 since 2001 -- at think tanks, trade organizations and universities around the world. When the private sector picks up the tab, however, federal law requires that officials report where they went, how much it cost, and who paid.

Yet since 2001, Cheney's office -- unlike Vice President Al Gore before him -- has claimed that it is not bound by the travel disclosure rules the rest of the White House complies with, the Center found. Letters from the vice president's counsel assert that the office is not "an agency" of the executive branch, but adds as "a matter of comity" that none of the staff has accepted travel payments from a non-federal source.

Since the vice president's office engages in trips like any other government agency, its refusal of payment from the private sector defers the costs to taxpayers -- all while keeping the travel specifics concealed from public view.

The full report can be found online at http://www.publicintegrity.org.

The Center for Public Integrity conducts investigative research and reporting on public policy issues in the United States and around the world. Through objective and thorough analyses, the Center hopes to serve as an honest broker of information and to inspire a better-informed citizenry that can demand a higher level of accountability from its government and business leaders. Since 1990, the Center, an independent, non-profit organization, has released more than 275 investigative reports and 14 books. In just the past eight years the Center has been honored more than 40 times by, among others, PEN USA, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), the Society of Professional Journalists and The George Polk Award.

1 Comments:

Blogger halcyon67 said...

Why am I not surprised? Are Cheney's trips vital to national security?

8:29 AM  

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