October 21, 2019 Blog, Press Release

Courier-Journal Reports: Bevin’s 244 Days Flying on the State Plane Cost $678,225, Significantly Outpacing His Predecessor

New back-to-back investigative reports from the Louisville Courier-Journal are shedding more light on Matt Bevin’s troubling and secretive use of the taxpayer-funded state airplane, which the governor told Kentuckians was “none of their business.”

First, the Courier-Journal’s reporting is revealing that “Bevin flew aboard state-owned aircraft on 244 days from the beginning of his term through August, at a total billed cost of at least $678,225,” which “significantly outpaced” his predecessor in the governor’s office at this point in their terms.

A separate report is revealing that many of those flights on taxpayer-funded aircraft were for raising political donations, detailing how in “the first eight months of this year, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin used state aircraft to fly to at least 15 different reelection fundraisers, where his campaign reported raising $633,549.”

Additionally, some flights directly lined Bevin’s own pockets: “In 2017 and 2018, Bevin used state aircraft to fly to nine different fundraisers for his 2015 campaign account — funds that can be used to pay the governor back for the more than $4 million he loaned his first campaign,” adding: “Bevin reported raising $281,750 for his 2015 account at these fundraisers — reimbursing the state for less than $5,000 for the costs of the flights — putting his total raised with the aid of state aircraft at $915,299.”

“Matt Bevin’s secretive use of the taxpayer-funded state plane is out-of-control and deeply troubling. No wonder he’s been insulting Kentuckians by saying it’s ‘none of their business,’” said Kentucky Democratic Party Spokesperson Marisa McNee. “These reports show exactly how Bevin has been criss-crossing the country on the state plane like it’s his own private air service, raising nearly $1 million in campaign cash — some of which is going directly back to his own pockets. Kentucky families deserve a governor who will increase transparency and respect their tax dollars.”