Governor Travels for Free
But there's a twist to the Governor's travel. Taxpayers aren't picking up the tab for Governor Blunt's travels.
All of the trips are what you could call "free travel," because they didn't cost the state anything.
The Associated Press reports that private corporations like AT&T, Central Bank in Jefferson City and the Hawthorn Foundation, an economic development corporation paid for these trips.
The destinations: Economic and business meetings in Chicago, on the east coast and in Europe.
$21,000 in "free travel" make Blunt the top Missouri politician for out-of-state travel paid for by third parties.
Nothing is illegal as long as the trips are reported.
The governor's office had a lot to say about his travel. Spokesperson Jessica Robinson broke down a number of the trips from the $21,000 total. The expenses include the governor's trip to visit members of the military from Missouri in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. Department of Defense paid for the trip estimated at $6,000. AT&T spent $1,400 for the governor's trip to San Antonio last year. The company recently announced its headquarters will be in St. Louis.
"A governor's out of state travel is an important part of the chief executive's role as an advocate for the state and for our economy. Missourians can be proud Gov. Blunt has represented their interests before national and global leaders and that he is working to build on the more than 93,000 jobs created in the last two years. He has also brought Missourians' support to the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan," Robinson wrote in a statement.