Rep. Richardson Takes Chopper Joy Ride

Sunday, 14 Mar 2010 02:27 PM

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California Democrat Laura Richardson – already under fire in a House ethics investigation – requested two emergency services helicopters to give her and 19 staffers an aerial tour of Southern California, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The costly extravaganza, revealed by award-winning columnist Steve Lopez Sunday, was supposedly to study homeland security and transportation corridors.

But Lopez asks why would an office staff of a backbench congresswoman need such an expensive tour, especially on a Sunday when traffic is at a minimum. Why couldn’t they just spread some maps across a desk?

Richardson -- who defaulted six times on homes she owns in Southern California and is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee regarding the foreclosure of her Sacramento home – also didn’t seem aware that most helicopters can't accommodate 20 people, Lopez reports.

The excursion likely cost taxpayers $25,000 and potentially tied up helicopters that could have been used in an emergency in vast, earthquake-prone L.A.

Read the rest of the story here in the Times.

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