Fordice wasted state’s money

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 13, 1999

We have one simple request for Gov. Kirk Fordice – just stay at home for the next five months.

As the candidates to replace the two-term controversial Republican jockey for position, Fordice fittingly is still rocking the boat. And it’s embarrassing.

Only weeks after a red-faced Fordice threatened to show his imitation of ex-wrestler, now Minnesota governor, Jesse Ventura to a Jackson television reporter, Fordice just can’t stay away from controversy. For the second time in as many months, Fordice is accused of using the state airplane to travel to vacation spots. Now the issue isn’t as simple as it looks.

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As governor, Fordice has to travel around the country representing Mississippi. And the most economical way to do that is in the state’s airplane, but what Fordice has been doing is having the pilot fly out of his way to drop Fordice off here and there, most recently the Alabama Gulf Coast, on the way back from official business. Now his moves have attracted the attention of the state auditor and the attorney general who are investigating the matter. While it may not be completely unethical to do use the airplane in such a way, it is certainly a questionable practice. The state plane is for state business – period.

Even if the stops are on the way, it doesn’t matter. The airplanes burn extra fuel – read taxpayer dollars – each time it takes off.

And it’s a shame that Fordice just blatantly does this with little regard for who he works for – the people or our state.

We keep hoping that Fordice will surprise us by keeping his foot out of his mouth and the office of the governor out of the sordid limelight, but so far he’s let us down.

So for the next five months at least, we’re likely to hear folks say:

Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane. No, it’s just Kirk Fordice wasting our money and our time.