Huckabee Defends His Travel on State Planes

FEBRUARY 16, 2006 - Posted at 7:56 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - On his monthly television call-in show, Governor Huckabee defended his use of a state plane for official and unofficial business.  Huckabee said he wouldn't object to the Legislature changing the law to require that more detailed records be kept of how the state planes are used.  But as it is, he said, he is following the law.

The governor's use of the plane, and its associated costs, have risen as his national profile has risen with his chairmanship of the National Governors Association and his consideration of a 2008 presidential race.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has reported that the cost of his travels on state planes has increased by about $72,000 since 2002, the first year detailed estimates were kept.

Huckabee made 40 out-of-state trips on the state plane last year, nearly double his in-state flights.  The 2005 trips included 16 flights to Washington.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)