What Kaine Is Doing Right and Fenty Is Doing Wrong
By Jo-Ann Armao
Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine (D) today is on a plane over Turkey.
Tomorrow, he’ll be in Dubai. We know that because if you call his spokesman, he’ll tell you. Even better, he’ll tell you who is paying for the trip. This practice is of note only because of the high-profile refusal of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty to be similarly candid about his comings and goings.
Before Kaine departed, his press office issued a release announcing his travel April 18-25 to Israel, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates to promote Virginia to business and government leaders. Total cost for the trip was reported to be $71,000, with the state paying $32,000 and the rest contributed by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the governments of Israel and Morocco.
In contrast, Fenty kept secret a February trip to Dubai until his return to this country. He wasn’t particularly forthcoming about the trip being underwritten (to the tune of $25,000) by the United Arab Emirates government. The public accounting of the Dubai trip, as well as the belated admission that government entities in China helped pay for his trip to last summer’s Olympics, got the mayor some deserved bad press. He’s never acknowledged his missteps and, even worse, has steadfastly refused to disclose details about future travel.
He might, though, want to take note that Kaine’s trip got all of three paragraphs in The Post. It’s only when officials try to keep their travels secret that the press thinks they have something to hide. And, that’s what makes it big news.
(This item was cross-posted from PostPartisan)
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