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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.

By Jo-Ann Armao  | April 21, 2009; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  Armao  | Tags:  Jo-Ann Armao  
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Hello, Ms Armao

It sounds like you back Mayor Fenty when he makes secret or unilateral decisions of which you approve and complain loudly when his decisions don't suit you. Please keep in mind that the same management style that selected and continues to blindly support your beloved Michelle Rhee is behind all the other ill-conceived, impulsive, immature, despotic and costly decisions in DC.

Perhaps you bear some responsibility for exacerbating the mayor’s sense of privilege and infallibility with your stubborn support for Michelle Rhee which is just senseless and unbased on facts after almost two years on the job as Fenty’s is.

Note to others reading here: I didn’t fact check this column, so I don’t know if there are major discrepancies, similar to those I’ve found in other Armao columns. I’m commenting simply on her attitude toward the Mayor.

Posted by: efavorite | April 23, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

What sort of trip costs $10,000 per day? Obviously more than one person is going, and they're not expected to stay in a hostel, but really... how do you spend $10,000 a day?

Posted by: xcrunner771 | April 24, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I will say this about the EDUCATION here in DC.. IT is Terrible.. To be honest its an abomination. Something drastic has to be done about the school system. The natives here in DC claim they want something done but when it comes to actually getting something done nothing happens. One way or another people in DC must accept the old way of doing business has to stop. Kick out poor teachers, make the school system effecient. Upgrade the schools and make sure you have people that can take care of the systems. Give the Teachers a sound salary and if they go beyond the call great give them bonuses. However dont treat teachers like cattle because they are the building blocks of our nation. If need be we need to look at Europeans schools and model our education similar if they work. Find a way to create a legacy and pride about our schools.

Posted by: BarrII | April 27, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

There's no reward for doing what is expected of you; though more improtantly, will any bloggers from the latter mention write to from there veiws, if not the other subject is irrelevent, keeping to the same. Kaine will know doubtedly be watching the cost of this trip for sending his aides, normally a nice commission to the Feds. A governor that cares about legislation, quik mention

Posted by: edtroyhampton | April 27, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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