Huckleberries Online

Edit: Budget-Cutting Pols Live Large

Taxpayer-funded stretch limousines? Good luck explaining those away easily. But that’s the predicament facing state Treasurer Ron Crane, who holds the lowest-profile elected position in Idaho government. During his annual meetings with Wall Street ratings agencies — his most visible job obligation — Crane routinely hires limos to squire Idaho delegations around New York City. The cost, from 2009 through 2011, approached $10,000, the Associated Press reported last week. It’s hard to tell which is worse: the timing, or the appearance. That’s an academic question, because the two are virtually interchangeable. During three of the most trying budget years in the state’s history — when legislators had to take a cleaver to public education, Medicaid, universities and nearly every other state agency — Idaho was doing its small part to support New York City’s limo services. And some of the same legislators who cut state budgets were riding alongside Crane/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are the limos that state Treasurer Ron Crane & Idaho legislators rode in during trips to New York a stretch, a scandal, or a black eye?




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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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