A second Right to Know request to Governor Hassan's office regarding her trade mission to Turkey despite her own travel freeze
(June 3, 2014) - Last week, Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire issued a Right to Know request to Governor Maggie Hassan's office and the Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) requesting more information about her upcoming trip to Turkey from June 20-27, which will utilize at least $15,000.00 in taxpayer funds. Our request was specifically in response to email correspondences we had with DRED that led us to believe the Governor still planned on taking her trade mission to Turkey, despite her May 22, 2014 Executive Order banning all out of state travel expenses.
The specifics of the Right to Know requests and other information can be found in our news releases from last week by clicking HERE and HERE.
Last Friday, DRED did respond to our Right to Know request confirming Governor Hassan would be still traveling to Turkey, which can be read about in the Union Leader HERE, however Governor Maggie Hassan forwarded our Right to Know request to the Attorney General's Office. The Deputy Attorney General responded to our request by saying, "the Governor's Office does not have any information beyond that contained in Commissioner Rose's letter."
Now that we have written confirmation Governor Hassan will be ignoring her own Executive Order and will still be traveling to Turkey funded by $15,000 in taxpayer dollars from the general fund, Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire has additional questions that deserve answers. Thus, today, we have issues a second Right to Know request of Governor Hassan's office.
In this Right to Know request, we are requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of public records that relate to travel by executive agencies that have been canceled as a result of the Governor's Executive Order issued on May 22nd, 2014. Specifically, we would like the following information:
- What travel has been cancelled as a result of this Executive Order?
- What travel has been given an exemption to the Executive Order?
- What departments, public officials, or elected officials who had planned travel prior to the Executive Order, had their arrangements canceled or put on hold?
- When were these trips scheduled to take place and where did the money for these trips come from within their budget?
- What was the date that travel arrangements were made that have now been canceled?
- What was the estimated cost savings for the state by imposing the travel ban in the first place?
Matthew Murphy, Executive Director at Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, made the following statement:
"It is now abundantly clear that Governor Maggie Hassan actually plans to break her own Executive Order against out of state travel by utilizing $15,000 from the state's general fund to pay for her trip to Turkey this month. Hypocrisy like this is exactly why Granite Staters distrust our elected officials. Regardless of how she or her departments try and justify it, the fact that she can't even abide by her own travel freeze proves we don't just have budgetary problems in Concord, we have a crisis of honestly and leadership.
"Furthermore, the fact that Governor Hassan is yielding herself an exception to her own Executive Order only begs us to ask more questions that Granite Staters demand answers to. Once again, we will await a response from the Governor's office on our Right to Know request for more information."