GSA Misusing Taxpayer Dollars in Hawaii; Lingle’s U.S. Senate Campaign Won’t Benefit from National Republican Senatorial Committee Ad Money – At Least Not Yet; Wired Picks Up Hawaii Reporter’s Drone Story

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Photo: Emily Metcalf

House Republican: GSA Misusing Funds in Hawaii

The Washington Times is reporting the General Services Administration is misusing taxpayers dollars – this time in Hawaii.


Here is a portion of the April 12 report:

A top House Republican said GSA officials flew to Hawaii on other taxpayer-funded junkets — in one instance spending a week or more on the islands for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony for a federal building.

The new information follows nearly two weeks worth of reports about the agency spending more than $800,000 on a conference in Las Vegas — news that cost several top GSA officials their jobs.

John Mica, a Florida Republican who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said several GSA officials flew to Hawaii for five to seven days in 2011 in order to attend an hour-long ribbon-cutting on space leased by the federal government. According to the GSA’s inspector general’s office, the employee interviewed said the trip was not an isolated incident, and said another, longer trip to Hawaii was planned but had not yet occurred.

…“From what we’re learning, GSA has a whole laundry list of instances where they were abusing taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican from California who chairs a Transportation subcommittee. “They were using tax dollars as a slush fund to pay for lavish parties and exotic vacations. This goes a lot farther and a lot deeper than what we’ve seen. I share in the public outrage and am committed to finding answer and taking appropriate action so this never happens again.”

Lingle’s U.S. Senate Campaign Won’t Benefit from National Republican Senatorial Committee Ad Money – At Least Not Yet

The Hill is reporting the National Republican Senatorial Committee has reserved $25 million in television ad space for the fall election for key races in Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Montana, Nevada and New Mexico.

Hawaii is also not on the list, The Hill reports, noting “former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) is known as a fundraising powerhouse and might not need the committee’s help.”

The Hill said other key states could be added at a later time.

Wired Picks Up Hawaii Reporter’s Drone Story

Wired has taken note of Hawaii Reporter’s investigation into a grounded drone, which is sitting in a Department of Transportation office at Honolulu Harbor, because the FAA has refused to give the state permission to fly it.

See the full report here by Jim Dooley: State Surveillance Drone Has Never Left The Ground 

Wired notes Hawaii Reporter asked whether the state had permission to fly the drone before it was purchased –

“The state bought the unmanned drone in November 2010 before bothering to check with the FAA to get approval to fly the aircraft, and only sought permission after the local newspaper began inquiring if authorities had secured a certificate of authorization to fly the device over the harbor.”