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Politics

DeSantis Uses Seized Plane to Travel the State

January 10, 2019 - 6:00am

Gov. Ron DeSantis made his first trip out of Tallahassee aboard an upgraded King Air aircraft that law-enforcement officials had seized in a drug bust.

Unlike his predecessor, former Gov. Rick Scott, a multimillionaire who could buzz around the state in his own plane, DeSantis entered the governor’s office Tuesday without a vast financial portfolio.

So, a trip from Tallahassee to Miami to announce his first state Supreme Court appointment Wednesday, before shuttling off to Mexico Beach to view hurricane damage, involved him taking the seized aircraft maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“Similarly to them taking me by car, FDLE does have a plane that was seized,” DeSantis told reporters on Monday.

“It’s a drug seizure that’s been upgraded, and it’s their opinion and I think it’s our opinion in terms of being legal, that that is something because they have the responsibility to protect and transport the governor, that that can be used for my transportation,” DeSantis continued. “Now, that’s not going to be like the old state planes where the Cabinet and other people could do it. It flows from their responsibility to protect me.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was asked about the aircraft on Wednesday, but information was not immediately available.

DeSantis’ office also did not respond to questions about the aircraft.

Scott, who was sworn into the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, made the state’s ownership of a pair of airplanes and employment of flight crews a campaign issue when he first ran for governor in 2010.

The cost to fly the state planes was more than $3,000 an hour, or about $2.4 million a year. The Department of Management Services accepted a bid for $1.9 million for a state jet and $1.8 million for a prop plane. The governor also ordered the agency to lay off 11 people who worked in the state air pool.

The changes were possible because the Scott’s wealth allowed him to use his personal aircraft.

Owning a plane isn’t an option for DeSantis, who had a net worth of $310,971 as of Dec. 31, 2017.

DeSantis noted that the FDLE takes him everywhere now, which has resulted in him selling a pickup truck.

“I had it forever,” DeSantis said. “But I don’t need it anymore.”

In October, former Gov. Bob Martinez said state aircraft for the governor and other top officials is a must.

“I know it may be controversial in the minds of people, but when you’re up here almost in Georgia and you’ve got go down to Miami, you’re looking at almost 700, 800 miles, you’re just not going to drive it,” Martinez said. “It’s just not going to happen.”

The quickest drive from Tallahassee to Miami is just under 500 miles, and Martinez said it’s important for the governor, Cabinet members and other state officials to have contact with all residents.

--- News Service Assignment Manager Tom Urban contributed to this report.

Comments

I have a lot of time in both King Airs and Citations, and I can attest to the durability and reliability of both. The King Air will deliver reliable, fast service and it has the ability to offer better short field service to more rural airfields that the Citation cannot. The travel time is not a large factor as most of routes are short haul where the Citation cannot use it’s biggest advantage of speed. Having been in both cockpits and run throughout Florida, the travel time is not much different between the two unless it is Tallahassee to Miami, so I think Gov DeSantis can decide for himself as to his comfort level he requires.

Way to go Gov. DeSantis. Already saving our tax dollars!

"Seizure laws" in this entire Country are an intrusive, and overly invasive, violation of Constitutional, Fourth Amendment RIGHTS... that are "institutionally" misapplied and misused by ALL "government" law enforcement agencies (via permanently assigned personnel in "RICO created departments" within the 'agencies' whose sole purpose is to position and augment agency "supply deficiencies"...cars, boats, planes, houses, cash, jewelry, farm equipment etc., etc., etc...) with little likelihood of EVER of that seized property being returned to a rightful owner...despite litigation leading to decisive outcomes... THIS "RICO PROCESS" has been "out of control" since the day these "laws" were first enacted (without "due specificity" )..!

Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. DeSantis apparently isn't 'a millionaire' now ... but let's check his net worth on his last day in office!

THE WAY I LOOK AT IT, IS THAT THE CABINET WILL MOST LIKELY BE USING THE PLANE AS WELL. HE DID NOT STEAL THE PLANE, AND IF IT DID LOOK GRIMY, THEN I WOULD EXPECT THE PLANE TO BE CLEANED UP. THE WAY I LOOK AT IT, IS WASTE NOT WHAT NOT, AND WHY SHOULD A PLANE GET RUSTED AND GO TO WASTE. IT COULD BE PUT ON AN AUCTION BLOCK FOR CHARITY, BUT IN THIS CASE THE PLANE HAS UPGRADES, PUT TO USE, AND A BRAND NEW ONE DID NOT HAVE TO BE PURCHASED. IF GOVERNOR DeSANTIS NEEDS A PLANE, HE AND HIS CABINET HAVE ONE AT HIS AND THEIR DISPOSAL, YOU CAN NOT EXPECT THEM TO RATIONALLY CONDUCT BUSINESS ON A COMMERCIAL JET, SURROUNDED WITH CRYING BABIES AND CHANGING OF DIAPERS. BESIDES, I MUST TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT MYSELF, I WANT SOMETHING BETTER FOR ME AND MY LIFE, I WANT TO GET THE HELL OUT OF GEORGIA AND MOVE TO FLORIDA, JUST THE MOVE IN OF ITSELF, WOULD BE A LUXURY FOR ME!!! THE MOTTO IS: DO NOT SETTLE FOR GHETTOS!!!

Good post, ORC. Come on down to Florida. We are always looking for good logical minded people. Come live among friends and you will be welcomed.

He might as well as "stolen it",...for its entire maintenance costs, including necessary personnel and fuel etc...IS COMING OUT OF THE TAX COFFERS ! He's not a "Potentate",...HE is the temporary Governor of a SINGLE State, whose "subjects" regularly traverse the length & width of this State by "highway vehicle",... his "regular days of reporting for Congressional "roll calls" and "Georgetown lunches & dinners with Lobbiests" are over,... It's far more frugal to forget D.C. (for the moment) and concentrate upon FLORIDA..! (Who knows, you may become a Senator some day....and all your "Old Friends" will STILL BE THERE to "wine & dine" you in the manner in which you have apparently become accustomed to "in your old job".......

Hey readers and Gov. DeSantis supporters, Me thinks C Breeze voted for the Democrats, wouldn't you say? LOL!

He is for the drug dealer, of course. Typical democrat.

Lotsa rightwing white man "ghettos" down here, ORC. You'll love it! ESPECIALLY if you're an OLD rightwing white man!

Wheels up is increasing the per hourly rate for their new and upgraded King Air planes to $4,250.00 per hour ( all in cost ) to its members in 2019 , and their Citations ( small business jets ) probably run closer to $6,000.00 per hour , so while Rick Scott made political hay out of it , he used his own plane to do exactly what Bob Martinez said was necessary, and he likely pays a lot more than Wheels Up’s customers who basically are going by the old “ if it flies , floats or fornicates , it’s always cheaper to rent it “ pearl of wisdom . Florida is a big State now , so we should start acting like one and move past the ‘the Governor is just a regular guy , driving a Ford F-150 , just like you ‘ and transport its top executive like large companies do .

EXCEPT for the fact that he IS a regular guy, just like me. {But "Eye See", I see from your comment ("If it F, F, or F's, rent it"), that you must be a 'Veteran Regular Guy' just like me too! }

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