It's gotta be the plane | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It's gotta be the plane

Posted By on Wed, May 10, 2006 at 9:54 AM

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One lingering unanswered question about Gov. Mike Huckabee's decision to stop sending general press information to the Arkansas Times is: Why now? After so many years of strained relations, and with only eight months remaining in office, what pushed Huckabee over the edge?

But this morning, in the midst of reading this NYTimes article about the increased use of corporate jets, we had a moment of clarity:

Taking the corporate jet is variously described as a necessity for time-pressed executives and politicians, a luxury for the elite, a security precaution, or an addiction, depending on who is talking.

"One chief executive told me, 'You can fool around with my stock options all you want, but don't fool around with my airplane,' " recalled Richard H. Moore, treasurer of the state of North Carolina, who oversees $72 billion in investments. "You can compare it to crack cocaine. Once they get used to having the plane there waiting for them, they don't want to go back."

The Arkansas Times was the first publication to report on Huckabee's use of the state police airplane for increased out-of-state travel, which led to greater focus on the practice by other media.

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