Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

David Jolly distances himself from attack on Alex Sink



The National Republican Congressional Committee is airing a TV ad hitting Alex Sink for her use of a state state plane while she was Florida CFO: "She used the  taxpayer funded plane so she could get to a vacation in the Bahamas," the ad says.

But Sink's Republican rival David Jolly isn't touching that Bahamas plane attack: "We sent out a mailing and I said to our people I don't want anything about her trip to the Bahamas on my mailing. The RNCC wants to do that, but were not doing that," Jolly said. "I understand there is some nuance it - the fact that she took the plane from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and then took her own flight to get to the Bahamas."

As a former aide to the late U.S.. Rep. CW Bill Young, Jolly is no stranger to taxpayer-funded flights himself. Federal records show that between 2003 and 2005, flew overseas to Italy, France, Britain Spain, Belgium, Austria and Crete at a cost to taxpayers of more than $7,100. Between 1998 and 2006 he spent more than $38,000 traveling between Washington and Florida.

"It was all official business," said Jolly who accompanied Young on delegation trips to Defense Department facilities across the world and frequently traveled to the congressional district as part of his job.

And while he's not knocking Sink for the Bahamas trip, he says criticism for her using a state plane to get to and from political events, as she did, is fair game.

"The issue on Alex was that it was political affairs, not official business," he said. "Every single one of (my trips) were authorized government travel. If we threw in all of the authorized government travel for Alex I'm sure there'd be a thousand times more."

[Last modified: Friday, January 31, 2014 3:22pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours