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Costly Rescue for Ailing State Senator

June 06, 2004

Re "Gov. OKd Costly Mission to Brazil," June 3: The state just paid $147,187 to bring Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) home from Brazil, a trip he paid for with campaign funds, claiming he was on a "goodwill" visit on behalf of us Californians. And, guess what, Vasconcellos is retiring this year; what a coincidence that he has all this money from past campaigns to spend ... of course, on goodwill tours.

I'm darn tired of politicians treating taxpayers like first-graders. Vasconcellos' explanation for his trip just insults us all. Shame, shame, shame. Next time someone asks you for a campaign donation, think twice. And next time your Legislature or Senate wants a tax increase, think three times. This is how our money is spent ... vacations camouflaged as goodwill tours and special, costly accommodations that you or I would never expect or ask others to pay for.

Sandy Whaling

Springville, Calif.

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Pray tell why Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would send a military jet and a 15-person team to Brazil at the taxpayers' expense of $147,187, when a $50,000 Lear jet with a medical crew aboard would have accomplished the same mission? Silly me, I was under the impression California has a budget crisis!

Rose Holmes

Claremont

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