Open Letter to Governor Mike Pence by John Zody, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party
Dear Governor Pence,
Since you accepted the position to be Donald Trump’s running mate in the presidential election, you have crisscrossed the nation with political campaign trips while using state resources. A recent report showed how your political travel immediately goes back to the Hoosier taxpayers – as they are forced to foot your bill.
In light of this report, I am asking you to use your campaign funds to pay back Hoosiers and the state. In total, more than$24,000 in state taxpayer dollars have been used to pay for your political travel to states like New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Colorado.
Indiana’s governor is given a security detail provided by the Indiana State Police that’s needed to protect our state’s highest executive. These officers’ biggest responsibility is to ensure the safety of the governor with all official-related travel across Indiana and sometimes, around the globe.
But it shouldn’t be taken for granted that Hoosiers foot the bill. In fact, like all responsibilities of the position, the governor should be pragmatic about travel, its purpose and whether state resources should be used to pay for it.
As Hoosiers continue to work more for less and make only 86 cents to every one American dollar, it’s imperative that state officials do all they can to protect the value of the tax dollars that are earned by our hardworking Hoosier families.
I’m not asking you to remove Indiana State Police from your security detail. However, it should be understandable that as a candidate for office both now and in the recent past, that you would have the resources to do the right thing and refund the state.
I hope you find a resolution to this matter soon.
Excerpts from the WRTV story below.
“While Governor Mike Pence is out of the state and on the campaign trail, Indiana taxpayers are stuck paying the skyrocketing overtime bill for the special team of state troopers protecting him as governor.
Indiana State Police’s Executive Protection Section is tasked with protecting Indiana’s Governor, the First Lady and Lieutenant Governor.” […]
“Before Pence became Trump’s running mate, the Executive Protection Section filed an average of 126.3 hours of overtime per month, costing taxpayers an average of $4,219.65 in overtime per month.” […]
“That number shot up 335 percent in July, when Pence was picked to be Trump’s vice-presidential nominee, according to state police overtime records obtained through public records request made by Call 6 Investigates.
In July 2016, the Executive Protection Unit had 549.5 hours of documented overtime, adding up to more than $19,500.
Then in August, the amount of overtime declined slightly to 399 reported hours of overtime, but that cost still added up to more than $15,000.”