Report: Quinn eschewed tax dollars for meals, travel

March 3, 2009 5:58:01 AM PST
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has a reputation as a penny-pincher. Now, an Associated Press review of state travel records backs up the image. It shows Quinn never accepted the state's $32-a-day meal allowance during his six years as lieutenant governor. He often paid his own lodging and out of 10 trips overseas, Illinois taxpayers paid for just two.

Most of the trips were visits to U.S. troops.

Impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich took a shot at his successor as he left office last month. Blagojevich said his lieutenant governor had been "all over the world" for reasons that had little to do with being second in command.

The AP review of Quinn's travel shows he charged the state for a 2007 trade mission to Japan and a trip to Poland in November to memorialize a Polish citizen living in Illinois who died in the war.

Summaries of Ill. Gov. Quinn's overseas travel

A few details about overseas travel by Gov. Pat Quinn while he was lieutenant governor:

------ December 2003-January 2004, Iraq, paid by Defense Department: Visited Illinois troops and other American forces in Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait.

------ February 2006, Japan, paid by Japanese government: Visited USS Kitty Hawk and U.S. Naval Base at Yokosuka; met with Japanese government ministers.

------ August 2006, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, paid by Quinn: Visited wounded Illinois troops and their families.

------ June 2007, Poland and Germany, paid by Quinn: Traveled with group including mother of an Illinois Marine killed in action. Visited Landstuhl with military veteran Stedman Graham, a writer and businessman.

------ September 2007, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, paid by state: Represented Illinois on trade mission of Midwest U.S.-Japan Association, an organization that promotes ties between the two regions.

------ December 2007, Heidelberg and Landstuhl, Germany, paid by Quinn: Encouraged agreement between Heidelberg and Illinois universities and met with Illinois troops, delivered holiday cards from Illinois schoolchildren to Landstuhl patients.

------ May 2008, South Korea, paid by Quinn: Toured military bases and the demilitarized zone; met with government officials and attended an international water conference.

------ June 2008, Cork, Ireland, travel paid Quinn, lodging by Cork County Council: Initiated academic and business partnerships, met with government ministers, launched partnerships between Cork and Illinois schools.

------ July 2008, Israel, paid by Jewish United Fund of Chicago: Visited Israeli cities, including Fassouta, an Arab Christian city with a computer literacy program sponsored by the Jewish United Fund and Chicago's Catholic Archdiocese.

------ November 2008, Poland and Landstuhl, paid by state: Attended a ceremony for a Polish citizen and Marine from Bensenville killed in Afghanistan. Delivered Thanksgiving messages from schoolchildren to Landstuhl patients.


Source: Illinois governor's office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.