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Senator Used $116,000 of Taxpayer Money for Private Flights in 2023

via Kyrsten Sinema
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Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has reportedly spent over $200,000 in taxpayer money on private air travel since 2020.

This spending includes $116,000 in 2023 alone. Sinema’s lack of accessible town halls during this time has raised concerns.

“Arizonans know it can take hours to get from Prescott to Yuma. Senator Sinema maximizes her time in Arizona to connect with as many constituents in every corner of the state as possible,” Sinema representative Hannah Hurley said.

While her representative cited the need for efficient travel to connect with constituents across the state, watchdog groups criticized her expenses.

In contrast, her colleague Senator Mark Kelly has not incurred any private plane costs covered by taxpayers.

The situation has sparked discussions about responsible budget management and the contrast in travel approaches between the two senators.

“This is one of those things that does raise the question of, is this the best way to manage the budget? … Could she be doing more for the state otherwise?” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics’ Jordan Libowitz said.

Sinema’s private flights “[play] into this larger thing we’ve seen with her, where she tends to go right up to the line of what she’s able to do with spending other people’s money in the way she would best prefer,” Libowitz said.

“She’s seemed pretty good at finding the ways to do it that people are going to see and are not going to like but, generally, don’t rise to the level of being an actual legal problem,” he said.

“The dichotomy … shows you what the normal thing is, which is, you get in the car and you drive, especially in a state that has a highway system,” he said.

Sinema’s re-election status remains uncertain as potential candidates from both Democratic and Republican parties vie for her seat.

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