Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch released a report yesterday arguing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was "unconcerned about wasting taxpayer money" on expensive military jets to fly herself and her staff back and forth between Washington and her congressional district. The controversy over her planes is an old one that gets brought up by critics every now and again. In 2007 Pelosi requested a larger plane than previous House speaker Dennis Hastert used because she wanted to be able to fly to California without stopping, a request that the Department of Defense and the House sergeant-at-arms approved. But Judicial Watch turned up e-mails that showed Pelosi's staff appeared careless and demanding with their requests for the planes — often expensively canceling at the last minute and sending threatening missives if the appropriate jet wasn't available on demand. Pelosi's office released a statement to Politico saying that it merely operates by the Department of Defense's rules. “It is a function of the speaker’s office to coordinate congressional delegation travel and act as a liaison between the Department of Defense and members of Congress,” a spokesman said. Still, when Democrats are railing against executive perks and pay on Wall Street at banks that have taken taxpayer dollars, you'd think Pelosi would have thought to tone it down in recent months.
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