MD Gov Martin O’Malley’s Travel Budget Doubles Surrounding States

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Annapolis, MD

A news organization’s investigation of the out-of-state travel expenses of potential 2016 Democrat presidential candidate Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley found that his travel was concentrated in states that would be important in any potential run for higher office. Also, his expenses amounted to double what was spent by the governors of surrounding states.

O’Malley’s out-of-state visits cost taxpayers about $137,000 over the past year, according to an investigation by the News4 I-Team. Meanwhile, the same type of costs for the governors in neighboring states were approximately $57,000 for both West Virginia and Delaware, while “Virginia State Police’s executive protection unit was $38,980” and North Carolina’s was $12,368.

The money was used to help cover travel costs for the governor’s state police security detail, including flights, hotel rooms and meals for the troopers. Though such travel costs are customary for the security details of U.S. governors, the I-Team’s review found O’Malley’s security travel cost exceeded those of neighboring states.

O’Malley, widely considered a possible presidential candidate in 2016, made at least 23 campaign trips outside of Maryland between July 2013 and July 2014, according to campaign records. State police joined the governor during those trips.

The 23 campaign visits included trips to pivotal presidential primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. Records provided to the I-Team by O’Malley’s campaign show many of the visits were fundraisers or campaign appearances on behalf of other candidates.

Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union, said “Regardless of political party, governors have special responsibility to taxpayers to travel whenever necessary, but no more than that.” O’Malley’s out-of-state travel is significantly out of sync with other governors.