Rep. Brad Sherman (Dem-CA)
Last November, you may recall, the CEOs of the Big Three carmakers were taken to the Congressional woodshed for flying down from Detroit, each on his own private executive jet.
California Congressman Brad Sherman, taking advantage of some TV face time in committee hearings, set them up for public condemnation, asking if they flew to DC commercially and, if they would be willing to sell their jets and fly home commercially. In both cases, he received a negative response. (Click on video below.)
In truth, the PR damage suffered by the Big Three was self-inflicted that November day, considering that they were in Washington to beg for bailout money. So, the CEOs were sent home with orders to put recovery plans together and return, but not on the wings of their executive perks.
Now, almost nine months later, the worm has turned. Seems Rep. Sherman and many of his finger-wagging colleagues voted in favor of purchasing eight new executive jets for Congressional travel (junkets?). That was twice as many as the Air Force requested to replace old aircraft.
When asked for a comment, Sherman had some unnamed staffer tell CNBC that his vote was for the defense appropriation bill, which included the fancy airplanes for Congress. One must suppose he was suddenly and surprisingly camera shy when it came time to dine on his own words. (Also documented in video below.)
As you may know, the Wall Street Journal broke the story on the Congressional bid to expand its own air force, and they have since been pared back to the original four jets requested by the Pentagon.