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The governor and the airplanes

The local daily sure went to town today on the governor’s use of state planes. While I do wonder about having non-family and non-state employee travel with him, the last thing I am going to be critical of is his attendance at his kids’ school events.

For years now, my daughters’ school activities — including sporting events — have been put on my work calendar and I schedule around them. In addition, asssume I need to schedule a deposition or hearing in Watertown or Yankton but it is not crucial whether it takes place tomorrow, next week, next month or the month after. How is anyone adversely affected if I can arrange to schedule that trip so it doesn’t conflict with an event here in Sioux Falls and I happen to travel to that town the same day my daughter has a volleyball game there?

Granted, I am not an elected official or public servant. At the same time, why would we fault a father for making every effort he can to watch his children grow up. If that means the governor schedules flexible parts of his business or work to better enable him to do so, so be it. I did not gather that taxpayers were footing the bill for any trips that might not have been made at some point.

I remember seeing John Thune at functions at our local elementary and middle schools when he was in the House of Representatives and being impressed that he made that effort. Our children are no longer in the same activities so I do not know if that has continued since his election to the Senate. Still, I don’t recall the Argus ever being concerned about how much of Thune’s return travel to the state coincided with various school events or functions in which his daughters participate.

We ask enough of our elected officials, regardless of political party. Like the rest of us, they only have one chance to see their children grow up. I do not think we should ask them to sacrifice their family more than they do so already by virtue of holding public office.


Just the sound of my little girl laughing
Makes me happy just to be alive

Title cut, Everclear, Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1

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1 comment to The governor and the airplanes

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you. All parents should make every effort to be at their child’s events.

    One of my previous employers made it a high priority for their employees. Yet they wouldn’t send you with the company car, or pay your mileage, or make travel arrangements for you.
    In fact, if you take a government car to something like that, you will be fired.