Jet-Setting Governor Irks Californians

Critics question Schwarzenegger's daily polluting commute
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2008 7:02 AM CST
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger presents his state budget plan during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Californians are complaining about a governor who rarely spends a night in the state capital and dirties the air with almost daily commuter flights on a private jet, reports the Los Angeles Times. Arnold Schwarzenegger spends most nights at the family home in Brentwood in southern California. Critics say spending all that time in the air—some three hours a day—undercuts his tough stance on pollution, and suspect it's hurting his focus on politics in Sacramento.

Aides stressed that Arnie buys pollution credits to offset the Gulfstream's emissions and pointed out that he covers much of the $10,000-an-hour flight costs himself. The high-flying governor said he needs to spend time with his family. "That is extremely important, to be with my kids," said Schwarzenegger, who insisted that commuting doesn't affect his job. "I do my work on the airplane instead of in a hotel room. It is all doable."