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Globe trotting Camacho away 255 days in three years

By Therese Hart HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety, August 20, 2009) – Since Governor Felix Camacho took his second term of office in January 2007, he has taken numerous off-island trips, bringing home travel vouchers amounting to US$137,792.73 as of June this year.Gov. Felix Camacho

In three years, the governor was gone for a total of 255 days, accounting for almost quarter of his term. He has traveled on official business to American Samoa, the Philippines, to North Carolina, Taipei, Washington D.C., with many stops in-between.

Lt. Gov. Mike Cruz’s travel expenditures during the same three year period have reached a total of US$39,108.03. The grand total for both government leaders adds up to US$176,900.56.

According to Travel Authorization documents, Camacho spent US$49,051.74 in travel expenses and was off island for 83 days in 2007. Expenses included per diem, air fare, and miscellaneous expenses.

In 2008, Camacho spent US$61,500.65 on travel and was off island for 96 days.

This year, Camacho spent US$27,240.14 in travel costs and was off island for 76 days as of June.

In 2007, Cruz was off island for 19 days, having spent a total of US$22,278.

In 2008, the lieutenant governor spent US$10,526l.28 in travel costs and was off island for 18 days.

As of June this year, Cruz took two trips with total expenditures of US$6,303.02 and was off island for 12 days.

When the governor traveled to Beijing, China for five days in September 2007, the approved travel expenses was US$7,020 and the actual amount of expenditures was US$5,148.

Travel documents indicate that the Guam International Authority was owed US$1,872 for travel expenses by the governor for this trip and was reimbursed by Camacho with a personal check from the First Hawaiian Bank.

Travel documents also showed that GIAA paid out a check to Camacho for US$4,147.00 per diem for nine days.

In June 2008, the governor took a one day trip to Tokyo, Japan and the Guam Visitors Bureau forked out US$1,060,80 for the his per diem.

In 2009, the governor traveled from Taipei to Washington D.C. between May 17 and 22, on a 15-day trip which cost US$6,040.75.

A note on the travel request and authorization indicated the travel was to be fully reimbursed by Office of Economic Adjustment.

In a trip from San Francisco, CA to Charlotte, N.C. on May 7 to 9, GEDA partly paid for governor’s air fare and the balance was not included in the total amount of US$1,177.60.

On this trip, the Guam Bar Association reimbursed the governor for US$87.50 for meals and US$148 for the balance of the governor’s airfare at the American Bar Association National Summit, which the governor attended. The American Bar Association also reimbursed the government US$1,045.64, according to travel records.

On a three-day trip to San Francisco in April, GEDA paid for the governor’s trip for the 2009 Section 30 landfill bond financing. The travel cost was US$2,995.36.

On April 26 and 27, the governor took a one day trip to Saipan. Travel documents did not indicate any costs for this trip and no documents were attached to indicate how this trip was paid.

From July 31 to Aug. 7, 2007, Cruz and his wife, Jennifer, traveled to Houston Texas and Washington, D.C. The cost for his spouse’s ticket was US$2,894. The costs for the lieutenant governor including per diem and air fare was US$4,853.

From Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 in the same year, Cruz and his wife traveled to Koror, Palau for three days. The total cost for both tickets was US$1,590. Total costs for staying at the Palau Pacific Resort was US$1,294 for the couple. On this trip, Cruz was given US$1,473.96 which included per diem.

The lieutenant governor traveled four times off island for a total of 11 days. The total costs for the trips to Manila and Cebu, Washington D.C., Saipan, New Mexico and Los Angeles, CA, was US$10,526.28 including airfare and per diem.

This year, travel documents indicate that Cruz took a three-day trip to Palau in January and a nine-day trip to Washington D.C. in March.

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