Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) took a private jet to Florida in March, violating the spirit of her orders for everyone else not to travel.
Deadline Detroit reported Whitmer “asked a group of wealthy Detroit businessmen to provide a private plane they share” so she could travel to Florida. She later said it was so she could visit her “ailing” father.
“We wondered why she reached out to us instead of booking a private charter,” one of the owners said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “You can’t tell a governor no. Who needs that kind of trouble?”
Reporting for Deadline Detroit, Charlie LeDuff said Whitmer spent four days in Florida, not the two she claimed:
She flew on the businessmen’s Gulfstream G-280 twin jet. It was cold and clear on the morning of March 12 when she lifted off from Lansing and it was warm and sunny when she touched down in West Palm Beach at 9:37 a.m., federal flight records show.
She left West Palm Beach on Monday March 15 at 4:37 p.m. She touched down at 7:01 p.m in Lansing.
LeDuff said the anonymous businessmen “have major dealings in and with the state of Michigan.”
Whitmer’s office refused to provide additional details about the governor’s trip, citing “ongoing security concerns.”
But Deadline Detroit noted Whitmer’s office did not notify Florida law enforcement that she would be in the state, raising doubts about the sincerity of her office’s excuses.
Whitmer previously complained to the Washington Post that criticisms of her apparent hypocrisy were “maddening.”
“It was certainly not spring break,” she said, the Detroit News reported. “I was doing both my job as governor from a distance and being that of a daughter who was helping out a parent who needed a little help.”
According to the Michigan Constitution, the lieutenant governor acts as governor when the sitting governor is “absent from the state.”
The Gulfstream G-280 can accommodate 10 passengers. It is not clear if Whitmer traveled alone or took others with her.
“It’s maddening,” Whitmer said of the criticism and allegations of hypocrisy, adding, “A lot of these same people would accuse me of not having family values if I didn’t show up when a family member needed some help.”
Whitmer’s office said she went to visit her “elderly father who is battling a chronic illness.”
But Great Lakes News spotted her father, Richard Whitmer, back in the state just days later at “a Lansing shopping area and was seen getting into a Tesla and driving away.”