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Archive for Saturday, March 30, 2002

Graves takes executive plane to turkey hunt

March 30, 2002

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— Gov. Bill Graves and Wildlife and Parks Secretary Mike Hayden flew at state expense this week to participate in a turkey hunt in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Graves' spokesman Don Brown said he didn't know how much the trip would cost because the paperwork had not been turned in yet.

A one-hour flight on the King Air turboprop costs about $375, according to state officials. Some state lawmakers have been critical of Graves' use of the executive plane, especially in light of the state's record $700 million budget shortfall. Some state agencies have curtailed their employees' out-of-state travel because of the budget crunch.

The group went Monday to Alabama at the invitation of that state's governor, Don Siegelman, to kick off the first "Governor's One-Shot Turkey Hunt."

Siegelman got the idea for the event after attending the annual turkey hunt in El Dorado last year at Graves' invitation.

The group didn't have much luck, according to Alabama Conservation Commissioner Riley Smith.

"It was raining like crazy. We didn't do well at all," Smith said.

Brown said Graves and Hayden were on official state business and returned the next day.

While at the hunt, Brown said, Graves met with producers of several outdoors television shows.

Graves didn't bag a turkey, but he may have persuaded some producers to come to Kansas to film outdoors shows, Brown said.

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