After KGVO News reported that Governor Bullock took the state plane to Missoula the day of the Paul McCartney Concert in 2014, The Governor's Communication Director Tim Crow said that there were two official economic development related events in Missoula the same day. Now, MTGOP Chairman Jeff Essmann is describing those events as “cocktail parties” and says the public deserves to see Governor Bullock’s work schedule.

“If he was attending a legitimate economic summit, I assume that that would be displayed on his schedule and there would be public reporting about it,” Essman said. “We’ve asked for the first, and I haven’t seen any public reporting on the second.”

Essmann says that they have not seen a schedule, nor been able to see who was on the flight to Missoula the day of the McCartney concert. Even if there were legitimate economic development meetings, Essmann says the state should be reimbursed for at least part of the Governor’s flight costs.

“The rule of thumb in Washington D.C. is, if you’ve got a combined business and personal trip, or campaign trip, you’ve got to reimburse the government at least for the commercial flight at the commercial cost,” Essmann said. “I think the reimbursement rate that he’s followed so far has been woefully inadequate.”

Essmann says the governor should reimburse the state of Montana $1,650 dollars per-hour for the chartered flight to Missoula the day of the McCartney concert. He says the flight to Missoula was not one of the 21 flights for which Bullock has already made repayments after coordinating business trips with campaign events.