Flight records show Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards (D.) used the state-owned helicopter reserved solely for official business to take a trip that included a campaign event.
Edwards is currently in the final year of his first term as governor, and his use of the position to earn free media attention for his reelection campaign has been spotlighted by local press. Flight records reveal he has also used his access to the state helicopter to travel to campaign events.
On Sunday Aug. 18, flight records for the state-owned helicopter show it was used for a quick morning flight from Baton Rouge to Monroe. The governor and his wife were scheduled to attend a "Sunday Brunch with the Governor and First Lady" at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
A photo posted from the event by an attendee shows Edwards sitting in front of a sparsely populated dining room next to screens showing both his reelection campaign's logo and its slogan, "People Over Politics."
Edwards mixing campaign activity with official business is nothing new.
The Free Beacon reported earlier this year that Edwards fundraised extensivelyon a trip to Los Angeles that was presented to voters as a business trip intended to attract the film industry to Louisiana. His campaign covered much of the travel cost, but taxpayers ended up footing the bill for the Louisiana State Police to provide security on the trip.
Edwards's ability to use his official position to boost his reelection campaign was characterized as his "secret weapon" earlier this month by the Advocate, which showcased interviews Edwards did on an official trip to visit with Drew Brees at New Orleans Saints training camp.
Edwards pushed back on the characterization, saying he is simply carrying out his normal duties.