Highlights of some out-of-state travel, over five years unless otherwise noted.

Chancellor of the University of Maine System

Travel: 166 days, $58,855

Examples: Franco-American Outreach Initiative, Paris; Association of State Colleges and Universities annual meeting, Palm Beach, Fla.

Says John Diamond, spokesman for the system: “A lot of the funding that (former Chancellor Joseph Westphal) got through the federal government was the result of traveling to Washington to meet with the very senior members of the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation – people you normally don’t get access to unless you have somebody who knows them, has credibility with them, (who can) say, ‘You need to see this, you need to learn about this research.’ As a result, I think the number was at least $10 million in research funds (received from the federal government for the University of Maine’s Advanced Engineered Wood Composite research.)”

John Fitzsimmons, president, Maine Community College System

Travel: Zero days, zero dollars

“I’d have to believe there’d be some wonderful return for our system before I would be willing to spend (money) to go out of state…

“I don’t want to sound like we’re being anti-social, I think there are great benefits of being at association meetings, but when you come to implementing programs, you really need one-on-one with a given institution, and I find that it’s easier to research (information), bring in all the data, be sure they’re doing something you’re most interested in and then move on.”

Paul Violette, executive director Maine Turnpike Authority

Travel: 91 days, $43,137 (over three years)

Examples: International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association Finance Conference, Nice, France; 2005 Series Bond Financing Closing, Boston

“It would be inappropriate not to appear at a siting of the rating agency; it wouldn’t be good business. It certainly wouldn’t project the image of the company that’s seeking to borrow the money if it didn’t bother to show up…

“The difference between an AA and an A (rating) may be 25 basis points. If you’re borrowing $50 million, over the life of the bonds you may pay another $1 million of interest.”

Denise Lord, associate commissioner, Department of Corrections

Travel: 18 days, zero dollars (picked up by grants, hosting body)

Examples: Serious & Violent Offender Re-entry Initiative grantee meeting, Virginia; American Probation and Parole Association’s Summer Institute, Philly

“You want to be careful that you’re selecting the right opportunities. … You (also) want to do really good work, you want to give the taxpayers full value for the funds you’re responsible for. And Corrections is a big department. There’s a lot of money we have stewardship for, and we want to be sure that we’re giving people good outcomes for that. Sometimes it’s important to be able to talk to other people who are doing similar work to gain knowledge and the benefits of their experience.”

Gov. John Baldacci

Travel: 78 days, $13,797

Examples: Attend National Press Club and visit Maine soldiers at Walter Reed, Washington D.C.; trade missions to Cuba, Ireland, Japan, France

“If in some small way I can help to save the state money, if I can help to get a waiver on regulations which would mean millions of dollars (in savings), if I can find a person or a contact to work out some language with Real ID and passports versus driver’s licenses…

“As my mother used to say, (when he’d complain that) ‘I don’t like traveling,’ she’d say ‘You ran for it, so you’ve got to do your job to the fullest.'”

Matt Dunlap, secretary of state

Travel: 109 days, $19,728

Examples: National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council, Austin, Texas; Real ID conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico

This spring, Dunlap has simultaneous invites to Montreal for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and to Taiwan to strengthen relations. He may do Montreal.

“These destinations look awesome, don’t they? But I went down (to San Juan) the night before my panel, I spoke in the morning and left that afternoon. I didn’t get to see anything. The San Diego trip was exactly the same thing; I went down the day before, came back the next day, never left the hotel. I thought, ‘Geesh, I should have gone to Sea World, done something,’ but didn’t.”

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