From the NY Post:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver spent $20,219 in taxpayer money over the past three years jetting from New York City to Albany — but the top-flight pol turned easy 150-mile, one-hour jaunts into epic 500-mile, five-hour odysseys in a greedy quest to rack up frequent-flier miles, according to sources and expense records.
Instead of finding cheap flights that connect directly from New York City to Albany, or taking less-costly trains or automobiles, the second-most powerful man in the state takes long, expensive detours through Philadelphia or Washington, DC.
“He brags about his ability to build up mileage,” said one Albany insider. “Taxpayers are footing the bill to allow Shelly to fly halfway around the world on a mileage program.”
This year alone, the Democratic kingmaker and bill slayer submitted 21 claims for reimbursement, with an average round trip costing $354 — while his colleagues slummed it on $82 round-trip Amtrak trains or stuffed themselves into carpools that cost $210 for gas and tolls.
Yet Silver doesn’t need to fly. The state provides him with a $15,000 Ford Taurus for the three-hour drive from his Lower East Side home to the Capitol. The 69-year-old jet-setter barely uses his taxpayer-gifted 2011 sedan, claiming just $832.78 for gas this year.