After looking through some financial disclosure forms it obtained from the Conflict of Interest Board, the Times reports how much city money politicians spent last year on international travel. Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz took two trips, whose prices both fell somewhere in the tantalizing gulf between $5,000 and $39,999.
It took him four days in March to spend the first sum, while he enjoyed the “Kingdom of Netherlands.” According to the form, he was a guest at Holland’s “official celebration of their 400 year relationship with New York.” Awkward!
He spent the next bundle during five November days in Izmir, Turkey, where he was doing more wooing than celebrating. According to the form, he spent his time trying “to develop sister-city status.”
There’s no figure attached to Mr. Markowitz’s 2008 trip to Israel. But the intent, apparently, was honorable: “to honor Brooklyn’s connection to Israel and reaffirm our support of its goals, as well as to promote tourism between Israel and Brooklyn—encouraging Israelis to visit Brooklyn just as we encourage Brooklyn travelers of every background to consider experiencing the beauty and rich history of Israel.”
And at least he didn’t misspell the country’s name as “Isreal,” as did City Councilman James Sanders Jr., who also conceded in disclosures that he “may be incorrect with the proper title of the group that paid for the trip.”