BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- In just a few days, Gov. Deval Patrick is set to depart on yet another trade mission, this time to Panama and Mexico.
In the last six months alone, Patrick and his delegation, which includes cabinet secretaries and other staffers, have spent $162,000 traveling.
He says it's to strengthen the business climate. With more than enough to keep him busy here in Massachusetts, FOX 25 Political Reporter Sharman Sacchetti wondered why he doesn't spend more time in the state.
This will be Patrick's third international trip in the last six months, the seventh of his two terms in office, and taxpayers are footing the bill. In a few days, Patrick is set to leave on his trade mission, despite a long list of troubles at state agencies.
Sacchetti asked him about it during a stop in Pittsfield.
"There's always plenty to do, but governors have to multitask. And one of the things every governor should be doing, and certainly I've been trying to do, is grow opportunity. And that includes building our connections to commercial opportunities around the world," he said.
So why does Patrick have a penchant for overseas travel during his final year in office? Is he looking to secure his next job in the private sector, looking to bolster his portfolio for a potential run for president, or to strengthen the business climate here in Massachusetts, like he has been saying all along? He told FOX 25, he'd like to do even more.
Sacchetti asked the governor why he has been doing so much traveling, if it's not to build up his resume.
"Because it's what I think is necessary to grow opportunity," he said. "It is what I have always believed is necessary to grow opportunity. I have many, many more invitations than I can possibly accept. I wish there was time. So I'm making the very most of the time."
Here's what he's charging taxpayers. In March of 2011, the trade mission to Israel and the UK cost $200,000. In December of 2011, you paid $180,00 for the governor and his delegation to go to Brazil and Chile. In October of last year, they spent $32,000 to go to Canada. And in December of 2013, the trip to Asia came in at $130,000.
What the administration is budgeting for the trip to Panama and Mexico remains unknown. Remember, it's not just the governor who goes on these trips, his cabinet secretaries often go as well, while private business leaders pay their own way.
He leaves for his next trip on March 17.