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Okla. Spends $84K on Paris Air Show (Oct 05, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - As Oklahoma wrapped up a fiscal year of deep budget cuts, four state officials were sent to the Paris Air Show this summer to promote Oklahoma's aviation industry - and taxpayers covered the $84,000 bill.

A review of receipts obtained by The Associated Press shows that Oklahoma taxpayers paid for $400-a-night rooms at a luxury Paris hotel, daily meal per diems of $188 and air fare of more than $3,000.

Gov. Mary Fallin didn't attend the show, but she defended Oklahoma's participation. She called it a "legitimate investment" because of the state's burgeoning aerospace industry and the associated potential for economic development.

Rep. Mike Reynolds called the trip "nonsense." The Oklahoma City Republican says if aerospace is big in the state, companies representing the industry should've gone, not state employees.

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