The Missouri Republican Party today filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee against Claire McCaskill over her use of taxpayer resources for political travel. At issue is McCaskill’s use of her own private plane to fly to Hannibal for the Missouri Democrat Party’s annual gathering—a $1,220 flight that was paid for by taxpayers.A copy of the ethics complaint can be found at this link.
“As a self-described government watchdog, Claire McCaskill should know better than to use taxpayer resources for political travel. McCaskill was in serious violation of Congressional ethics rules for more than 4 years, and the error was only corrected after she was informed of the problem by the press,” said Lloyd Smith, Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party. “Throughout her career, McCaskill has given lip service to transparency—but this scandal demonstrates once and for all that ‘Air Claire’ talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.”
Last Wednesday, Politico reported that McCaskill had billed taxpayers for $76,000 for flights on a private plane that she owned. Insisting that she did nothing wrong, McCaskill nevertheless agreed to reimburse the U.S. Treasury.
However, on Thursday, Politico reported that McCaskill “billed taxpayers for a purely political travel on a private plane co-owned by her family, a violation of Congressional ethics rules that deepens questions around her use of the plane.”
By refusing to come clean about her transgressions until AFTER they were uncovered by the press, McCaskill made it clear that her tough talk on transparency is just an act. She demonstrated that Missourians cannot trust her to be straight forward and honest with them. This raises more questions about McCaskill’s travel arrangements and business ventures:
· Have taxpayers paid any other of McCaskill’s political travel? McCaskill can clear this up by providing a comprehensive list of the date, time, purpose, and passenger list for each of her flights.
· Did McCaskill’s companies—Sunset Cove Associates, LLC (the recipient taxpayer dollars) or Timesaver, LLC (the owner of McCaskill’s aircraft)—make a profit from her travel?
· Why is McCaskill’s multi-million dollar plane registered to Timesaver, LLC, in Delaware? Is McCaskill avoiding Missouri property taxes by registering her plane in a state that is well-known as an on-shore tax shelter?
McCaskill can only answer these questions by opening up the books to her network of shell companies that exist to shield her business dealings from public scrutiny.
As McCaskill herself has previously stated, “There's nothing that irritates Americans more than the fact that some members of Congress think they are entitled to their own set of rules. And it's true - too many people in Washington live in an alternate reality. It's time for that to stop.”
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
GOP files ethics complaint against McCaskill
Sen. Claire McCaskill's private plane scandal continues. From a Missouri GOP news release: