August 19, 2015

Missouri Democrats Apparently Forgot All About “Air Claire” McCaskill

Clearly the Missouri Democratic Party is not familiar with the old adage “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Or perhaps they’re getting so panicked that the race in the Show Me State is slipping away that they’re throwing anything and everything at the wall to see what will stick.

Take their latest attack involving air travel. That’s right – they’re actually proactively bringing up the same topic that embroiled the state’s Democratic senator, “Air Claire” McCaskill, for months during her last campaign. From a Politico report in 2012:

Sen. Claire McCaskill has been aggressive in promoting oversight and transparency for congressional travel, introducing a reform bill that cracks down on overseas travel for lawmakers.

But when it comes to her own domestic flights, the Missouri Democrat has enjoyed friendly skies: She’s spent nearly $76,000 in public funds since 2007 to fly on a charter plane she co-owns with her husband and other investors…

…After POLITICO contacted McCaskill’s office Tuesday about this issue, a McCaskill aide said Wednesday that the senator — while stating that the all the flights were legal, in accordance with Senate ethics rules and actually cheaper than other travel options — will send a check worth more than $88,000 to the Treasury Department to cover all costs associated with the flights.

There was more:

As if the fact that she charged taxpayers for her flights around Missouri in a private plane she owns with her husband and several investors wasn’t enough, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has revealed that she hasn’t paid personal property taxes on the plane for four years …The Senator told reporters today she’s sending a check for $287,273 to St. Louis County, where the twin-engine plane she used to hop around Missouri is based.

The scandal didn’t end well for McCaskill’s luxury travel preferences:

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has sold a private plane she co-owns with her husband, months after her use of it for official business and failure to pay back taxes created a political headache. In April, McCaskill said she would “sell the damn plane” after a series of damaging revelations.

So that happened. Between the cost of the flights and the nearly $300,000 in county property taxes McCaskill unlawfully “borrowed” until she got caught, the scandal cost Missouri taxpayers the better part of half a million dollars and nearly cost McCaskill her reelection. Missouri Democrats may want to avoid bringing up the topic of private planes and unethical politicians for a few more election cycles.