Ethics Complaint Filed Against Liberal Senator Claire McCaskill
MO Republicans filed an ethics complaint today against liberal Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for improper use of taxpayer funds. Republicans are calling for an investigation into whether she used taxpayer money for plane rides that were strictly political in nature.
The Politico reported:
Missouri Republicans have filed a complaint against Sen. Claire McCaskill with the Senate Ethics Committee, calling for an investigation into whether the Missouri Democrat improperly used taxpayer funding to cover the cost of at least one airplane trip to a political event.
McCaskill, who is up for reelection in 2012, paid more than $88,000 to the Treasury Department last week following a POLITICO report that she had used taxpayer funds from her Senate office account to repay nearly 90 flights on a private plane that she co-owned with her husband and other investors.
While McCaskill and her aides adamantly denied any ethical violations despite the payment to Treasury, POLITICO later reported that at least one of the flights was purely political in nature.
On Saturday, March 3, 2007, McCaskill flew from St. Louis to Hannibal, Mo., and back, for the local Democratic Party’s annual Hannibal Days. McCaskill billed taxpayers $1,220.44 for the trip, according to public records. McCaskill aides have acknowledged that the event was only political in nature, not an official function for a senator. Congressional ethics rules and federal law bar the use of taxpayer funds to cover the cost of political events.
Lloyd Smith, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, said he had filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee urging the panel to look into the trips.
“The rule is pretty clear. There is a way you can use a private aircraft,” Smith told reporters during a Tuesday conference call. “It’s obvious there’s been thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars going to a private entity. How much does she benefit from that vis-a-vis making money on the aircraft is not something that we know.”
Smith added: “[McCaskill] only sent the money back to the government once the curtain was pulled aside and you can see she used taxpayer dollars for political purposes.”