New ads take on McCaskill in Missouri
September 13th, 2011
12:52 PM ET
3 years ago

New ads take on McCaskill in Missouri

(CNN) - The independent GOP group American Crossroads put up two billboard ads this week, slamming Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri for a private jet scandal earlier this year.

Posted outside airports in St. Louis and Springfield, the signs read: "Sky-high airfares got you down? Senator Claire McCaskill: Flies in her own jet – and you pay for it!"

In March, McCaskill, a former Missouri state auditor, admitted she failed to pay nearly $300,000 in personal property taxes over the previous four years for the partial ownership she and her husband had in a private plane.

McCaskill, a vocal supporter of reform and transparency in the Senate, described the failure to pay taxes as unintentional and said she would sell the plane.

She also acknowledged that after a three-day trip through Missouri in May 2007, her Senate office improperly used taxpayer dollars for flights to two political events.

When she admitted the transaction, McCaskill said her staff had already repaid the government for the trip. In total, McCaskill reimbursed the government for $88,000 for 89 flights.

With McCaskill up for re-election in 2012, American Crossroads is bringing the issue back to light with the billboards and other ads.

One radio ad features a fake detective investigating McCaskill, using the senator's real voice for answers to his questions.

"I want to be held accountable," McCaskill said.

"I'm sure you will be, ma'am. Taking 80 grand from the federal government for flights on your own jet. It doesn't look good," the detective said. "But that's not why I'm here."

"I don't know what else I can do," McCaskill said in a clip pulled from a town hall meeting with a confrontational audience. "If you want me to go home…"

"That's why I'm here," the detective said.

The ad ends pointing listeners to a website the group created, called "Truth about Claire."

Totaling more than $75,000, the radio ad will run statewide for one week.

– CNN's Ted Barrett, Matt Hoye and Xuan Thai contributed to this report.


Filed under: American Crossroads • Claire McCaskill • Congress • Missouri
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Seems the Democrats just love to attack corporations for using private jets and all the while they are jetting all over creation on private jets. Maybe we just need to outlaw all these evil private jets? Yeah, that's the ticket! The world will be a much better place without all those evil private jets and the corrupt politcians and corporate fat cats they carry.

    September 13, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Former Republican, now an Independent

    I wouldn't call the American Crossroads PAC an independent group, since it is financially supported by big business, foreign businesses, and other wealthy contributors. It is clearly a PAC with an agenda to destroy the middle class and create a poverty wage working class.

    September 13, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Don't be fooled by the ads. They are simply noise. Sen. McCaskill would be wise to not directly respond with an a counter-ad downplaying the charges. She needs to drive home the fact that Republicans are too busy counting tax dollars for more tax counts for their sponsors than they are willing to try to create jobs for the middle class.

    "When was the last time you heard [insert Republican here] speak about a plan to create jobs for the middle class?

    September 13, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Lee

    "Common Sense" Claire...truly a corrupt senator. Her time is up and needs to leave the senate and take up her new position as a Democrat lobbyist. She is an abomination and a liar.

    September 13, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Is anyone in CA or CNN going to say anything about big mouth issa and his story today about some improprieties? Not to mention that, like boner, he likes one drink too many?
    Better yet, there's a newlyndiscovered earth like planet. Let's send all the restated, starting with the quitter, limbaugh, the lodgers to see if the planet can support life form. Then again, scum, like mold, grows anywhere. They will fit right in!!

    September 13, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Chris~Albany, NY

    You folks have to stop calling it an "independent group". Their an independent group all right an independent group of neocons, fascists and reactionists.

    September 13, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. valwayne

    Another milestone for Obama. 2.6 million people in the last year fell into poverty and the poverty rate has reched 15.1%. You have to go back to 1983 to find a higher poverty rate. That was the year before Reagan's reforms took hold giving us a generation of prosperity and lower poverty rates. Less than 3 years of Obama and his extreme left wing borrow and spend policies and that has all been undone. And Sen McCaskill has voted for all of it. Thanks Obama! Thanks Sen McCaskill, thanks a whole heckuva lot!

    September 13, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. gt

    claire has been running as far and as fast as she can from obama...now this ...she better hopes the economy picks up fast or she will be long gone come next election...

    September 13, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Booming in the Sands

    McCaskill is in a tough spot with Obama constantly attacking those horrible corporate jet owners. In my business people use private jets alot and so I feel for the Senator. She has been good for her state but I think if the GOP puts a good candidate up in 2012 she might be using the jet just to do more vacations.

    September 13, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Steve, New York City

    Ah yes – Senator McCaskill was one of those hypocrits, trying to convince the dull-witted that ANYONE who makes over 250K in the financial services industry MUST BE a criminal (even if they have nothing to do with mortgages).

    After all of her nonsense, she evaded taxes and gets around in a private jet? Wow!

    September 13, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. YehOk

    She'll win re-election, people in Missouri aren't stupid and realize she fights for us and that American Crossroads is a front agency for special interest ultra rightwingers. Posted in St. Louis – welcome to the BLUE ZONE.

    September 13, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am beginning to dislike republicans and baggers. The GOP continues to spew huge piles of manure, and the people in the tea party just keep looking for the pony hidden in it.

    September 13, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I have paid in social security for 50 years. It is only a ponzi scheme if republicans change it, and I don't get any money back.

    September 13, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Me

    If you going to go after Senator Claire McCaskill, you're going to have to do a lot better than that

    September 13, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am beginning to dislike republicans as much as teabaggers hate having a black president.

    September 13, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ever notice that republicans talk, the fact checkers have to work overtime?

    September 13, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |