McCaskill writes big check
March 10th, 2011
01:04 PM ET
12 years ago

McCaskill writes big check

(CNN) - Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill will write a hefty check to the U.S. Treasury Department soon, as payback for using taxpayer money to fly her family's plane around the state.

McCaskill's office confirms that she will repay $88,000 including $76,000 to charter the plane owned by a holding company registered to her husband and $12,000 in pilot fees.

Following a report that first appeared in Politico, McCaskill, who has advocated increased scrutiny for congressional travel, indicated that she will return the money because she doesn't want to give the wrong impression.

In February she introduced a Senate bill that would provide greater transparency to government-paid foreign travel reform by establishing new restrictions including the requirement of pre-and post-foreign travel reports. Though documentation on domestic travel for congressional members is made public, foreign travel is not.

The funds for McCaskill's air travel came from an office account that senators may use on charter flights and other expenses. Her office says that the flights followed Senate rules and were less expensive than other travel options. Congressional members from larger states often use charter planes to travel statewide and reach towns or regions not accessible by commercial flights.

Maria Speiser, press secretary for the first-term senator, said "Sen. McCaskill is interested in three things when it comes to using a charter plane to travel in Missouri: doing it as cheaply as possible, following the letter of the law, and doing it as rarely as possible."

"She understands that the optics of the bigger picture may not seem as cut and dry, so she's more than happy to address that concern as well," she continued.

Speiser also said that the cost of McCaskill's air travel has averaged "a fraction of the cost of chartered air travel in Missouri" when compared to former Sen. Jim Talent or Kit Bond.

The executive director for the Missouri state GOP said "Time after time, Missourians have watched as Claire McCaskill says one thing and does the opposite. She condemned extravagant taxpayer-funded travel by members of Congress-then she billed taxpayers for her own travel on her husband's private plane."

Filed under: Claire McCaskill
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Padraig

    I do not believe how she or any other politician regardless of party affiliation thinks that this is acceptable. The audacity of these politicians is truly amazing. Maybe the next time she runs for office a better candidate within her party can be found.

    March 10, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. NC

    Pay up now so it looks good for re-election time. Get a grip claire. Your chances of being re-elected are just as good as obamas.......NOT VERY GOOD.

    March 10, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Bill in STL

    LOL ... This is the True Claire that we all know and "Love" in MO. To this date she has not answered my repeated questions about the cost of my healthcare doubling in 12 months when It had not gone up by so much in the last ten years. As long as it is someone elses money she does not care about you one bit! IF the people of Missouri finally figure out what she is all about ..... then she will lose that all expenses paid cushy job in the capitol.

    March 10, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    Gee, what a surprise. Yet another corupt Democrat lining their pockets at the expense of the tax payer! Like Rangel, Waters, and the rest of them I'm sure a slap on the wrist with admonishments not to get caught again will be issued, or even more likely NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. Hopefully the people of Missouri wil vote this loser OUT of office!!!

    March 10, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. Inmyopinion

    Leave it to the rich to think they can do as they please. There are more rich Democrats serving than Republicans serving and because of their larger numbers they have adopted an attitude of creating excuses and distractions thinking we the people will swallow their excuses and this way they avoid apologizing and admitting their bad behavior.

    Notice they are always the first ones to accuse someone else of doing wrong so that we don't pay attention to the wrong they are committing, guilty of but somehow they always get caught and the truth surfaces.

    March 10, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Aaron

    Typical GOP criticism. She'd have to steal billions to compete with the GOP's ransacking of taxpayer money.

    March 10, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    "McCaskill's office confirms that she will repay $88,000 including $76,000 to charter the plane owned by a holding company registered to her husband and $12,000 in pilot fees."

    I'm no expert, but allegedly spending $76,000 to charter a plane owned by a "holding company" registered to HER HUSBAND sounds... well... felonious. But then again, Maxine Waters got bailout $$$ for her husband's bank, so this is kind of small potatoes in comparison. Good 'ole democratic party!

    March 10, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Wes B.

    What the heck is the St. Louis Times-Dispatch?

    It's the Post-Dispatch.

    So McCaskill saved money, was honest and transparent about it. And the GOP still throws mud.

    March 10, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. terry, va

    Just another nail in her political coffin. This, in addition to her support of Obummie's job destroying socialist policies have ensured that she will not get re-elected. The senate will be held by the repubs as well as the house and YES Obummie will lose his job too !!!!!

    March 10, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. w l jones

    I am so hunger for more reporting on wasting tax payer monies!

    March 10, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. New Age Independant

    I think I understand the Democrat plan here. They want to create apathy in voters when it comes to corruption in their party. It happenes so often now, it almost seems like a requirement to belong to the party. It's ironic though that Democrats seem to want to fix everything by raising taxes, yet they are often found to be robbing the taxpayers for their own personal needs. Sure, to be fair Republicans have also been guilty in the past; But Democrats have certainly taken the lead on corruption. Bravo...

    March 10, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Realistic

    So she followed the rule of the law and the story is?

    March 10, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    Just like that – WRITE a BIG check
    Write a BIG CHECK – With your TAX CUT break!!
    Tax Cut Break – Tax Cut Break
    Isn't it GREAT to have a Tax Cut Break!!!

    March 10, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    Make sure that all penalities and interests are included in that paycheck Ms. McCaskill, so you should be paying around $150,000...

    March 10, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Sgt Schultz

    Go many other Senators are honest and transparent enough to document their travel expenses? Of course the rightie propellerheads will get all excited and make a big deal out of nothing in 3, 2, 1...

    March 10, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Sam In Mississippi

    Always a good time to pay it back WHEN YOU GET CAUGHT!

    March 10, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Everyone in Congress, is potentially doing these kinds of things. That's why they WANT to be there!

    March 10, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. James Clay

    She was in trouble with the voters already. McCaskill will not be re-elected in 2012. This episode seals her fate.

    March 10, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. MK

    Of course using her husbands plane also gives question about whether it was competitive or appropriate to award the business to him.

    March 10, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Monster Zero

    And you libtards thought Sara Palin was a crook...

    March 10, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Sue

    Another example of a Democrat's--"Do as I say, not as I do". The tax payers of Missouri need to require proof of how much she spent flying her private plane--so that they get ALL money back. This is the same as Pelosi using a private jet/military jet to fly herself back and forth--as well as take her entire family on vacations. This is the same as Senator John Kerry voting to raise taxes in Massachusetts-then hiding his yacht in another state so that he did not have to pay MA taxes. Or Charlie Rangel being in charge of what taxes all US citizens pay-but skirting the system so that he does not have to pay taxes.

    March 10, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Jeff from Va

    Wow, those Dem's are great, until they get caught, I am sure this will end up being a "Honest Mistake", and would never do it again.

    March 10, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Frank

    I'm sure the unions will use this opportunity to help her out and buy her future votes.

    March 10, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |