Clair McCaskill Has A Plane Problem, And It Could Hurt The Democrats

claire mccaskill

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) aeroplane trouble don’t seem to be going away and Dems are justifiably nervous the scandal could ruin any chance they have at holding on to the Show Me State seat in 2012.

Just how bad is the “Air Claire” problem? Here’s a recap:

Earlier this month, Politico reported that McCaskill spent nearly $76,000 of taxpayer money to fly the charter plane, which she owns with her husband and other investors. The story didn’t look like that big of a deal – elected officials often charter planes – until it was revealed that McCaskill used taxpayer dollars to pay for purely political trips.

Then yesterday McCaskill revealed she had failed to disclose more than $237,000 in personal property taxes on the plane. The story made the front page of both the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star today.

Apart from the obvious problems – stealing from taxpayers while not paying taxes – the story also makes McCaskill seem like a hypocrite. As Chris Cilezza points out, McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor, has staked her reputation on transparency and stamping out government excess.

To underscore the point, Politico’s David Cantonese notes that McCaskill slammed a 2004 political opponent for using a private plane. And Ben Smith dug up this fairly damning 2006 campaign ad:

Video below:

h/t Political Wire