“Whistle-blower audio: Sen. Claire McCaskill’s husband cut business deals in Senate Dining Room”
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill’s husband used the U.S. Senate Dining Room to cut business deals selling tax credits tied to stimulus money, a whistle-blowing executive inside his company alleged on an audio recording exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller.
“The thing that irritated me about this was he [McCaskill’s husband Joseph Shepard] entertained these outside investors in the Senate Dining Room,” the whistle-blower said. “That’s where he closed the deal.”
The whistle-blower, Craig Woods, was a longtime high-ranking official within Shepard’s business empire, serving first as chief financial officer and then as vice president and chief underwriter for Missouri Equity Investors LLC and JA Shepard Companies.
Ah, but you see, Mr Woods is a twice-convicted felon, notes the outraged McCaskill campaign, so he can’t be trusted — and how dare Todd Akin bring up Mr Woods’ testimony!
Except, well, “Feds paid $40M to firms tied to McCaskill’s spouse:”
Businesses affiliated with the husband of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill have received almost $40 million in federal subsidies for low-income housing developments during her first five years in office, but McCaskill’s campaign said Tuesday that none of that money made it into the family’s personal bank accounts.
McCaskill’s Republican challenger, Rep. Todd Akin, says the federal payments should be a cause for concern among voters. He’s attempting to portray the Democratic senator’s family as a prime beneficiary of government largesse.
“There is a conflict of interest and a breach of trust with the citizens of our state,” Akin said in an interview with The Associated Press.
McCaskill denied that.“The accusation is terribly unfair and distorted,” she told the AP on Tuesday. “They are trying to make it appear that somehow my votes enabled my husband to make money — and that’s just not true.”
The AP reviewed five years’ worth of federal personal financial disclosure statements filed by McCaskill, which list more than 300 “affordable housing” businesses in which her husband, Joseph Shepard, had at least a partial ownership during the time she has been in office. At least one-third of those businesses also appear to be listed as recipients of federal payments in an online government database that tracks spending.
The firms affiliated with Shepard appear to have received about $39 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service or the Department of Housing and Urban Development between 2007 — when McCaskill took office — and the end of 2011. According to McCaskill’s financial reports, Shepard earned an income of between about $400,000 and $2.6 million from those businesses in the years in which they received government payments. Some of those businesses also rent non-subsidized housing units.[...]
McCaskill said the vast majority of the housing subsidy contracts were initiated long before she became a senator, although Shepard invested in some of them after she was elected and others were renewed during her term in office. The subsidies cover the gap between the rent paid by the tenant and the value of the housing unit as determined by the federal government. Were Congress to not fund the subsidies, the federal government would be defaulting on its obligations, McCaskill said.
“If you really boil this down, it is a small fractional interest in a number of housing projects that had ongoing contracts with the federal government that appropriations bills funded,” McCaskill said. “This isn’t like I had some role in some discretionary decision.”
Akin said McCaskill could have abstained from voting on bills that funded agencies involved in low-income housing developments.
But McCaskill then could have been open to accusations that she shunned her congressional duties — an assertion she has made against Akin for missing numerous House votes during his Senate campaign.
“She has to vote for or against appropriation bills — that’s what the citizens of Missouri hire her to do,” said George Connor, head of the political science department at Missouri State University. But he added: “It seems to me that she has influence over federal policy that has directly benefited her husband.”
“There certainly is a legitimate perception of a conflict of interest, but that’s not the same thing as saying there is one,” Connor said.
McCaskill’s campaign said her position is no different than that of lawmakers who are farmers and vote for agriculture bills that include farm aid, or lawmakers who have family members in the military and vote for bills authorizing defense spending. Her campaign suggested it was a greater conflict for Akin to have supported a federal spending earmark for a highway near his suburban St. Louis home — though Akin’s family received no money to construct it.
Akin has campaigned as an opponent of what he describes as an expansive federal government. He said the federal payments to businesses in which McCaskill’s husband has an ownership stake shows McCaskill has “a personal interest in big government — something that benefits herself and her husband.”
I guess what some people’s ideas about what constitutes “legitimate rape” differ from others’.
Perception vs. reality. Perhaps if we made it into a pay-per-view event, people would pay attention to that which they should pay more attention. Too, perhaps had not the GOP establishment and some of its faux-OUTRAGED or bullied acolytes written off Missouri betting on the optics power of the former over the methodical uncovering of the latter, Missouri would have been a guaranteed pickup in the Senate — where now it remains up for grabs, thanks in large part to the Republican opposition to Akin that grew as a result of a fear of being branded dangerous theocons by the left. Who of courts brands them that anyway.
Meanwhile, Tim Kaine, the former Obama DNC head who worked with OFA to bring about protests in Wisconsin, is somehow leading in Virginia, running as a fiscal conservative. Because the people of Virginia are evidently closet meth users. And in Wisconsin, the women who sponsored bills to allow tax payers to withhold money for body armor and medical supplies for in-country US combat soldiers, is leading Tommy Thompson, who for all his faults wouldn’t have supported such a bill — and who will vote to repeal ObamaCare.
It’s not enough to win the Presidency. And yet, my gut feeling is, the GOP establishment is looking to do just that, retain the House (while ridding itself of TEA Party agitators like Bachmann and King and West), and if they can’t gain control of the Senate, work around the edges and tinker with ObamaCare in a bi-partisan way, institutionalizing it as a revenue generator for the kind of statism that Republican technocrats support.
Just so long as we keep down those tax rates.
The rest is just Hobbitry screeching, and frankly, a Senate loss allows them to keep that base riled up for fundraising purposes while simultaneously expanding their own federal power.
Yeah. I’m cynical. And I’m also fed up. But most of all, I hope I’m completely wrong. I guess we’ll see.
– Although I will say this: if the undercurrent of anti-big government I believe I sense manifests itself in voter turnout — and the Obama supporters lose interest in getting out to the polls — it won’t much matter what the GOP establishment tries to orchestrate. They couldn’t hold back the tide of TEA Party / constitutional conservative candidates defeating GOP incumbents in primaries, so I’m not sure their subtle attempts to sabotage some of those candidates in the general election (see, eg., several of the GOP Senators who have actively endorsed Democrats) will work this time.
Again, we’ll see. In a little over two weeks.
(h/t Mark Levin)