Ethics complaint filed against McCaskill over use of private plane

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill is known throughout Washington for her staunch fiscal beliefs, but records revealed by a Political analysis of public records showed McCaskill spent nearly $76,000 of public funds to fly on a charter plane she and her husband co-own with other investors.Politico found that McCaskill flew at least 89 flights chartered by Sunset Cove Associates LLC. After contacting her office, Politico reported that McCaskill said she planned to send a check for more than $88,000 to the Treasury Department to cover the costs for the flights.McCaskill recently introduced legislation that would set new rules for publicly funded foreign trips by members of Congress and their staffs. It would require lawmakers to write detailed travel reports and ensure they flew the cheapest way possible for their flights. The bill would also open up post-travel reports to the public in her most recent attempt at transparency in Congress.The Missouri GOP blasted McCaskill for the oversight, which her office contends broke no laws or Senate ethics standards. The Missouri Republican Party officially filed an ethics complaint against McCaskill on Tuesday. McCaskill said she has not benefited personally at all from the trips, but reimbursed the treasury out of concern that Politico TMs story gave a bad perception of her use of the charter plane.Lloyd Smith, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, said McCaskill simply paid lip service to transparency.

"As a self-described governnment watchdog, Claire McCaskill should know better," Smith said, according to quotes published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.