McCaskill: No, I can’t assure voters that I’m doing everything legally

posted at 3:35 pm on March 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Give Claire McCaskill some credit for agreeing to discuss her legal issues on the air with Jamie Allman today in St. Louis. Most politicians facing potential charges for tax evasion would clam up, advisedly, to ensure that they don’t provide contradictory public statements for a potential prosecution. McCaskill has already pledged to pay whatever she owes, so that probably won’t be an issue anyway — and besides, her political career is dead unless she can convince the Show-Me State that she was just incompetent and not crooked.

And McCaskill deserves credit for taking blame at every turn in this interview, and answering all of Allman’s questions rather than attempting to duck them.  McCaskill stumbles while being a little too honest when Allman asks whether McCaskill can assure voters that everything she’s doing now is legal. She also appears to balk at releasing the tax records for the corporations involved:

McCaskill tries to deflect questions about the tax records by claiming that her husband’s success has been a “bright shiny object” for her political opponents, but that’s hardly responsive to the question. She used her husband’s success to the extent that she used the plane, and contributed to it to the extent that she transferred $76,000 from her Senate budget to the company that owns the plane. Had the money come from her campaign coffers rather than her Senate budget, it wouldn’t have been as much of a problem for the reason McCaskill gives regarding Obama’s use of the plane; either campaigns have to pay to use transportation or the companies providing it have to declare an in-kind contribution.

Meanwhile, one Republican opponent has already rolled out a new web ad on the scandal. Sarah Steelman uses McCaskill’s own words to argue that Missouri voters should never vote for McCaskill again. This one will leave a big mark:

McCaskill’s doing just about everything she can for damage control, including reaching out to Missouri talk-show hosts to express her mortification and her regret, but this is a lot of damage to undo. Don’t be surprised if Democrats end up with Robin Carnahan back on the ticket in 2012.


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Democratic Party Platform. Taxes for Ye, but not Me!
Legal Smeagle

Kini on March 25, 2011 at 3:38 PM

No, I can’t assure voters that I’m doing everything legally

As the book, “Three Felonies A Day” points out, it’s likely that each and every one of us has been involved in 3 felonies each day. Mostly because the vast labyrinth of federal and state laws makes all kinds of stuff illegal.

J_Crater on March 25, 2011 at 3:39 PM

the rangel school of tax policy.

rob verdi on March 25, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I don’t know who Steelman is, but she obviously doesn’t play around. Good ad.

ButterflyDragon on March 25, 2011 at 3:40 PM

McCaskill deserves credit for taking blame at every turn in this interview,

it has come to this. Only when faced with a tough uphill climb to reelection will a Democratic senator take blame for anything.

ted c on March 25, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Democrat Ethics 101: It’s only “illegal” if you find out about it.

Roy Rogers on March 25, 2011 at 3:41 PM

McCaskill: No, I can’t assure voters that I’m doing everything legally

Just like I can’t assure you, Claire, that you’ll be reelected.

Doughboy on March 25, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Can I just deem my taxes paid?

WashJeff on March 25, 2011 at 3:43 PM

The sad fact, this gal will probably get re-elected. Bring home the bacon is the d’s slogan for the voters.
L

letget on March 25, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Just like any other felon, “sorry” only comes out because they got caught. She fully intends to repay the taxes – uh, because she got caught – duh. Scum, all of them.

HomeoftheBrave on March 25, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Sarah Steelman best let this ad speak for it’s self and run ad’s that speak about her. That is the only attack ad she needs.

IowaWoman on March 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM

In the meantime – John SlapShot Kerry still has NOT paid his sales tax on his MA registered yacht. The more things change …

wtis02575 on March 25, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I wish all the Carnahans would go away as well.

Laddy on March 25, 2011 at 3:47 PM

The sad fact, this gal will probably get re-elected. Bring home the bacon is the d’s slogan for the voters.
L

letget on March 25, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Nah. If this was a blue state like California or Connecticut, then maybe. But not in Missouri.

Doughboy on March 25, 2011 at 3:47 PM

The average person would already be in cuffs, standing before a judge, and hoping they’d get an affordable bail.

capejasmine on March 25, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Try not paying your taxes and see how far it gets you.

No wonder everyone hates politicians, they’re mostly shiite.

Bishop on March 25, 2011 at 3:49 PM

McCaskill’s not getting re-elected, one way or another.

The only thing not decided yet is whether the Dems “nudge” her to retire in favor of yet another Carnahan spawn or if she gets wiped out on Election Day.

teke184 on March 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

and besides, her political career is dead unless she can convince the Show-Me State that she was just incompetent and not crooked.

Vote for me because I’m merely incompetent!

Worst. political. Class. Ever.

rbj on March 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Claire will probably not get elected. To many of us here in Missouri remember her past tax issues, her siding with Obamacare, and some other issues.

As for Sarah Steelman, I voted for her when she ran against Talent (I think that’s who she ran against). I’ll vote for her again any day.

Torch on March 25, 2011 at 3:51 PM

golly, wish I could move to Missouri so I could vote for McCaskill. /s

kelley in virginia on March 25, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Ed:
Most politicians facing potential charges for tax evasion would clam up, advisedly, to ensure that they don’t provide contradictory public statements for a potential prosecution.

Most politicians will be wised up on their re-electing chance. Oh, but not the Democrats (and RINOs). “Because they done good for the people.”

McCaskill (and Murkey Murk) still want to cling to power desporately.

Sir Napsalot on March 25, 2011 at 4:00 PM

letget on March 25, 2011 at 3:43 PM

She barely won last time by 49k votes, out of 2.13m.

WoosterOh on March 25, 2011 at 4:01 PM

If she had just had the tax lawyers that GE has MO would have been giving her money.

tmitsss on March 25, 2011 at 4:03 PM

McCain won Missouri, by a slim margin,

John McCain GOP 1,445,812 49.4%
Barack Obama Dem 1,442,180 49.3%

WoosterOh on March 25, 2011 at 4:03 PM

She barely won last time by 49k votes, out of 2.13m.

WoosterOh on March 25, 2011 at 4:01 PM

And she only got that once Kansas City and St. Louis started releasing their returns after the entire rest of the state had done so.

Jim Talent only beat Jean Carnahan in 2004 because state election officials went to St. Louis, asked them how many ballots were left to be counted, and told them to stop counting when it was less than the number of votes Talent was leading her by.

If they’d given them longer to create more ballots, Carnahan might have still been in office for another 4 years.

teke184 on March 25, 2011 at 4:05 PM

2002, not 2004.

teke184 on March 25, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Éclair

Schadenfreude on March 25, 2011 at 4:08 PM

She doesn’t deserve any credit.

It’s way past time for politicians and appointees to either be heavily fined or imprisoned for their illegal activities.

I’d also like to see revoking of pension for all politicians and appointees who have been in such flagrant disregard of the law.

Politicians are leaders, and as such they should bear the brunt of justice even more heavily. They are not our rulers–they work for us. They are supposed to be public servants.

It’s also way past time to tell them, You’re fired!

INC on March 25, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Dare I say it? Why not…

Sarah Steelman is a LOT easier on the eyes.

I’m not dead yet!

karl9000 on March 25, 2011 at 4:14 PM

One of the things that con-men and con-women are most transparent about is proving their innocence in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.

Lawrence on March 25, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Steelman did win state wide office for State Treasurer in 2004 with 1,342,049 votes, more than McCaskil had in 2006 when she got 1,055,255, though that was an off election.

Lets put Steelman’s total into perspective. In 2008 with all the Obama hype, the State Treasurer won with 1,394,627.

Steelman though has been out of politics for a while now.

WoosterOh on March 25, 2011 at 4:16 PM

For you non-Missourians, this is not just a – oops, I forgot to pay my tax bill – issue. Here’s how this works:

Every winter Missouri residents/businesses get a piece of paper from their county assessor to obtain information as to personal property owned on January 1 of that year. It will list previously assessed property (such as autos) and ask you to add newly acquired taxable property or delete sold property. One of the listed “do you own this” items reads something along the lines of “Private Aircraft – List year, model and max take-off weight” (I don’t own one so don’t remember exactly how it is set out but that is the gist of it).

Now you have to fill out one of these EVERY year and mail it back by a certain date, signed and acknowledged that under penalty of perjury everything is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. EVERY YEAR! To be 4 years behind on taxes, someone had to fill out that form FOUR TIMES and IGNORE the “do you own a friggin’ airplane, Claire?” section, sign it, mail it back, and then review everything upon receipt of your actual personal tax bill 8 months later for four years in a row.

So this is not just an “I forgot to write the check”. This actually required the effort to ignore the airplane on the personal tax form, sign it under penalty of perjury, mail it back, receive and review a tax bill listing all taxable personal property and then, knowing your bill was $70k short, writing a check a few months before ignoring the airplane on the next personal property tax form. For FOUR YEARS IN A ROW!

Sorry, Claire. Taking responsibility as oops and we are selling the “damn plane” doesn’t cut it. You or your husband or a key person in one of your corporations signed that form knowing for a fact that the plan was omitted and THAT is a far different consequence than just financial in having to pay some penalties and interest.

deepdiver on March 25, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Hy-larious.

And this is the same “Pitchforks” who flogged Jim Holden in the 2004 governor’s primary for basically the same scandal.

Can’t see Robin Carnahan running again. Missourians just decided by an overwhelming margin not to send Rachel Maddow’s older sister to the Senate; what would induce MO Dem leadership to put her back on the ballot for another flogging — or that she would want that.

Jay Nixon ain’t going anywhere. Who else can the MO Dems run? Chris Coster? Yeah, right…no, McCaskill will run and McCaskill will lose. Hopefully, the MO Repubs put up the [insert out-state county with population under 50,000 here] County Collector so the sting of defeat will be doubly harsh.

Tongueboy on March 25, 2011 at 4:29 PM

McCaskill deserves credit for taking blame at every turn in this interview,

These Dems have racked up about a zillion “credits” by now…there must be some awards gift to be proffered.

betsyz on March 25, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Suggested campaign motto: “Vote Steelman! It’s time Missouri had a hot Senator.”

Hucklebuck on March 25, 2011 at 4:30 PM

what would induce MO Dem leadership to put her back on the ballot for another flogging — or that she would want that.

The state Dems may do it because they think no other candidate can win in what they derisively refer to as “Ashcroft Country”.

The state’s political landscape is a lot like Pennsylvania, where the famous joke is that it’s Pittsburgh on one side, Philly on the other, and Alabama in between.

teke184 on March 25, 2011 at 4:32 PM

You know, I wouldn’t want to be alone in a room with a ventriloquist’s dummy with that face.

PersonFromPorlock on March 25, 2011 at 4:35 PM

WOW, another female Conservative with Malkins.

Stay away from John Cornyn, who might say “Tone it down and play nice” when Missouri Mommy cries to him behind the scenes.

Marcus on March 25, 2011 at 4:35 PM

McCaskill: No, I can’t assure voters that I’m doing everything legally

Or constitutionally.

UltimateBob on March 25, 2011 at 4:41 PM

You know, I wouldn’t want to be alone in a room with a ventriloquist’s dummy with that face.

PersonFromPorlock on March 25, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Thanks a lot, pal. Now I’m going to have nightmares for a month, thinking about that.

UltimateBob on March 25, 2011 at 4:43 PM

She’s doing what any endangered politician would do if they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar . . . she’s crying a lot and taking blame for everything including the great depression. If they fall for this phony act then the voters deserve exactly what they get. There’s this crazy idea among politicians that if you screw up like Hogan’s goat all you must do is whine, cry and say you’re sorry and all will be forgiven . . . that’s a lot of nonsense so don’t fall for it.

rplat on March 25, 2011 at 4:46 PM

rplat on March 25, 2011 at 4:46 PM

She didn’t get caught with her hand in the cookie jar. She ate all the cookies AND the jar. Just look at her and tell me she’s not full of cookies.

Key West Reader on March 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

If they fall for this phony act then the voters deserve exactly what they get.

If it were her first time doing something this stupid, she MIGHT get a pass.

However, this is the same woman who got all butthurt at a Town Hall meeting, asking if people trusted her to do the right thing on ObamaCare, and got a resounding “NO!” in response. And they were right.

teke184 on March 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Democrat ethics 101.a……..you public peasants better dang well know every one of the laws we have on you….doesnt matter if us Ruling Class Elite do or not.

sbark on March 25, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Don’t be surprised if Democrats end up with Robin Carnahan back on the ticket in 2012.

Ain’t gonna happen. Mccaskil is well liked in Missouri and Carnahan is a prune face. Everybody knows Carnahan’s crooked.

Sarah Steelman is a hard charging conservative and probably the most conservative of people mentioned as running for the senate seat.

Vince on March 25, 2011 at 5:02 PM

She should just come out and say “What’s all the fuss about? Don’t you know that Democrats DON’T pay taxes? Taxes are for the little people!”

GarandFan on March 25, 2011 at 5:04 PM

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……. WTF

roflmao

donabernathy on March 25, 2011 at 5:05 PM

She didn’t get caught with her hand in the cookie jar. She ate all the cookies AND the jar. Just look at her and tell me she’s not full of cookies.

Key West Reader on March 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

She’s definitely full of something.

Ward Cleaver on March 25, 2011 at 5:23 PM

McCaskill has already pledged to pay whatever she owes, so that probably won’t be an issue anyway — and besides, her political career is dead unless she can convince the Show-Me State that she was just incompetent and not crooked.

I vote for incompetent and crooked.

Ward Cleaver on March 25, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Whoa, conservative *and* a hottie – Conservative Women rock the house!

Midas on March 25, 2011 at 5:26 PM

That’s a really good ad.

ladyingray on March 25, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Fortunately, this is a simple matter. It is either a lack of simple integrity, or it is that the matter between her ears is too simple.

Star20 on March 25, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Whoa, conservative *and* a hottie – Conservative Women rock the house!

Midas on March 25, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Not bad for 52.

SKYFOX on March 25, 2011 at 6:27 PM

J_Crater on March 25, 2011 at 3:39 PM

“Three Felonies A Day” should be required reading. Then maybe people would begin to understand the vast labyrinth of federal and state laws makes all kinds of stuff illegal and why Fedzilla needs to be SERIOUSLY reduced.

oldleprechaun on March 25, 2011 at 7:08 PM

McCaskill was caught
In a trap she helped to build.
So no sympathy.

Do you think our betters in Washington would cut you a break if you ran afoul of one of their incomprehensible tax laws? Not bloody likely!

She tried to duck the ethics charge by claiming she already owned the plane hat the taxpayer, in reality, was buying for her on the installment plan. But when she did that, she stuck her head in th noose on the tax evasion.

A hearty “Well played” to whomever set this one up. The old double-whammy is complicated to construct, but devastating.

Haiku Guy on March 25, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Heard the plane was a Pilatus, but didn’t get the model…anybody ever find out?

bernzright777 on March 25, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Not bad for 52.

SKYFOX on March 25, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Wow, very nice!

PatMac on March 25, 2011 at 8:05 PM

This is one of the most effective political ads I have seen in a very long time. I would run this ad every other time I did an ad if I were this politician. I would counterbalance this very effective “hit” ad, with a very positive message, “this is why you want to vote for me” ad. Just rotate them over and over. It will get the job done.

karenhasfreedom on March 25, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I wrote here that Sen. McCaskill is toast & that I wouldn’t be surprised if she announced her retirement.

LFRGary on March 25, 2011 at 9:22 PM

All we need now is Howard Dean to go on MSDNC and proclaim that taxes are voluntary for Democrats, but mandatory for Republicans.

DeathB4Tyranny on March 25, 2011 at 9:33 PM

her political career is dead unless she can convince the Show-Me State that she was just incompetent and not crooked.

New add for McCaskill:

Vote for me because I am incompetent, but not a crook.

rukiddingme on March 25, 2011 at 10:09 PM

AirMcCaskill advertisement “Our seats are cheap since we don’t pay our bills”

David in ATL on March 26, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Timmothy Geithner got a get out of jail free card…

percysunshine on March 26, 2011 at 10:07 AM