Claire McCaskill has more in common with John Kerry than just a work address. Like the 2004 presidential contender, McCaskill turned out to be for an issue she used in that election before she was against it. In this case, though, the issue was the use of a private jet by then-Governor Bob Holden, a Democrat she ousted in the primary, only to lose to Republican Matt Blunt in the general election. Politico has the story — and the ads:
My colleague Dave Catanese reported last week that Senator Claire McCaskill, seven years before coming under fire for her use, and government reimbursement, of a private jet, ran a tough and successful campaign against the incumbent Democratic governor whose key points included … attacks on his use of a private jet. …
One ad in the 2004 primary challenge to Governor Bob Holden is a parody of MasterCard’s famous “Priceless” spots: “Bob Holden’s 336 taxpayer funded trips on a private jet — $1,270 per hour,” intones the narrator. “Replacing him with a Democrat who will win in November — priceless.”
Another ad features a mocking animation of the jet, while a third shows it amid other lurid “perks” she suggests she’ll sweep away when she takes office.
The ads are pretty effective, although the second one is probably more so because of the variety of issues it hits with Holden. Undoubtedly, they helped to get Missouri voters to think Republican in the fall of 2004. And McCaskill probably has them thinking Republican for the fall of 2012 all over again on the same issue.
The most ironic part of the second ad may not be the reference to the 300+ jet trips Holden took, but the slam on increased property taxes in Missouri under Holden’s term. Those are the taxes that McCaskill didn’t pay, along with the reimbursements she took from her Senate expense funds to pay for the trips on the airplane owned by her and her husband.
McCaskill knocked Holden out of the primary with this issue in 2004. I’ll bet McCaskill doesn’t even get into the primary thanks to the same issue in 2012.
Update: Missouri voters can’t blame the RNC for being taken by surprise by McCaskill’s tax evasion: