Senator Claire McCaskill is staying tight-lipped over a scandal that is engulfing her.
The Senator, who is up for re-election, is on very shaky ground and is refusing to explain how her husband got all that money for his federal subsidies by refusing to disclose his tax returns.
Sen. Claire McCaskill will decide what the public needs to see.
That’s the inescapable conclusion one draws from the Missouri Democrat’s decision not to release her rich husband’s tax returns. Her own returns were unremarkable: McCaskill made the normal $174,000 Senate salary along with a separate $86,000 pension most of which she donated to charity. But the omission of her husband’s records is absolutely inexcusable.
McCaskill and her husband, businessman Joseph Shepard, have only gotten wealthier since she came to Congress. Roll Call ranked her as the 24th richest member of the legislature pegging her net worth at a cool $26.9 million. Some of that cash coincidentally comes from her husband’s investments in federally subsidized housing projects.
According to financial disclosure forms, McCaskill’s husband made between $1,608 and $16,731 on those investments in 2006, the year before she entered the Senate. Fast forward a decade and McCaskill’s husband is somehow making between $365,374 and $1,118,158 from those same federally backed investments. What role did McCaskill play in making those investments? Did McCaskill ever pass along any insider information to her husband? It looks like we will never know and that isn’t just shady. It’s hypocritical. McCaskill plays it both ways when it comes to money.
When McCaskill doesn’t want to be transparent, she makes it seem like she and her husband have separate bank accounts.
“Claire has filed separately from her husband since they met and will not be releasing his return,” a spokesman told the AP on Thursday. “Her family’s finances are fully and properly disclosed on her 61-page personal financial disclosure.”
When McCaskill needs the money though, like she did after she loaned herself $800,000 during her first campaign, she argued the family had joint resources.
“My husband and I are a team,” she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2004. “We are married, and we share everything — assets, children and a house. The money I’ve loaned to my campaign is my money. My family is supportive of my efforts. Some have implied that the assets of my family don’t belong to me. That notion is pretty archaic.’”
Either the McCaskill household changed the way they handle the family finances or McCaskill is trying to hide something. If she and her husband share bank accounts like she argued at first, voters deserve to see everything. The senator can’t play it both ways.