Video: McCaskill Holds High Dollar NYC Fundraiser, Stonewalls on Tax Scandal

Posted: Mar 22, 2011 2:38 PM
It's been a turbulent patch for Sen. Claire McCaskill: The Missouri Democrat has seen a Senate ethics complaint filed against her over the practice of billing purely political travel to taxpayers, she's admitted to failing to pay $287,273 in property taxes on her private jet (by "mistake," of course), and now Big Government has dug up a few additional tax-related misadventures from her past. 

McCaskill says these developments are terribly "embarrassing" and make her "sick to her stomach."  Not too sick, it seems, for a quick jaunt to Manhattan's Upper East Side for a cozy political fundraiser with major Democratic donors:

Missouri Sen. Claire set to hold a fundraiser in New York City on March 22, hosted by longtime Obama supporter Sarah Kovner, former Hillary Clinton raiser Sally Minard and prominent donor Anne Hess.

According to the invitation, obtained by POLITICO's Maggie Haberman, the event is a breakfast fundraiser, and it will be held at Minard's Upper East Side home. The host committee list also bears some notable names, among them Obama bundler Jim Torrey, literary agent Barbara Lowenstein, and producer Maggie Lear, daughter of Norman Lear (Editorial note: These are the showbiz Lears, not the founders of Learjet, which would have been priceless).  

Tickets range from $250 to up to $5,000 a plate.

As she emerged from this morning's lucrative breakfast, a GOP operative peppered the self-proclaimed champion of transparency and accountability with uncomfortable questions -- all of which she studiously ignored:

One of the queries McCaskill failed to even acknowledge -- "do you consider yourself a federal employee?" -- is particularly stinging, given the Senator's recent co-sponsorship of a bill that would make it easier to fire government workers for, er, failing to pay their taxes:

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is co-sponsoring a bill with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) which would demand that federal employees keep up-to-date on their federal taxes or risk being issued a pink slip.

McCaskill said in a press release: "All federal employees, not just IRS employees, should be held accountable for failure to pay their federal taxes. This legislation is just common sense."

In all fairness, stonewalling might be McCaskill's most effective self-defense posture at this point, considering how her own words are coming back to haunt her at every turn:

"We have paid every dime of our taxes."

Who's up for a retirement party?