Monday, March 02, 2015

Sun-Times: Rep. Aaron Schock Charged Government For Personal Trips

It's always refreshing to check out what's on the pages in the two-newspaper town of Chicago where there's competition to pump out hard-hitting stories instead of the dribble we're fed by most of our daily newspapers in Indiana. The Sun-Times tells us that its reporters' examination of Rep. Aaron Schock's travel records show he used taxpayer money for personal use like attending Chicago Bears football games, and to travel out-of-state to raise money for non-government purposes. Schock is the cake boy darling of the Republican Party, and all of those dirty wealthy donors who finance our political campaigns want to be close to him and more.

Political columnist Lynn Sweet (the one who dared tell her readers Obama's "Dreams From My Father" was a work of fiction) says Schock billed taxpayers on November 16 to fly from Peoria to Chicago to attend a Chicago Bears football game. It was unclear which of his political donors paid for the 6 Bears tickets Schock and his fellow travelers used. Ticket prices range from $106 to $430 according to Sweet. In September, he traveled to New York where all of the billionaire financiers are and spent $3,000 for Global Citizen Festival Concerts where the lineup featured Jaz-Z, No Doubt, The Roots and Carrie Underwood but billed taxpayers for the trip.Together, he bill taxpayers over $20,000 for the two trips. "These new Sun-Times revelations are part of a growing number of questions surrounding Schock’s use of campaign and government funds to support his extravagant jet-set lifestyle," Sweet writes.

Sweet notes that Schock touted his trip to the concert in New York very visibly on social media. "It’s no mystery where Schock was on those days — he was in New York for the Sept. 27 Global Citizen Festival and for a round of national media interviews," Sweet writes. "He was very visible. Thousands of people saw Schock on the festival stage in Central Park, where he introduced India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi." Schock has some association with the nonprofit Global Citizen according to Sweet. He traveled to India last year for an event sponsored by the group. Sweet notes no hotel expenses were listed, which raises questions about who paid for his overnight expenses during the trip.

The Indianapolis Star and the rest of useless media in Indianapolis could have done a bevy stories like this on Mayor Greg Ballard's overseas junkets with his campaign contributors, but they refuse to do it either because they're just lazy or want to keep up his phony aw shucks image.

UPDATE: That didn't take long. Rep. Schock's office announced he reimbursed the government for about $1,200 he billed the government for air travel to the Bears game. That brings the total to more than $41,000 that he has repaid the government for office and travel expenses that have come under media scrutiny.

1 comment:

Eric Morris said...

Don't sell yourself short, Gary. This is a one source news town, and "Advance Indiana" is it.