ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–It’s an election year and your favorite candidates are swinging through town to tell you how hard they’re working — and also raising money along the way.
Senator Claire McCaskill stopped here last week to rail against big oil and multimillionaires as part of her “fairness tour,” a trip that also included a fundraiser for her re-election in Columbia.
“Presidents do it, candidates for the Senate and the House,” said UMSL Political Science Professor Dave Robertson, “I think it’s pretty normal for candidates who are also incumbents to walk a fine line.”
The Missouri Democratic Party says McCaskill traveled in her own personal vehicle (a Ford), and will not be billing her Senate office for the trip. Does that keep the trip above reproach?
“For me it does,” Robertson said, “For other people, they’re going to raise questions. But, you know, this gets so tied up in partisan divisions.”
Taking a swing at McCaskill, the conservative political group “American Crossroads” was quick to tweet about her Columbia fundraiser, asking the question: “how is she apportioning travel costs?”
Missouri Democratic Party spokesman Caitlin Legacki responded:
“Missourians are so frustrated with the fact that Republicans are giving oil companies $40 billion in handouts, you really have to wonder if Big Oil is paying Karl Rove to launch baseless attacks in a desperate attempt to change the story. Claire McCaskill is talking about issues that voters care about–high gas prices, economic fairness and leveling the playing field for middle class families–all of which are issues currently being discussed in the Senate. These ridiculous political attacks show just how much the special interests and Big Oil are terrified of Claire McCaskill.”
Legacki also noted that then Senator Jim Talent of Missouri held a Medicare town hall forum — an official event — in April of 2006 on the same night Vice President Dick Cheney hosted a fundraiser for him.
McCaskill’s “fairness tour” was scheduled to stop in St. Louis, Warrenton, Kansas City, Sedalia, Springfield and Columbia.
Apart from the Columbia event, no other fundraisers were planned as part of the trip, a Legacki said.