Monday, April 04, 2011

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder(R) Bills Tax Payers for 'Official'Travel Expenses

That might as well be the headline for this Post-Dispatch story. In essence, the PD expends 2,650 words to indirectly tell us that Sen. McCaskill's (D-MO) crap still stinks way worse than Kinder's.
"Since 2006, Kinder has billed the state for an average of more than two months per year at hotels in the St. Louis area.

Even with a discounted government rate, Kinder has charged taxpayers a total of $35,050 for at least 329 nights at hotels in St. Louis and St. Louis County during that time period. That includes 236 nights at the Chase and 42 nights at the downtown Four Seasons, his most frequented hotels.

The price tag doesn't include the cost of meals on those trips or the hotel and meal cost for dozens of trips elsewhere in the state that Kinder has taken at taxpayer expense."
A break down of expenses is listed here.

Near as I can gather from this plodding piece is that Kinder combines official business with glad handing, face time, and fund raising activities.
"The lieutenant governor, with a salary of about $86,600, is the lowest paid of Missouri's statewide elected officials and has the smallest staff. That has led some previous inhabitants of the office to treat the job as a part-time post.

Kinder, who is single, has embraced a full-time role, raising his profile enough that he has wide backing among the GOP to challenge (incumbent Missouri Governor Jay) Nixon(D) in 2012.

Along the way, Kinder has become a regular in St. Louis, sometimes mingling with campaign contributors during his taxpayer-funded visits."
In other words, typical politician sheenannigans. Does it look untoward? Yes. Should a fiscal conservative be more circumspect? Absolutely. But he files transparent accounts and audits have returned clean reports - unlike Sen. McCaskill's (D-MO) recent $360,000+ tax & expense account troubles.
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