Politics

              United States Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., waits on Bruce and Nancy Wilson Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing in Columbia, Mo. McCaskill worked as a waitress while in college to help pay for tuition at the University of Missouri  United States Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., waits on Bruce and Nancy Wilson Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing in Columbia, Mo. McCaskill worked as a waitress while in college to help pay for tuition at the University of Missouri's law school and said she wanted to connect with voters and talk about the issues. A camera crew and a throng of media witnessed the event. (AP Photo/Columbia Daily Tribune, Don Shrubshell)   

Conservative group on reports McCaskill’s husband used Senate Dining Room for business deals: She’s ‘Clairogant!’

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Conservative group Americans for Limited Government (ALG) responded to reports that Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill repeatedly allowed her husband to use the Senate Dining Room to cut business deals by calling McCaskill “Clairogant.”

“Here are the facts – McCaskill’s husband profited by using his exclusive access to the Senate Dining Room where he and his potential clients ate navy bean soup in close proximity to the many other Senators who eat lunch there,” a post on the group’s website reads. “This unique power display caused clients to sign on the bottom line, putting money into Senator McCaskill’s handbag through her husband’s business.  If selling the perks of being a Senator isn’t a crime, then it should be, and this is why Senator McCaskill has earned the nickname – ‘Clairogant.’”

ALG cited a story in The Hill newspaper saying that the “Senate Dining Room is open only to those authorized by the Rules Committee, such as senators, their spouses, children and guests, staffers, Senate officers, foreign dignitaries and senators’ constituents with a letter from their senator.”

Late Thursday, The Daily Caller reported that Craig Woods, a former employee of McCaskill’s husband Joseph Shepard, alleged in an audiotaped statement that Shepard used the U.S. Senate dining room to cut business deals selling tax credits tied to stimulus money. TheDC exclusively obtained that audio recording.

McCaskill’s campaign is countering Woods’ allegations by pointing to what it says is his criminal record. “Craig Woods is not a whistle-blower,” McCaskill spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki said in an email to TheDC on Friday. “He is a convicted felon who has lied repeatedly about his employment history, just like he’s doing now.”

Woods was a longtime high-ranking official in Shepard’s business empire, serving first as chief financial officer and then as vice president and chief underwriter for Missouri Equity Investors LLC and JA Shepard Companies.

According to the McCaskill campaign, Woods pleaded guilty in the 1990s in two different cases of felony larceny and spent time in prison.

The campaign also said Woods lied about his past on his job application and submitted a resume detailing “jobs” he held while he was actually serving time behind bars.

Regardless of Woods’ criminal record, he still worked for McCaskill’s husband for more than a decade in a senior role, handling millions of dollars for the company – and McCaskill’s political attacks on Woods in the wake of his allegations going public appear to be at odds with her outward support for whistle-blowers, including ones with criminal records.

Americans for Limited Government’s comments came via its website Clairogant.com, one of the many projects nationwide the group has launched to educate citizens on what it considers big government liberal lawmakers.

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