Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kinder's Office Claims They "Lost" The Records That Totally Prove them Right

Today, Peter Kinder announced that he would be paying back the $35,050 of taxpayer money he spent staying in St. Louis hotels. Or, rather, he would use campaign funds to pay back the money. However, as Jo Mannies notes at the Beacon, this might cause some additional problems:
But using campaign money could set Kinder up for a new round of political headaches. Campaign money is not to be used for personal expenses, and has gotten some state officials in trouble when the Missouri Ethics Commission found them guilty of doing so. (Just ask former state Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, who was accused of using campaign money for personal expenses, such as buying a truck and paying taxes.)

The Missouri Democratic Party filed the ethics complaint that got Davis into hot water and may be about to do the same thing to Kinder as a result of his decision to use campaign money for the $35,000. That's because some of the stays have been linked to personal events, such as attending a wedding.
The fact that Kinder is paying it back sure seems like an admission of guilt. However, he's still claiming that he "will never apologize" and that the whole thing is the result of a "search and destroy mission" by the Post-Dispatch. With chest-thumping bravado like this, Kinder must really have some good evidence that he wasn't using the taxpayer money for personal or political purposes, right?

Actually, it's quite the opposite. It was already pointed out that many of Kinder's trips to St. Louis were accompanied by no explanation whatsoever for why he was in town. And now his office has told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they "lost" the records of what he was doing:
Bill Kenney, Kinder's chief of staff, added that the lieutenant governor's official schedule goes into greater detail and lists more events than do expense reports and invoices. However, Kenney said, the state Office of Administration has lost all records of Kinder's calendars prior to June 2009.
Uh huh. He "lost" them. I think some more investigation is in order.

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