As noted previously, Schweich's deputy auditor Harry Otto has already gone out of his way to water down the potential investigation.
Jefferson City, Mo.—State Auditor Tom Schweich attended a fundraiser for Peter Kinder in Chesterfield last night, despite the fact Schweich's office is in the middle of a highly-publicized investigation of Peter Kinder’s inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars.
Schweich’s attendance at the fundraiser further underscores Schweich’s conflict of interest with Peter Kinder and the need for an independent, third party investigation of Kinder’s travel.
“Tom Schweich has made it clear that he’s a politician first, State Auditor second and has compromised any ability for his office to conduct a real investigation as to how much taxpayer money Peter Kinder wasted,” said Caitlin Legacki, Missouri Democratic Party spokeswoman. “Schweich needs to appoint a third-party, independent auditor to conduct an appropriate investigation of how much taxpayer money Peter Kinder wasted to facilitate his lavish lifestyle.”
Three things to look for when Schweich’s office releases their “review” of Peter Kinder’s misuse of tax dollars:
- Since the auditor’s office has said they’d have access to Kinder’s schedules, will those schedules be made public? To date, Kinder has refused to make his schedules available to the press and public.
- Did the auditor’s office examine the costs of the meals of Kinder’s personal and political travels for which he charged taxpayers?
- Did the auditor’s office examine the costs of Kinder's travel to attend personal and political events for which he charged taxpayers?
State Auditor Tom Schweich -- and his staff -- have serious conflicts-of-interest when it comes to Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder.
- Deputy Auditor Harry Otto, a Schweich Appointee, Contributed to Kinder. In 2004, now-Deputy Auditor Harry Otto contributed $200 to Peter Kinder's debt committee. Schweich appointed Otto to the position of Deputy Auditor by in January 2011. Otto has also contributed generously to former Gov. Matt Blunt, State Sen. Brad Lager, and the Missouri GOP. [Missouri Ethics Commission; AP, 1/13/11]
- Kinder Emceed Schweich Fundraiser Before Billing Taxpayers for a Night at the Chase. In 2009, Kinder was the master of ceremonies at a fundraiser for Schweich fundraiser, after which he billed taxpayers for a night at the Chase Park Plaza. [St. Louis Beacon, 10/5/09; Kinder Hotel Receipt]
- Kinder Helped Persuade Schweich Not To Run For Senate & Contributed More Than $200,000 to His Auditor Campaign. The lieutenant governor kicked in a whopping $220,000 for Schweich’s 2010 campaign for state auditor. In fact, according to the Associated Press, “Kinder played a role in persuading Schweich to run for auditor instead of challenging Matt Blunt’s father, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, in a Republican primary for U.S. Senate.” Matt Blunt later forgave a $300,000 loan made to Kinder’s 2008 re-election campaign. [AP, 12/30/10; Kansas City Star, 1/9/2011]
Is there any function of government that modern day Republicans don't reduce to partisan politics?