The Missouri Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint against Senator Claire McCaskill over who paid for what flights she’s taken and why.

GOP director Lloyd Smith says Senator McCaskill billed taxpayers for a political flight from St. Louis to Hannibal, where the state Democratic Party gathers each year.

He says the complaint filed with the Senate Ethics Committee pushes for transparency, as well as a deterrent for future violations. McCaskill has since repaid the federal government for the trip to Hannibal as well as some 88 others  she took for official business — an average of about $1,000 per flight.

McCaskill says the ethics complaint is as suprising as the sun coming up every morning, and expects it’s the first of many political attacks to come in the next year and a half. Nonetheless, she says the oversight is an embarrassing one and wishes she or her staff had caught the error before the press did.

McCaskill says she reimbursed the government the $1,220 for the flight to Hannibal, as well as more than $80,000 for official government business trips, because she was being over-cautious about appearances after the story broke.
She and her husband co-own the plane she travels on, bringing to question by the Republican Party how much she profits from leasing her own business to herself for government work.

McCaskill contends that her travel was still considerably less — fewer and far between as well as cheaper — than that of her Republican counterparts.