June 24, 2004


Frequent-Flying Senator Pays After a Challenge by a Rival (MICHAEL SLACKMAN, 6/24/04, NY Times)

Howard Mills does not have much money, or support, or, for that matter, basic name recognition in his bid to unseat United States Senator Charles E. Schumer. But Mr. Mills did manage to land a blow in his long-shot bid this week.

Mr. Mills's staff pored over documents and maps and found that during his years in office, Mr. Schumer chartered private planes 603 times, spending $409,253 of taxpayer money. They asserted that they had caught the senator using tax dollars to fly around the state to raise campaign cash, which would be illegal, and turned their findings over to The New York Times.

Asked for a response to Mr. Mills's claims, Mr. Schumer's staff began its own review, and found that on some 35 occasions, Mr. Schumer had let taxpayers foot the bill for his political and fund-raising trips.

It was, if nothing else, a humbling moment for Mr. Schumer, a Democrat, whose office described the questionable billing as "accounting errors." After having tried to effectively ignore his opponent as irrelevant, Mr. Schumer's staff instead had to announce that the senator's campaign was - because of Mr. Mills's initial inquiries - returning some $20,000 to the federal government.

A longshot paid off in the 1980 landslide.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 24, 2004 12:00 AM

An "accounting error", where have we heard that before?

Posted by: pchuck at June 24, 2004 10:31 AM