Rep. Aaron Schock, a prominent young Republican in the middle of an ethics violation inquiry, has been accused of spending taxpayer dollars on private plane rides and concerts for his interns, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The private planes are owned by some of Schock’s wealthiest donors and supporters, causing another headache for the Illinois Republican who is considered a rising star in the GOP due to his youth and his characterization of not being a political insider.
In the AP report, it is alleged Schock “spent more than $40,000 on at least 12 flights on donors’ private planes since mid-2011. Beyond that, Schock spent thousands on concert tickets, and even took his interns to a sold-out Katy Perry concert last June.”
Schock, 33, has seen quite a bit of controversy lately, particularly over funds. Earlier in February, an ethics inquiry was filed against him for allegedly hiring an interior decorator to mimic his office like those seen on the popular television program "Downton Abbey" and then not paying the decorator.
In a personal attack, Anne Weismann, the director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed the ethics claim against the congressman, said, “Perhaps it’s not totally surprising that the same congressman who spent campaign money on P90X workout DVDs wanted to create a more picturesque setting in which to be photographed, but the rules clearly require him to pay for those renovations himself. Again and again, Rep. Schock’s seeming obsession with his image impedes his ability to conduct himself in an ethical manner.”
CREW has targeted Republican members of Congress in the past. For example, CREW board member David Brock was the creator of Media Matters for America, a liberal website that is known for its attacks against Republicans and Fox News anchors. Also, former Montana Senator Conrad Burns, also a Republican, said CREW was “maliciously false” and “partisan hacks” after calling him corrupt a decade ago.
Schock isn't the only politician in trouble for ethics violations. Just last week, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, resigned from his position over allegations that the governor's fiancee was using her position to land lucrative contracts for her green energy business.