Aaron Schock, a House Republican from Illinois, has resigned effective March 31 after an investigation into his requests for federal reimbursement uncovered multiple discrepancies, especially concerning his mileage expenses:
Schock billed the federal government and his campaign for logging roughly 170,000 miles on his personal car from January 2010 through July 2014. But when he sold that Chevrolet Tahoe in July 2014, it had roughly 80,000 miles on the odometer, according to public records obtained by POLITICO under Illinois open records laws. The documents, in other words, indicate he was reimbursed for 90,000 miles more than his car was driven.
In an attempt to lighten the blow, Schock has already reimbursed the government some thousands of dollars, and he resigned before any formal charges could be brought. Which means there were probably other things to discover in his record. In fact, it would be quite surprising if the mileage discrepancy were the only evidence of fraud.
Schock had already become quite (in)famous for his lavish lifestyle while a House Rep:
. . . As his prominence grew, Schock adopted an expensive lifestyle — staying in luxury hotels, dining at pricey restaurants, flying on private jets. Mounting questions about how he paid for it eventually caught up with him.
He apparently also spent taxpayer money from his office budget (some of which he later repaid) to turn his office into a Downton Abbey style set piece. You know, because just spending like an aristocrat wasn’t literal enough for him. It’s not comforting that one of the “fresh, young” faces of the Republican party is just another corrupt politician feasting on civil government bloat on the taxpayer’s dime. It’s not really all that surprising either though.
If you think this is an isolated occurrence, or an earmark of the GOP alone, you would be so dead wrong. From Obama’s excessive personal expenses all the way down to the greasy palms of local politicians, the civil government has made it crystal clear—it’s easy to spend someone else’s money. And very few politicians are able or willing to resist the siren call of opulence.
I’m glad Schock resigned. I can only hope, with little optimism, that his replacement will be more “conservative.” But this is the great state of Illinois we’re talking about, and as we know, their track record is a little less than stellar. Cough. Cough.