Friday, June 19, 2015

Why Was Aaron Schock Photographed Frolicking On A Brazilian Beach With Missouri Republican Rep. Jason Smith?


Aaron Schock is unlikely to show up as one of Lindsey Graham's revolving First Ladies. In fact, Lindsey Graham-- the pro-torture manly-man from South Carolina-- isn't going to even get into the Fox debate, let alone ever pick any revolving First Ladies. As for young Aaron... he's probably headed for prison-- and before Lindsey Graham would have been inaugurated if the world turned upside down and he got into the GOP debate and won the nomination and then beat Hillary or Bernie.

You probably read that the Illinois counties that make up Illinois's 18th District, which that Schock misrepresented from 2009 until his resignation on March 31, are demanding that Schock pay for the costs of the special election to replace him, probably a couple hundred grand.
Another Illinois county voted to ask former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock to pay for costs associated with electing his replacement in the 18th District.

The McLean County Board approved sending a letter to the Peoria Republican asking him to pay $200,000 for the July 7 primary and Sept. 10 election, WJBC radio reported. Early voting has already started.

The board noted that Schock's congressional campaign committee had $3.3 million on hand when Schock resigned in March amid questions about his spending, including having his Washington office decorated in the style of the TV show Downton Abbey.

County Board member Mark Johnson said he thinks Schock should repay taxpayers the money being spent to replace him.

"In light of the choices he made and the consequences it has on local government ... (he should) be held responsible for those choices," Johnson said.

A message left for Schock's attorney wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

Tazewell County had already sent Schock a bill for $76,000 to cover its election costs. The district includes more than a dozen full counties and parts of five others.
But that isn't what's going to land Schock in prison. The way he used U.S. government (taxpayer), foreign-government, and campaign funds for his high-flying lifestyle is what's going to put him behind bars. Lynn Sweet's latest Chicago Sun-Times exposé focuses in on a shady trip he organized to Brazil in 2014, a trip the grand jury investigating Schock's misuse of money is very interested in. Voters in southeast Missouri-- between Cape Girardeau, Rolla and Poplar Bluff-- should also be concerned, since their freshman congressman, Jason Smith, seems to have been seduced into the trip by Schock.
In May 2014, then-Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., organized an eight-day trip to Brazil-- paid for by Brazil’s government-- where he conducted official business, and tacked on a visit to a beach resort with Rep. Jason Smith. R- Mo., and three staffers, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

A grand jury in Springfield is investigating how Schock spent taxpayer and government money as well as other travel and business dealings. The criminal investigation is moving forward even though Schock resigned from Congress on March 31.

Details of Schock’s Brazil trip, just one of many international swings he took while in Congress, are just now surfacing because the latest congressional personal financial reports covering 2014 were made public on Friday.

...Photos examined by the Sun-Times show Schock, Smith and Schock staffers Mark Roman and Shea Ledford in Canoa Quebrada, a beach resort town about 100 miles from Fortaleza. Photographer Jonathon Link, who Schock put on his House payroll in September 2014, also was at Canoa Quebrada.

...Smith, one of Schock’s closest friends in Congress, said on his disclosure that the Brazil trip started on May 10 and ended on May 18 and that two days of that were at his own expense.

Unlike other privately paid trips for lawmakers, travel under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act is not subject to extensive disclosure. Smith’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment on the trip.
Another Republican congressman who may have been corrupted by Schock-- and whose participation on the Brazil trip is also being looked into-- is Pat Meehan of Delaware County, PA. Schock's hometown paper noted that "a variety of staffers were also along... including Schock chief of staff Mark Roman, his district office scheduler Shea Ledford and photographer Jonathon Link, who didn’t come onto the Schock office payroll until September. Why a district office scheduler and a photographer were necessary for that trip are, of course, valid questions." 

So far, Schock has reimbursed the U.S. government $122,590, the cost of auto mileage he fudged, the notorious office redecoration and a flight to a Chicago Bears game. There's a lot more that seems to have stuck to his fingers.



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