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McCaskill amends 2006 campaign finance report

McCaskill amends 2006 campaign finance report

July 21st, 2011 by HENRY C. JACKSON, Associated Press in News

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Claire McCaskill has made some changes to campaign finance reports stemming from her 2006 election victory.

McCaskill filed an amendment to the report attached to her 2006 race that accounts for about $277,000 in additional donations and roughly the same amount in expenditures. The amendment, first reported by the St. Louis Beacon, was filed last week with the Federal Election Commission.

The filing accounts for about 143 contributions to McCaskill's campaign. She raised approximately $11.5 million to defeat former Sen. Jim Talent.

McCaskill's campaign said Wednesday that clearing up the discrepancies was a routine move as she closes her 2006 account. The error came amid a flurry of donations at the end of McCaskill's race and after her top campaign-finance aide died in a July 2006 plane crash, the campaign said.

The revised report also includes four amendments accounting for McCaskill's use of a private plane she owns with her husband. Those amendments include political flights McCaskill took from St. Louis to Kansas City, St. Louis to Chicago, St. Louis to Kansas City to Springfield, Mo., and back to St. Louis. The amendments list the flights as in-kind contributions and are valued at approximately $6,500.

The changes in the report related to McCaskill's plane come after she reimbursed the federal government $88,000 for using taxpayer funds to pay for dozens of flights she took on the plane for official business. McCaskill and her husband, Missouri businessman Joe Shepard, also paid approximately $320,000 in back taxes and other penalties on the plane earlier this year.

Republicans on Wednesday said the extent of McCaskill's revisions to her FEC report was unusual.

"This is not in any way a typical bookkeeping error," said Sean Cairncross, the general counsel for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. "It's atypical and it calls into question the fact whether you can believe what she says."

Caitlin Legacki, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, said McCaskill was simply tidying up her books.

"The process of closing an old campaign account is very routine, but of course the Washington Republican spin machine will try to make it into something it is not," Legacki said.