Drip, drip, drip .
In political circles, that’s not the sound of a leaky faucet. It’s insider lingo for a bad-news story that won’t go away.
One negative story begets another, which leads to a third, and before you know it, a full-blown wave has enveloped the politician.
The classic example: Woodward & Bernstein’s coverage of Watergate. The burglary followed by the discovery that a GOP security aide is among the burglars followed by the news of a $25,000 cashier’s check earmarked for Nixon’s campaign found in the bank account of a Watergate burglar
And on and on it went.
Drip, drip, drip.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, is in the midst of one of those cycles. It’s a place where no self-respecting politician wants to be.
First came the news that the senator had billed taxpayers for the costs of chartered flights on a plane she co-owns with her husband.
Although that practice didn’t break any rules, that story was followed by one about how she had written an $89,000 check to reimburse the government for those flights.
Then came news that one of those flights was for purely political purposes, an apparent violation of Senate rules. A spokeswoman said McCaskill was “embarrassed by this mistake.”
Then came a hastily arranged telephone conference call Monday where she announced that she had discovered her failure to pay $287,000 in personal property taxes for the aircraft.
That was followed by a story Thursday that the total had reached $320,000 with interest, penalties and fees.
It was as ugly a streak as any pol has endured around these parts for a while.
To read the complete column, visit www.kansascity.com.