Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is demanding that Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) pay back all of the money she billed to taxpayers for a private plane flight she enjoyed to a campaign fundraiser back in 2013.
Landrieu, who is up for a tough re-election this November, violated federal law when she charged her private jet round-trip flight from New Orleans to Lake Charles (400 miles) where she would be attending a campaign fundraiser to the taxpayers, costing them $3,200.
The campaign fundraiser was a $40-per person lunch with hundreds of women. Landrieu took the plan ride the day she took her infamous ride on Air Force One, where she accompanied President Obama. And just after the news broke about Landrieu’s misuse of public money, her spokesman called violation of federal law a “billing mistake.”
Cassidy, however, is not amused.
“Senator Landrieu’s disregard and abuse of taxpayer money is unacceptable and, reportedly, illegal,” Rep. Cassidy said in a statement. “She should return all the taxpayer money she has spent on charter flights, open up her travel logs for further review to ensure there are not more violations, and apologize to American taxpayers immediately.”“Louisiana taxpayers entrusted Senator Landrieu with public dollars,” Cassidy said in a statement. “She has a responsibility to use those dollars legally and to uphold the public trust. … This is her budget and in the words of Harry Truman: ‘the buck stops here.’”
Ironically, the Landrieu campaign did not notice the alleged billing mistake until July 29, 2014 which just so happened to be two days before USA Today reported that Landrieu was one of the most frequent senators charging private jet flights to the taxpayers.
Col. Rob Maness, the long-shot candidate in the 2014 Senate race said the supposed mistake by Landrieu showed her arrogance.
“You wouldn’t think a candidate for United States Senate would have to explicitly pledge to not violate any federal laws but Sen. Mary Landrieu’s illegal use of taxpayer dollars to fund her political fundraising activities reveals a need for candidates to step forward and make a public commitment to hold themselves to the highest possible threshold of accountability. I am updating my ‘Contract with Louisiana’ to unequiovocacly say that ‘I will not violate any federal laws in dispensing my duties as your United States Senator.’
“In recent weeks, a disturbing pattern-of-behavior has been exposed revealing Sen. Mary Landrieu’s constant abuse of taxpayer dollars. I want every Louisianan to know with 100% certainty that I will not act with such carelessness and arrogance.”
Landrieu cost taxpayers $47,000 for her taxpayer-funded private flights, in 2013 alone. And whether or not Landrieu will be held accountable by the Department of Justice for violating federal law is unknown at this time.