via USA Today
Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock, AKA The Dowager Congressman, admitted his little oops; you know, the ‘oops’ where you realize that after you had your private offices redecorated like a PBS Masterpiece Theater set to the tune of $35,000 that you took the money out of the wrong account.
Schock’s office redecoration a la Downton Abbey became big news, huge news, last month when a quick tour, and a quote by his staff, showed that he was inspired by Lord Grantham’s red drawing room in redecorating his offices. And, while that’s all well and good, if you wish to redecorate, any way you want, but then you should pay for it out of your own pocket, Mr. Congressman.
The original story seemed to suggest that decorator Annie Brahler had offered her services for free, and that The Dowager Congressman was only being charged for the objects, except … Schock didn’t tell anyone — even the media after the story broke — that his office had already paid $35,000 out of taxpayer funds.
It wasn’t until after the story broke that Annie Brahler reimbursed the United States Treasury the $35,000 and then Aaron Schock paid her the same amount from his personal account. But what galls me, and what I think makes Aaron Schock a thief and an embezzler and the exact wrong kind of person we need in Congress, is the statement released by his office after he got caught:
"As he said he would, Congressman Schock has fulfilled his commitment to pay for all the renovation costs of the 18th Congressional District office in Washington. Even though office expenses are often covered by the Member Representational Allowance, the Congressman believed it appropriate to pay these costs himself as part of the office review process."
As he said he would? He never said he’d pay for the expenses, and in fact, did not pay for them, until the story broke. Had no one ever seen that he wanted his offices to look like some vision from a Grand Hotel set he never would have paid for the design services himself.
Liar. And, in fact, this is nothing new for the Dowager Congressman. Schock has spent more than $100,000 of his taxpayer-funded accounts on office renovations in prior years, for things like leather furniture, hardwood floors and marble countertops in his district offices back home in Illinois.
People of his district? Are you aware that you’re paying for Aaron to work in luxury? Your dollars are making him feel like a Little Prince in his office? Are you good with that? I wouldn’t be.
The Dowager Congressman is exactly what’s wrong with politics today: Schock believes the rules don’t apply to him, and he can use your money for whatever he wants, until he gets caught, and then he makes a grand gesture of paying it back all by himself.
I’d keep an eye on him, and on what he spends your money on from here on out.