Should a newspaper identify a Senator’s party affiliation?

By Tom Quiner

Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat-Missouri

The Des Moines Register ran a one paragraph story about financial improprieties surrounding Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri.

The Senator voted for Obamacare.

She voted for the President’s stimulus packages.

In other words, she’s a traditional tax and spend Democrat.

When push came to shove, though, she tried to cheat the system.

Ms. McCaskill is a millionaire who owns a private jet. She took $76,000 from her Senate budget to fund the plane, a breach of ethics if she used the plane for political purposes.

She also failed to pay $287,283 in property taxes she owed on the plane.

When she got caught, she quickly sprung into action and paid the bill.

Senator McCaskill claims it was all an oversight. And yet she formed a company in Delaware and registered the plane to that company because they don’t have personal property taxes in Delaware.

She was trying to avoid what her party likes to impose on productive Americans: taxes. Missouri wouldn’t let her get away with it because her jet is hangared in Missouri.

As the former State Auditor for the state of Missouri, Ms. McCaskill surely knew as much.

The Associated Press report on this story did not indicate Senator McCaskill’s party affiliation. They downplayed the story by accepting her breezy explanation for the mess:

“There are people I could blame for this, but I know better. I should have asked the questions.  I shouldn’t have assumed someone was doing it.”

End of story.

If this had been a Republican, would the AP have indicated their party affiliation?

If this had been a Republican who violated Senate ethic rules and tried to avoid paying their taxes, would the AP have let them off the hook so easily?

What do you think?