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Roll Call Questions Graves Use of Vintage Airplane | Missouri Political News Service

Roll Call Questions Graves Use of Vintage Airplane

December 4th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Constitutional-Tribune Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

From K.C. Prime Buzz:

Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, is raising questions today about Congressman Sam Graves’ use of an airplane owned by a prominent campaign contributor.

Here’s the piece:

Contractor Lends Wings to Graves

By Paul Singer

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) has accepted perhaps thousands of dollars worth of free flight time in a vintage airplane owned by a contracting firm in his district that also is a major source of funds for Graves’ campaigns.

Graves has never reported on House financial disclosure reports that he has been using the firm’s airplane, and in news accounts of his travels, the airplane — which is decorated with a sticker reading “Sam Graves, Pilot” — is described as his.

Ethics experts say Graves’ failure to disclose the flights as a gift may be a violation of House ethics rules. In July 2006, Graves flew the vintage barnstorming airplane — a 1943 Boeing “Super Stearman” — to a hobbyist air show in Oshkosh, Wis., telling organizers he planned to browse the show for parts and techniques for his airplane construction projects back home. During the event, Graves also was scheduled to be part of a panel discussing federal user fees for private pilots.

In April 2007, Graves piloted the plane to an aerial event in Chillicothe, Mo., on the west side of his district, where he “put on a brief air show for the enjoyment of the crowd,” according to the Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune.

Graves spokesman Jason Klindt said the Congressman does not own the plane and does not pay for using it. “He has flown it on occasion to air shows,” Klindt said. “He pays for the gas in it.”Klindt said Graves “logged less than 10 hours in it this past year.” The Stearman “is a plane that is flown by other members of the regional flying club,” Klindt said. “He is one of a handful of people who borrow it … it is no different than borrowing somebody’s car for a few hours.” The cockpit decal bearing Graves’ name is simply a removable sticker that “he puts on every plane he flies.” Read more…


Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune: Airport Busy With Fly-In (8/28/07)



Tags: Decision '08 · Kay Barnes · Rep. Sam Graves

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