Aaron Schock flew on donors' private planes and billed taxpayers for parties.

The Aaron Schock Lifestyle: Private Planes and Parties, On Donors' and Taxpayers' Dime

The Aaron Schock Lifestyle: Private Planes and Parties, On Donors' and Taxpayers' Dime

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Feb. 24 2015 3:32 PM

The Aaron Schock Lifestyle: Private Planes and Parties, On Donors' and Taxpayers' Dime

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There's no accounting for taste.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock has a taste for the finer things—like a Downton Abbey-themed office and near-constant travel on private jets. But who, exactly, is bankrolling Schock's lavish lifestyle? The AP did some digging and came up with an utterly unsurprising answer—donors and taxpayers:

Schock's House account paid more than $24,000 directly to a Peoria aviation firm for eight flights provided by one of Schock's donor's planes in 2011 and 2012. ... The donor planes include an Italian-made Piaggio twin-engine turboprop owned by Todd Green of Springfield, Illinois, who runs car dealerships in Schock's district with his brother, Jeff. Todd Green told a Springfield newspaper that Jeff — a pilot and campaign contributor — and Schock have been friends for a long time. ... Beyond air travel, Schock spent thousands more on tickets for concerts, car mileage reimbursements — among the highest in Congress — and took his interns to a sold-out Katy Perry concert in Washington last June.
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The report is filled with this kind of stuff: Apparently, a number of Schock's donors are eager to fly him around on their private planes, while Schock himself is happy to charge his taxpayer-funded House account for more humdrum commercial travel. A conservative political action committee called the GOP Generation Y Fund also footed the bill for some of Schock's activities, including festivals, concerts, and a fundraising event at a massage parlor.

Schock is already facing an ethics inquiry following a report that he illegally solicited campaign contributions for another candidate. That investigation is ongoing. Schock's office has declared that it is currently reviewing his expenses and reimbursements. 

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.