Since the election of former-President Obama in 2008, the Democrat Party has lost over 1,000 positions in federal and state legislatures, governorships, and now, the presidency. A Republican-leaning Super PAC is hoping to increase that number even further.
The GOP-aligned Senate Leadership Fund is aggressively targeting Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) in their campaign to ensure an even larger Republican majority in the Senate. According to an ad released by the Super PAC, Sen. Manchin spent over $1 million renovating the West Virginia’s governor’s mansion after he was elected to the position in 2005, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon.
According to the political ad, titled “Manchin’s Mansion,” the former West Virginia governor spent $1 million to completely transform his new residence. Upgrades to the mansion included the installation of a whirlpool spa tub, 12 big screen televisions, and a complete overhaul of the master bedroom including installing a “sit-down steam shower and a walk-in closet.”
Other improvements to the mansion included turning the building’s third floor into a “game room and media center” featuring eight high-definition TVs, with one massive 50-inch flatscreen. At the time of the renovations in 2005, these flat-screen televisions would have cost thousands of dollars.
Two bathrooms, two bedrooms, and a kitchen were also added to the third floor in addition to a full bar and liquor storage area.
A spokesman for Manchin defended the entertainment room, explaining it was business related. “What you have to look at is, can it all be used for entertainment? Yes, but more importantly it can all be used for business,” explained Manchin’s spokesman.
According to the Senate Leadership Fund, Manchin also upgraded the governor’s mansion’s estate by erecting a massive party tent in the backyard. The tent featured seats for 150 people, a hardwood dance floor, five chandeliers, and a red carpet. Manchin’s spokesman described the party tent as “an extension of the mansion.” The tent was completely climate-controlled and included temporary bathrooms. The party tent remained on the property throughout Manchin’s time as governor.
However, according to the West Virginia Ethics Commission, Manchin never received permissions to make alterations to the governor’s mansion.
Some of Manchin’s renovations resulted in changes to the structure of the historic West Virginia mansion. Manchin ordered the demolition of a sunroom to create a doorway, providing easy access from the mansion to the party tent.
While no taxpayer money was spent financing the extravagant tent, it has been reported that Manchin’s annual holiday parties alone cost taxpayers around $70,000 each year.
According to Fox News, since 2008, Democrats have lost 1,048 posts that they once held, including seats in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Now, the Senate Leadership Fund is hoping to continue that trend by targeting Democrat Senators in tightly contested States.
Manchin, it is reported, abused taxpayer funds. Should he return them?
The Super PAC has spent $500,000 on a digital campaign that plans to target Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), in addition to Manchin. The Senate Leadership Fund has constructed websites dedicated to highlighting the greatest vulnerabilities of the incumbent Democrats.
All eyes are on the 2018 midterm elections, which will serve as a sort of referendum on President Trump. If Republicans increase their control of the House or Senate, it will send a clear message to the White House that America supports President Trump’s agenda.