Joseph Shepard earned less than twenty grand from real estate investments in 2006, then his wife was elected to the United States Senate.
Shepard is the husband of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). According to a report by the Kansas City Star, Shepard’s real estate projects have received over $131 million in taxpayer funding since the 2006 election of his wife.
The Star reports, five years into McCaskill’s second term, her husband’s personal earnings from real estate now fall between $365,000 and $1.1 million. While taxpayer money doesn’t go directly to Shepard, the housing projects he invests in are being directly subsidized. Profits from the deals are then distributed to investors, which include Shepard.
The Star reports no evidence that McCaskill played a role in directing taxpayer money to businesses associated with her husband, but the timing of the windfall leaves a curious optic.
Representatives of McCaskill’s campaign say the Senator has nothing to do with her husband’s business ventures. “Her only concern when doing her job in the Senate is what is best for the people of Missouri,” campaign spokeswoman Meira Bernstein told the paper.
But some aren’t buying it.
“While Sen. McCaskill has voted over and over against policies that will help workers and families keep more of their hard-earned money, she and her husband have made millions off of insider deals to secure government contracts and subsidies,” said Club for Growth’s Jeff Roe in a written statement.
McCaskill’s 2017 financial report indicates Shepard was a limited partner in the housing investments, meaning he was solely an investor and received dividend payments in return. Shepard has been involved in real estate investing for some time, but prior to McCaskill’s election to Senate and prior to the government subsidies, Shepard played more of a role in project operations and participated in actively seeking out investment capital.