DCCC needles Schock over 'Downton' office

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is sending thousands of Illinois voters in Republican Rep. Aaron SchockAaron Jon SchockFeds formally drop charges against former Rep. Aaron Schock The Hill's 12:30 Report: Cohen back on the hot seat Prosecutors drop charges against former Rep. Aaron Schock MORE’s district a mailer that highlights the recent controversy over his lavishly decorated office and other spending.

“Congressman Schock’s luxurious Downton Abbey-inspired office may impress royalty, but it’s outrageous that he makes taxpayers pay for him to live like a king,” the mailer says, with text nestled around pictures of Schock’s office and an altered picture of the Congressman sitting on a throne with a crown and scepter.

Schock’s office became a story in itself after a Washington Post reporter chronicled how Schock’s staff had tried to stop him from taking pictures of the ornate office, which included arrangements of pheasant feathers, a mirror adorned with a gold eagle and other bold decorations.

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The article also said that the decorator offered her services for free and that the room had been decorated in the style of the PBS show “Downton Abbey.” Schock has since said he’d pay her for her interior design work.

The story prompted other examinations into Schock’s spending. USA Today found that he used tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on office renovations during his time in office and that he’s one of the most prolific travel spenders in the House of Representatives. 

The Hill reported that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an official complaint against Schock with the Office of Congressional Ethics, asking the office to investigate whether he used campaign funds to help pay for his office renovations. 

Schock pushed back on the initial story during an interview with ABC News, defending the style of his office by saying that he’s “never been an old crusty white guy.” He framed the flap as criticism over his lifestyle — he’s one of the younger members of the House and has a significant presence on social media.

“I'm different. I came to Congress at 27,” Schock told the network.

“When I go take a personal vacation, I don't sit on the beach. I go do active things. And so, I'm also not going to live in a cave. So, when I post an Instagram photo with me and my friends, as Taylor Swift said, 'Haters gonna hate.' "  

The DCCC will have an uphill battle if it hopes the mailers could help make Schock vulnerable in 2016. He won about 75 percent of the vote in each of his past two elections in his Republican-leaning district.