Over at Hot Air, Dustin Siggins writes that Andrea and Colin Chisholm “are getting enormous media attention.” Perhaps, and I really hope so. Unfortunately, I found no evidence of any level of attention to the Chisholms, the apparently very rich couple who allegedly engaged in protracted fraud against the welfare systems of Florida and Minnesota for seven years, at several national establishment press outlets.
Here are some of the infuriating details from ABC’s weekend “Good Morning America” show, a rare establishment press exception (bolds are mine):
‘Royal’ Couple Allegedly Claimed Welfare and Food Stamps While Living on $1.2 M Yacht
A Minnesota couple who allegedly claim to be Scottish aristocrats are on the run, accused of claiming public assistance benefits while living on their $1.2 million yacht and driving a $30,000 Lexus.
Andrea Chisholm, 54, and Colin Chisholm III, 62, allegedly collected more than $167,000 in welfare, food stamps and medical assistance across two states over a period of around seven years, according to a complaint filed with a Minnesota State court.
For the past month, Hennepin County Sheriff’s department has been searching for the couple who are still at large, according to a statement issued by the Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman.
“Mr. … sorry. Lord and Lady Chisholm the third, are fraudsters of the first degree,” Freeman said. “These folks ripped off the system.”
The Chisholms began claiming public assistance in Minnesota in 2005 after telling authorities they were living with Andrea’s mother in Minneapolis. Just weeks after the pair applied for assistance, they also bought an 83-foot yacht for $1.2 million in Florida, which they lived on for 28 months, according to the complaint. They were also claiming benefits in Florida at the same time as they were collecting money in Minnesota, the complaint said.
The couple also allegedly failed to report the nearly $3 million they had deposited in various bank accounts “to support their lavish lifestyle,” and concealed that they had lived in luxury lakeside homes in Deepahaven since 2008 when they moved back to Minnesota, the complaint said.
During this time, the pair continued to receive welfare benefits and medical assistance from the state, including the prenatal care Andrea Chisholm received while pregnant in 2006 and 2007, the complaint said.
Appropriate searches at the Associated Press’s national site, the Politico, and the New York Times come up empty. A search on “Chisholms” at Google news, sorted by date, returns about 35 items, which is far from impressive.
On the bright side, and in support of Siggins’s claim noted above, this apparently made for local TV broadcasts story could conceivable reach a significant number of low-information voters despite the aforementioned publications’ lack of attention.
The national establishment press’s sparse interest is not surprising, since they seem to believe that any exposure of significant food stamp, welfare, or health system fraud will reduce the public’s appetite for ever-increasing government spending — and they just can’t countenance that.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.