West Virginia's Democratic governor and Senate candidate Joe Manchin has tried to play up the class warfare angle against his Republican opponent John Raese. In one TV ad, the Manchin campaign cropped a picture of of Raese and his wife in front of their Florida mansion and darkened his wife's skin to give her an orange glow.
Well, it turns out Manchin has some expensive tastes of his own. Ben Smith notes that Manchin is "part-owner of a rather nice 54-foot yacht, called the Black Tie.... Manchin flew down to Mobile Alabama on a state plane to pick it up in 2005, and hastily reimbursed the state $5,400 for the flight after the local press called to ask about it."
Apparently Manchin likes to enjoy the good life on land as well as at sea. From the West Virginia Gazette:
A $1 million renovation to the Governor's Mansion will include adding a whirlpool tub, a wet bar and 12 flat-screen televisions to the home, and turning the third floor into a game room and media center.
With the makeover nearly complete, Gov. Joe Manchin and first lady Gayle Manchin can look forward to moving out of a cramped guest bedroom and into the mansion's master bedroom, complete with a sit-down steam shower and a walk-in closet. They'll be able to soak up some sports on a 50-inch television that will be part of the mansion's new media room on the third floor.
The goal of the lavish television equipment, which will include eight high-definition TVs on the mansion's third floor, was to create a place where meetings and high-tech emergency briefings could be held, Manchin officials said. Extras like a game room, the bar and a wine and liquor storage area will allow the space to double as a place to entertain high-profile guests.
When not being entertained by the whirlpool tub, guests were served dinner at tables with $2,000 tablecloths. The Gazette reported in 2008 that $8,164 was spent on "four tablecloths for the state dining room table, specially made for the different lengths of the table."
Renovations were paid for though the Capitol Building Commission, money left over from Manchin's inaugural fund, and a non-profit organization, The Executive Mansion Renovation Fund, that received a lot of money from energy companies and other corporations.