The Columbia Tribune is reporting that an ethics complaint has been filed against lobbyist Andy Blunt, brother of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, regarding a vacation for Missouri legislators to the resort town of Hot Springs, Ark.
If you remember, the trip took place in March during the legislative recess, with a number of lobbyists covering the expenses of nine legislators, including Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, and Speaker of the House Rod Jetton.
Ms. Ruestman told the Springfield News-Leader that the lobbyists only paid for meals and not for a hotel stay.
In the ethics complaint, Missouri Democrats claim that Andy Blunt failed to put any of the expenditures in his monthly report as required by law. Blunt contends that he did not put anything in his report because he didn't make any expenditures.
"I didn't go on the trip, and I didn't pay for the trip," he told the Tribune.
The complaint was made based on a March 30 Tribune story in which House Communications Director Todd Abrajano identified eight lobbyists who paid for meals and rooms for the trip, including Blunt. Abrajano is now claiming that his mentioning Blunt's name might have been a misunderstanding. "If he says he didn't pay for that," Abrajano told the Tribune, that may be true. I don't know. His name was included in the names that were given to me." The article says Abrajano will not tell who gave him the names.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last week that seven lobbyists, everyone on Abrajano's list except Blunt, reporting paying out $4,934 for the vacation.