Fundraising activity for area legislators slowed down considerably during the first quarter of 2005, according to committee reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, but the local candidates have been spending some money.
Only one state representative, Ron Richard, R-Joplin, reported any contributions and he just received one, $300 from the Missouri Independent Bankers, Liberty.
Meanwhile our area legislators have seen fit to pay out money for parade candy, tuxedo rental, the inaugural festivities for Governor Matt Blunt, numerous conservative organizations, and oddly enough, for a campaign contribution for a candidate for class president at Missouri State University, Springfield.
Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, gave $2,500 to the Conservative Legacy Foundation, another $2,500 to the House Republican Campaign Committee, $300 to the Jasper County Republican Central Committee, $600 to LifeChoices of Joplin, and $200 to Lincoln P. Hough for Class President. Stevenson's money apparently did little good for Hough's campaign. Hough not only lost, but he only received about half as many votes as his opponent.
Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, gave $415.50 to the Governor's Inaugural Committee, $1,000 to the House Republican Campaign Committee, $72.31 for parade candy, and $300 for Citizens for Ryan Silvey. Silvey was the successful candidate for a House vacancy in the 38th District.
Ed Emery, R-Lamar, gave $1,000 to the House Republican Campaign Committee, $400.74 to Dot's Fashions for Tuxedo Rental, then a month later $319.74 to Dot's Fashion for tuxedo purchase; and $245 to the Governor's Inaugural Committee.
Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, gave $185 to the Governor's Inaugural Committee, and $135.75 to the MBNA in Wilmington, Del. MBNA is a banking and credit card company.
Ron Richard, R-Joplin, gave $285 to the 127th District Committee, $210 to the Missouri Association of Republicans, Springfield; $315 to the Governor's Inaugural Committee, $100 to the Newton County Republican Central Committee, and $1,000 to the House Republican Campaign Committee.
Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, spent $74.95 of campaign money to Nubuko's Tux Rental so he would have something to wear to the inauguration, according to the report, $70 for tickets to the Carthage Chamber of Commerce Banquet, $175 to the Republican Organization for Legislative Assistants, and $549 to Ducks Unlimited of Carthage.