The power in the Missouri General Assembly is in southwest Missouri.
At least that's what special interest groups and lobbyists think. Twenty of the 163 legislators in the Missouri House of Representatives accepted more than $1,000 during the 2005 legislative session, according to reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Five of the top 14, including number one Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, come from this corner of the state.
The lobbyist disclosure forms show Hunter at the top with $2,364.80. Other Southwest Missourians making the top 20 were: 6. Mark Wright, R-Springfield; 9. Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City; 13. Ron Richard, R-Joplin; and 14. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon.
The list also includes the late Richard Byrd, R-Kirkwood at number five and House Speaker Rod Jetton- R-Marble Hill at number 11.
Six Democrats made the list, led by Connie Johnson of St. Louis in the number three position.
The top 20 and the amounts they received were:
1. Steve Hunter R-Joplin, $2,364.80
2. Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, $2,266.81
3. Connie Johnson, D-St. Louis $2,047.24
4. Wes Wagner, D-DeSoto, $1,908.78
5. Richard Byrd, R-Kirkwood, $1,686.24
6. Mark Wright, R-Springfield, $1,682.68
7. Bob Behnen, R-Kirksville, $1,669.85
8. Thomas George, D-Florissant, $1,425.97
9. Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, $1,361.51
10. Fred Kratky, D-St. Louis, $1,324.53
11. Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, $1,318.89
12. Ed Wildberger, D-St. Joseph, $1,217.30
13. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, $1,202.34
14. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, $1,199.69
15. Steve Hobbs, R-Mexico, $1,155.12
16. Jim Avery, R-Crestwood, $1,148.95
17. Joe Smith, R-St. Charles, $1,147.06
18. Brian Yates, R-Lee's Summit, $1,108.54
19. Mike Sutherland, R-Warrenton, $1,080.49.
20. Leonard Hughes, D-Kansas City, $1,045.58