Five St. Louis senators are among the top 10 on the 2005 Hall of Shame, an honor I present to the 10 senators who received more gifts from lobbyists than their colleagues.
The top 10 featured five Democrats and five Republicans.
The list was topped by Majority Whip David Klindt, a Bethany Republican, whose $7,262.68 in gifts was more than number two Maida Coleman and number three Pat Dougherty, both St. Louis Democrats, combined.
Ms. Coleman, a candidate for state auditor, finished comfortably in the number two position with $3,481.55. Dougherty had $2,701.52.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
4. Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles, $2,523.19
5. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, $2,167.21
6. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia $1,957.26
7. Timothy Green, D-St. Louis, $1,919.70
8. Luann Ridgeway, R-Smithville, $1,795.70
9. John Loudon, R-St. Louis, $1,747.39
10. Harry Kennedy, D-St. Louis $1,705.61
Southwest Missouri senators did not even come close to the top 10. Out of 34 senators, Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, placed 19th, with $1,020.33; Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, was 21st with $906.05; and Norma Champion, R-Springfield, finished 28th with $349.47.
The late Larry Gene Taylor would have finished slightly ahead of Nodler in 21st place. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, would have placed 15th, counting the amount of gifts he received, $1,302.27 as a state representative and as a state senator during the calendar year.
On the Nov. 29 Turner Report, I wrote about some of Sen. Klindt's amazing feats.
On March 15, Klindt accepted gifts of "meals, food and beverage" from five lobbyists: $18.75 from Datra Herzog of the lobbying firm of Herzog & Rhoads; $46.05 from her partner, Mark Rhoads; $76.33 from Mary Strate of the Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association; $46.20 from Richard Wiles of the Missouri Soft Drink Association; $30 from Guy William Black, representing Transcanada Corporation.
During a three-day period when the Senate was not in session, Aug. 16-18, Klindt received more $2,100 in gifts. The spree began Aug. 16 with Klindt receiving $421.77 for meals, food and beverage, $589.56 for travel, another $681.90 for travel, and $21.34 for a gift from William Shoehigh, lobbyist for the Microsoft Corporation, for a total of $1714.57.
In addition to the meal that was paid for by Shoehigh, even with all of that traveling, Klindt managed to have four more meals paid for by lobbyists: $141.27 from David Christian, lobbyist for Kansas City Power & Light; $11.69 from Drue Duncan, Ameren UE, $10 from Black, and another $20 from Black, for a total of five meals, costing $604.73.
On Aug. 17, Klindt had meals, food and beverage from four more lobbyists, totaling $158.06, and on Aug. 18, he had meals, food and beverage from three more lobbyists totaling $64.45.
Klindt, who serves on the House's Energy and Environment Committee also received $157.70 for travel on Sept. 12 from Barry Hart, lobbyist for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives; $60 for entertainment and $37.30 for meals, food and beverage from Drue Duncan of Ameren on Sept. 17, the same day he received an additional $60 for entertainment and $37.30 for meals, food and beverage from Larry Pleus of Ameren.
In October, Klindt picked up $102.47 for entertainment from Steven Bledsoe, lobbyist for Blue Cross Blue Shield and $220 for entertainment from Stephen Knorr of the University of Missouri.
The Missouri Ethics Commission documents also show $315.32 for meals, food and beverage on June 3, split evenly between Duncan and Charles Caisley of the Missouri Energy Development Association.
Ms. Coleman's exploits have been chronicled numerous times in The Turner Report, beginning Nov. 21, when I noted some of the lobbyist gifts the state auditor candidate had received:
"She has received gifts totaling $3,395.55, according to the Ethics Commission documents, including $912 for entertainment (for a total of four occasions) and $977.38 overall from John Bardgett, lobbyist for John Bardgett & Associates.
Other items on Ms. Coleman's list include $200 for entertainment from John Sondag of Southwestern Bell on Feb. 5, $124.27 for meals, food and beverage from Steven Carroll, lobbyist for the St. Louis City School Board, $161.11 for Kent Gaines, lobbyist for the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District, Monsanto, and the Kansas City Chiefs, among others, on March 16, an additional $357.40, including $170 for entertainment and $187.40 for meals, food and beverage from Sondag on April 2, and $235.22 for travel from Richard Doherty, lobbyist for Harrah's Casino on Aug. 23.
Though Gary Nodler comes nowhere near the top 10 on this list, he has found a different method of getting value from lobbyists that does not show up on the lobbyist disclosure forms, which are filed monthly with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
For more information, check the following links:
Jan. 14, 2006 Turner Report
July 16, 2005 Turner Report
Oct. 13, 2005 Turner Report