The 2006 legislative session was a disappointment, according to an article in today's Kansas City Star.
My favorite part of the article had to be Senate Minority Leader Maida Coleman, D-St. Louis, criticizing the so-called ethics bill, which will allow unlimited campaign contributions.
"This is a feel-good ethics bill and allows them to keep buying elections," the article quotes Ms. Coleman as saying.
In the Nov. 21, 2005, Turner Report I noted Ms. Coleman had received more gifts from lobbyists than all senators except Majority Whip David Klindt, R-Bethany.
She received gifts totaling $3,395.55, according to Missouri 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.
She has taken less in gifts from lobbyists during the first three months of 2006, about $649, but that is still substantially more than many legislators.
Her campaign finance documents also show a number of large donations from these committees that were the target of the ethics bill.
There are people who have credibility criticizing the ethics bill; Ms. Coleman is not one of them.