Thursday, June 01, 2006
Hunter cracks $2,000 barrier in lobbyists' gifts
Steve Hunter is well on his way to retaining his title as the area legislator with the most lobbyists' gifts.
Documents posted today on the Missouri Ethics Commission website indicate the Joplin Republican has received $2,270.83 worth of gifts during the first four months of 2006, including $312.25 in April.
The largest amount, $65 for a meal, was received from April 4 from James Kistler, lobbyist for Associated Industries of Missouri, the same lobbying organization that employs Hunter as a membership recruiter, according to Hunter's House biography.
Hunter also received $88.58 worth of meals on two occasions from Robert Wilson of the Missouri Motor Carriers Association; $50.46 in meals, food and beverage from Richard Wiles of Pfizer, and $31.25 in meals from David Martin of Empire District Electric Company.
Hunter's total is more than that of his fellow Joplin-area legislators, Ron Richard, Marilyn Ruestman, Bryan Stevenson, Ed Emery, and Kevin Wilson combined.
Bryan Stevenson- R-Webb City- Stevenson was a close second to Hunter in April, getting $308.12 worth of gifts, most of it coming from superlobbyist William A. Gamble, whom records indicate was representing the Missouri Beverage Association, when he provided $167.10 in meals, food and beverage to Stevenson on April 14 and $116.02 in travel on April 24. Stevenson has received $815.21 in gifts in 2006.
Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin- Ms. Ruestman has the second lowest amount of gifts, $101.22, for the year, with $33.50 of that coming in April. The largest amount, $19.50, came from a meal paid for by David Martin of Empire District Electric.
Ron Richard, R-Joplin- Richard has received $668.20 in gifts this year, including $105.93 in April. The largest amount, $40.13 for meals, food, and beverage, came from William Ratliff, lobbyist for the Missouri Bankers Association. He also had a $36.39 meal from Chris Liese. It is not clear from the documents on the website which of Liese's clients, Isle of Capri Casinos, Missouri Association of Insurance Agents or Missouri Council of School Administrators, he was representing. On April 1, Richard received a meal worth $26.66 from Liese's lobbying partner, former Representative Gary Burton.
Ed Emery, R-Lamar- Emery has the lowest total of gifts, $94.67 of any Joplin-area legislator, with more than half of that, $48.37, coming in April. The biggest gift, a $19.22 meal was provided by David Smith, lobbyist for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Emery also received $14.65 in meals, food and beverage from Arthur Martinez of Centurytel, and a $14.50 meal from Drue Duncan of Ameren UE.
Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho- Wilson had been on the low end as far as receiving gifts from lobbyists was concerned, but he made up for it somewhat in April. He has received $316.97 in gifts for 2006, with more than two-thirds of it, $228.76 coming in April.
Two lobbyists were responsible for the entire amount, according to the Ethics Commission documents, $181.43 for meals, food, and beverage on April 18 from Chris Liese, whose clients are listed above, and $37.33 for meals, food, and beverage from Robert Wilson of Missouri Motorcarriers Association.