Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, told school counselors attending a May meeting at the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence in Webb City that he supported a proposal to require school districts to start the school year after Labor Day, something that the tourism industry has pushed for years.
As I noted in the June 5 Turner Report, Nodler said school administrators had given him "no credible reason" why schools should start earlier than Labor Day.
While school administrators couldn't provide Nodler with a credible reason, Branson tourism industries found nearly three thousand of them, according to Nodler's quarterly campaign disclosure report filed today with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Out of $4,850 he reported receiving from donors during the past three months, $2,925 came from Branson interests, all of it on June 28, according to the report. Among those contributing were:
-$625 from American Council of Travel, Branson
-$200 from Denver Wood, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Cindy Wood, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Roark Travel Service Network, LLC, Branson
-$200 from Vacation Services of American, Inc., Branson
-$300 from Travel Access, Branson
-$200 from Thomas Wood, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Deborah Wood, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Crystal Hedrick, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Brant Hedrick, Vacation Services of America, Branson
The bill was proposed during the last legislative session by Sen. Jack Goodman, R. Mount Vernon, who described it as a pro-family bill. As I wrote in the March 23 Turner Report:
In a news release, Goodman said the bill "protects families' ability to take summer vacations, be involved in sports and summer camps and take advantage of other important non-classroom learning opportunities."
Goodman continues, adding that this simple maneuver will increase student attendance "as parents are relieved of the burden of choosing between their children's education and these other vital activities."
The one thing Goodman did not mention in the press release is the interest of the tourism industry in the legislation...or the money he has received from Branson interests. As I noted in the same post:
A check of campaign disclosure forms filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission shows Goodman received at least $10,550 from Branson interests during the special election in which he succeeded the late Larry Gene Taylor.
In the disclosure form filed eight days before the election, Goodman received the following contributions:
Starboard Corporation $600 (the maximum at that time), Mark Still, Still Construction, Branson, $150; Kanakuk Camps $600, Raeanne Presley (of the Presley Theater) $150, Peter Herschend (Silver Dollar City) $300; American Council of Travel, $600; Ozark Travel Service Network LLC $600, Market Source LLC $600, Branson Hotline $600, Vacation Services of America, Inc. $600, Travel More Now, $600,Jack Herschend $300.
The October disclosure form shows Goodman receiving $600 from Grandvista LLC (Branson Yacht Club), and an additional $600 from GV 248 LLC at the same address as Grandvista; $600 from Kelly Swanson of What's Up Dock Marina; $600 from HCW LLC and $600 from HCW Development Corporation LLC at the same address.
On the form filed 15 days after his nomination, Goodman received $600 from Silver Dollar City BACPAC and $500 from the What's Up Dock Marina, as well as $150 from Burch and Associates, the lobbying firm run by former State Representative Jerry Burch. The firm's clients include the Branson Area Chamber of Commerce.
According to the Ethics Commission documents, Nodler also received $650 from Anheuser Busch, St. Louis; $325 from the Missouri State Teachers Association Legislative Impact Committee, $650 from the Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Jefferson City; and $300 from LogistiCare Solutions, LLC, College Park, Ga.
He spent $9,920 during the last three months, including maximum $650 contributions to 10 Senate campaigns, including the campaign of Sen. Norma Champion, Springfield, and more than $1,000 for travel.