Rep. Ron Richard's path to Speaker of the House-in-waiting, a position he earned during a secret ballot victory over Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, today, has been lined with contributions from lobbyists, according to Missouri Ethics Commission documents.
Over the past several months, The Turner Report has detailed how Richard, a Joplin Republican and the former mayor of Joplin, has used his sizable campaign war chest to ingratiate himself with his fellow House members through donations to their campaign committees and to the House Republican Campaign Committee.
Ethics Commission documents from 2006 and 2007 show Richard contributed $52,000 to the House Republican Campaign Committee during the two years, including $25,000 on March 6.
Considering that the first installment, $5,000, came on May 31, 2006, that means the $52,000 was contributed in just a little over eight months.
Richard also contributed $1,000 on Aug. 24 and $21,000, in increments of $10,000, $10,000, and $1,000 on Nov. 1.
As I noted in the May 30 Turner Report, Richard, with new treasurer Nick Myers, a Joplin CPA, collected $48,000 during the first quarter of 2007, $45,000 of which came during a January fundraiser in Jefferson City. Twenty five thousand of that total went to the House campaign committee.
Out of the $48,000 Richard reported receiving in contributions in his April disclosure report, $45,000 came from one fundraiser, at a swank Jefferson City eating establishment:
That amount included more than $11,000 from lobbyists, bundled with money from their clients, $7,500 from seven Missouri Bankers Association regional political action committees, $2,550 from casino interests, and more than $5,300 from out-of-state interests.
Among the lobbyists dropping big bucks in Richard's collection plate were:
Election Day Enterprises- Election Days Enterprises is the political consulting firm owned by lobbyist and former State Representative Jewell Patek, $1,275
Mark Rhoads- Rhoads is the lobbyist for Harrah's Entertainment and Blue Cross Blue Shield, $1,000 from Rhoads, $325 from Blue Cross Blue Shield, $1,275 from Harrah's
Penman & Winton Consulting Group, Inc.- The lobbying firm, which represents AT*t, chipped in with $500
John Bardgett- The man considered by some to be Missouri's most powerful lobbyist kicked in with $1,275, while his client Missouri Cable PAC donated $2,000. The lobbying firm of Bardgett & Associates also contributed $1,275.
Roy Cagle- The lobbyist and former state representative from Joplin, who represents the Missouri Finance Institute, contributed $500.
Harness and Associates- Lobbyist Kathryn Harness' firm, which represents Northport Health Services and the Missouri Beer Wholesalers, among other clients, donated $200
The Giddens and Russell Group- The lobbying firm, which represents Altria. gave $1,000, with Altria adding
Michael Reid- Reid, who represents the Missouri School Boards Association, contributed $500.
Harry Gallagher- Though Gallagher's name was nowhere to be seen on the campaign disclosure form, the lobbying powerhouse delivered three of his clients, the aforementioned Missouri Insurance Coalition, R. J. Reynolds, which contributed $1,000 and $500 from Competitive Enterprise Growth PAC, which is the front of Texas-based beer and liquor distributor Glazer's.
Out of state interests contributing to Richard, in addition to R. J. Reynolds, Competitive Enterprise Growth, and Harrah's were:
Specialty Finance Corporation, Spartanburg, N. C., $1,000; Keith and Cathy Burdick, Jenks, Okla., $500, Brundage Management Company, San Antonio, Texas, $500; Longview Communications, Reston, Va., $100; Community Loans of America, Atlanta, Ga., $500; Comcast, Southfield, Mich., $1,000.
Others giving to Richard included:
MBA (Missouri Bankers Association) Truman Region PAC $1,200; MBA Ozark Region PAC, $1,200; MBA Gateway Region PAC, $1,200; MBA State PAC, $1,200; MBA Mark Twain PAC, $1,200; MBA River Heritage Region PAC $1,200; MBA Capitol Region PAC, $300; Land Trust No. 125 LLC, O'Fallon, $1,250; Dealers Interested in Government, Jefferson City, $200; The Missouri Gaming Company, Riverside, $1,275; Missouri Health Care Association PAC, Jefferson City, $1,275; CNS Corporation, Kansas City, $1,000; Missouri Hospital Association Southwest District PAC, Jefferson City, $650; Missouri Podiatry PAC, Jefferson City, $200; Freeman Physicians Group, Joplin, $1,275; Gary and Suzanne Duncan, Joplin, $1,275; Elect Nodler Committee, Joplin, $500; Christopher and Barbara Doering, Chesterfield, $500; The Swan Group, Columbia, $500; Havenwood LLC, O'Fallon, $1,250; Citizens for Jay Wasson, Nixa, $1,275; Missouri Forest Products PAC, Jefferson City, $300; Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities, $500; MOSFA PAC, Inc., Jefferson City, $500; New Wave Communications, Sikeston, $100; District One Missouri Health Care Association, Jefferson City, $1,275; Missouri Health Care Association PAC, Jefferson City, $1,275; Realtors PAC of Missouri, Columbia, $1,275; Home Building Industry PAC, St. Louis, $1,200; Missouri Chamber PAC, Jefferson City, $1,275; Empire District Electric Company, Joplin, $1,275; Suddenlink Missouri PAC, DePrees, $300; Missouri Optometric PAC, Jefferson City, $1,275; Missouri Association of Insurance Agents, Jefferson City, $1,000
Since term limits will hold Richard to one two-year term as speaker, speculation is that he might aspire to move into the Senate seat that will be vacated by Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, when term limits force him out in 2010.
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