The fallout from Saturday's DWI arrest of Sen. Chuck Graham remains to be seen, but there is one area that is likely to remain untouched...did the senator get in his alleged condition with the help of beverages provided by a lobbyist?
And just as important, was that lobbyist being paid by the taxpayers?
We won't see the October lobbyists' report until Dec. 1, thanks to the protective system Missouri legislators have put in place for themselves, but if past records are any indication, Graham was probably at the MU football game Saturday and if he was there, it is almost certain that some lobbyist was picking up the tab for his tickets, meals, and beverages.
Missouri Ethics Commission records show Graham has garnered nearly $10,000 in lobbyists' gifts since Jan. 1, 2006, and an examination of the 2006 MU football season, shows Graham received gifts of entertainment on four of the seven dates on which MU had home games.
For two of those games, the Sept. 9, 2006, contest against Mississippi, and the Sept. 23, 2006, game with Ohio, the taxpayers picked up the tab since Graham had $40 in entertainment for the first date and $60 for the second paid for by Stephen Knorr, a lobbyist for the university.
At each of two other games, Sept. 30 against Colorado and Oct. 28, against Oklahoma, Graham had $100 in entertainment provided by lobbyist Stephen Millikan, representing Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance.
Graham recorded $6,446.65 in lobbyists' gifts in 2006, and though he is well behind that mark with four months left to be recorded on the Ethics Commission website for 2007, he still has more than $3,300 this year, including the infamous July 31 trip to Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville, for which the casino's lobbyist Chris Liese provided $130 worth of meals, food, and beverage.
That was the night that Sen. Jeff Smith, D-St. Louis, was arrested for gambling with the identification of Rep. Joe Aull, Kansas City, who was also arrested.