Speaker of the House Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, received $6,375 from Lebanon developer Robert Plaster or interests connected to him on Sept. 24, according to his third quarter disclosure report filed Oct. 11 with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
The report indicates the Speaker Jetton Leadership Committee received maximum $1,275 contributions from Plaster, something listed as Plaster Grandchildren Invest, Evergreen National, and Empire Ranch. All have the mailing address, Box 129, Lebanon.
The Springfield News-Leader has had a series of article and editorials exploring how Jetton inserted a provision in a law that went into effect Aug. 28 that will allow Plaster to have an easier time taking property he owns and incorporating it as a village, which will exempt it from such governmental controls as planning and zoning ordinances.
In the Sunday News-Leader, reporter Kathleen O'Dell explored the connection between Jetton and Plaster, both politically and socially:
Public records show multiple Plaster donations -- $19,000 over three years -- to a political campaign committee over which Jetton holds influence, according to a News-Leader data study.
Jetton has also written in his Capitol Report journal about his two invitation-only hunting trips on Plaster's "Empire Ranch" in Laclede County.
At Plaster's largesse on the two trips, Jetton enjoyed, in his own words, "very thick and juicy steaks" and a "huge breakfast."
The residents say such ties indicate the powerful lawmaker got involved in a last-minute law change to benefit Plaster.
Plaster is not the only developer who benefited from special session legislation who contributed the maximum (or in Plaster's case, more than the maximum) to Jetton. The disclosure report also shows that St. Louis developer Paul McKee, who was a major beneficiary of the economic package that zipped through both houses, also contributed the maximum $1,275 to Jetton.