Southwest Missouri senators did not accept many gifts from lobbyists in October, according to documents posted today on the Missouri Ethics Commission website.
Two senators, Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, and Dan Clemons, R-Marshfield, did not accept any gifts, while Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, accepted $40.55.
Sen. Norma Champion, R-Springfield, accepted $129 worth of gifts, with most of that, $94, coming from Jerry Burch, representing the Branson Area Chamber of Commerce, who provided Ms. Champion with tickets to a Shoji concert, according to the Ethics Commission documents.
Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, received $117.95 worth of gifts in October, with $96 of that coming from John Bardgett, in the form of a ticket to a sporting event, according to the document. Nodler rises to the top of the list, when an additional $96 sporting ticket provided to Nodler's son, Justin, is added to the equation. (Ethics Commission reports do not list gifts to legislators' family members or staff on the legislators' reports.) Bardgett's expenditures are not credited to any of his lobbying clients, but to his firm, Bardgett and Associates, a practice used by many lobbyists, which seems designed to prevent those examining the gifts from finding out whose influence the lobbyists are actually spreading. Bardgett's client list includes the Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association and Bank of America.
For the year, Nodler tops southwest Missouri senators with $1,680.27 in gifts. Scott and Clemons have also topped the $1,000 mark with $1,117.85 and $1,012.25, respectively.