Rep. Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, is nearing the end of his time in the Missouri House of Representatives, thanks to term limits, but before he goes he is obviously trying to milk lobbyists for tickets to every concert that pops up.
His latest cultural exploit, tickets to see Jimmy Buffett perform, is detailed in a Virginia Young post on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Political Fix:
Rep. Shannon Cooper is among those headed to St. Louis tonight for the sold-out Jimmy Buffet concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
Cooper, R-Clinton, said he got a complimentary room for the night at the nearby Ameristar Casino hotel.
“Of course they got me a room,” he said.
From that sound of that quote, Cooper clearly considers it his right, as an elected official and representative of his district to collect concert freebies, standing in for his constituents who were either unable to buy tickets or who cannot afford them. This is not the first time Cooper has relied on friendly and oh-so-willing lobbyists to provide him with free entertainment.
From the Feb. 10 Turner Report:
By all accounts, the performance given by country music legend George Jones June 10, 2007, at the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City was a rousing success and Rep. Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, had eight tickets to that event, worth $440, courtesy of lobbyist Betsy Morgan.
Though Missouri Ethics Commission documents show that Ms. Morgan's clients who footed the bill for the tickets were the Missouri Beverage Association and the Missouri Railroad Association.
Another of Ms. Morgan's clients, which was not mentioned on the disclosure form, is Ameristar Casinos.
From the Oct. 6, 2007 Turner Report:
May 9 was a big night for freebies for Shannon Cooper. He accepted five Kenny Chesney tickets worth $345 from Stephen Knorr, University of Missouri lobbyist, and $343 in travel and lodging from Ameristar Casinos lobbyist Jorgen Schlemeier, though Schlemeier only attributed a part of the cost to Ameristar, since it was the last day of the legislative session, it appears Cooper did quite a bit of celebrating.
Cooper also received a ticket to a Gordon Lightfoot concert, worth $50 from James R. Moody, representing Carlson Gardner of Springfield.
Cooper's gifts also included Missouri wine, valued at $15, from lobbyist William Shoehigh, representing United Health Care.
Cooper also took a cruise provided by Ameristar Casinos lobbyist Sarah Topp during the National Conference of State Legislators in August.
And though it has nothing to do with concerts, Cooper's connections with Ameristar Casino lobbyists were also explored in the March 31 Turner Report:
Two days before Rep. Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, submitted a bill to remove the loss limits for Missouri casinos, he may have been conducting some in-person research at one of those facilities.
Documents posted minutes ago on the Missouri Ethics Commission website indicate Cooper, whose bill would also limit the opening of new casinos in the state, thus lessening competition for those already here, had $771.17 for "hotel accommodations" paid for by Matthew Clark, lobbyist for Ameristar Hotel and Casino in Kansas City.