Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Governor's employees can't accept lobbyists gifts, but governor can
It has only been a few months since Gov. Matt Blunt's public relations machine bragged about how Blunt was the first governor in Missouri history to ban gifts from lobbyists for any employee of the governor's office.
Apparently, the governor has no problems with accepting the same sort of gifts he has banned for his employees.
Documents posted moments ago on the Missouri Ethics Commission website show the governor accepted an $82 meal from Missouri Chamber of Commerce president and registered lobbyist Daniel Mehan Nov. 20 when Mehan paid Blunt's way to the annual Chamber of Commerce meeting.
This is not the first time this year the governor has accepted gifts from lobbyists.
On Aug. 6, Jeffrey T. Sweet, lobbyist for Boeing, presented the governor with a $295 model of a Boeing C-17 aircraft, according to a disclosure report posted on the Ethics Commission website.
Commission records show lobbyist Mark J. Rhoads, representing the voice of the payday loan industry, Community Financial Services Association of America, bought a $22 lunch for Matt Blunt Jan. 10.
Though Blunt's ethic reforms started in 2006, according to a news release earlier this year, the governor still accepted gifts from lobbyists on six occasions the following year, including a $120 meal from Mel Nicholson, representing SSM Health Care on Aug 21, 2007, and two meals from Mehan on Feb. 15 and Feb. 21, 2007.