Sunday, February 01, 2009
Cooper makes the switch from legislator to lobbyist
Add one more legislator to the list of those who cash in on their experience in the General Assembly by becoming a lobbyist immediately after their term expires.
Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, who led all Missouri legislators by accepting $6,683.14 in lobbyists' gifts during 2008, as of Jan. 8, is a registered lobbyist.
A skeptical observer might think Cooper spent most of his final year in the legislature paving the way for his new job, rather than representing his constituents.
Cooper apparently has joined the Giddens Group lobbying firm, since he is now registered to lobby for all of that firm's clients and the firm itself.
Missouri Ethics Commission records show lobbyist Nancy Giddens bought 25 meals for Cooper in 2008, totaling $756.25, with most of that coming on the dime of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, one of Cooper's new clients.
Cooper's other new clients include: AHIP, American Express, City of Grandview, Hallmark Cards, Lilly USA, Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City; Midwest Behavioral Health Management, Missouri Forest Products Association, MIC, Missouri Fuel, Sikeston; Railway Supply Institute, Inc., Washington, D. C.: and Sprint Nextel.
Cooper's final two-year term saw him collecting lobbyists' freebies right and left, including tickets to just about any concert that took place. The final concert Cooper attended thanks to a lobbyist's generosity took place Nov. 8 when Branson lobbyist Jerry Burch, who made the quick jump from the legislature to lobbying after he was beaten by Bubs Hohulin 18 years ago, gave Cooper four tickets to see Daniel O'Donnell in Branson.
In the past couple of years, Cooper has received tickets for Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, and George Jones, among others. Previous Turner Report posts involving Cooper can be found at this link.