The self-proclaimed most powerful man in the state of Missouri, Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, continued to pile up the lobbyists' gifts during the final month of the 2009 legislative session.
Documents just posted on the Missouri Ethics Commission website show Richard collecting $350.95 in lobbyists' gifts during May...more than twice as much as his fellow Joplin area legislators Ed Emery, R-Lamar, Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, and Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, combined.
The big ticket item was a $100.70 meal paid for by Steve Carroll, lobbyist for the Home Builders Association of Missouri May 11. Richard also received a $53.81 meal from Rodney Gray, Heavy Constructors Association of Greater Kansas City, four meals costing $8.30 apiece from Patricia Strader, Empire District Electric Company and another from Samuel Licklider, Missouri Association of Realtors. The meals from Strader and Licklider came on May 28 with both lobbyists also chipping in $8.30 for meals for Richard's wife, Patti, according to the Ethics Commission documents.
Michael Reid, Missouri School Boards Association, paid for $36.46 meals for Richard and his wife. Mrs. Richard received $53.06 in meals during May, more than Emery, Mrs. Ruestman, and Stevenson combined.
Those three reported only $11.79, with each receiving a meal for that amount from Sarah Topp, Missouri Beverage Association.
Flanigan accepted two meals totaling $63.43, with Gary Burton, Missouri Association of Insurance Agents, paying $39.36.
Wilson's total was $63.51, with a $36.46 meal from Michael Reid, Missouri School Boards Association, and $27.05 from Burton.
For the first five months of 2009, Richard has received $1,481.82 in lobbyists' gifts, followed by Stevenson $1,025.36, Mrs. Ruestman $659.70, Wilson $485.11; Flanigan $454.27, and Emery $231.56.