When the Kansas City Royals played host to the St. Louis Cardinals June 19-21, Rep. Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, was there for all three games.
During the first game, he plopped himself down in the most expensive seats at Kauffman Stadium, the Crown Seat, described on the Royals' website as a place where a fan can "enjoy a number of benefits including meals, snacks and beverages in the exclusive Crown Club, and in-seat wait-service."
On the Saturday and Sunday of the series, Talboy also showed his dedication to the local Royals, though he did not sit in a Crown Seat.
Or to paraphrase the old Mastercard commercials:
Crown Seat tickets at a Royals-Cardinals game- $250
Dugout Box Seats - $43
Having the same special interests whose legislation you vote on pay for your seats and meals- Priceless
Reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission show lobbyist Madeline Romious, AT&T not only paid for Talboy's Crown Seat ticket, but also for two others, at a cost of $760.
Picking up the $90 tab for the Saturday game was Nancy Giddens, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Finishing off the series, Gregory Gaffke, representing Embarq provided Talboy with $184 worth of tickets.
The three-day total- $1,034
Mike Talboy is racking up lobbyists' gifts at a near-record pace. As I noted in the last post, Talboy tops The Turner Report Hall of Shame for the Missouri House of Representatives with $6,480.61 for the first six months of 2009. That total is nearly $2,500 more than the runner-up, his fellow KC Democrat, Leonard Hughes.
And things have gotten worse since the conclusion of the 2009 legislative session. Between June 3 and June 30, a four-week period, Talboy received $2,314.15 worth of gifts, more than 150 of the 163 members of the House of Representatives have picked up during the entire year.
Add the $1,143.44 on Talboy's ledger during the final two weeks of May after the session ended and he had a total of $3,457.59 in six weeks, more than all but two other representatives had collected for the entire year.
During that time period, Talboy's gifts included:
-$995.86 from Kelly Gillespie, Missouri Biotechnology Association, for travel and lodging for the National Summit on Biotech Diversity in Atlanta, Ga. While he was at the summit, Talboy had two meals paid for by lobbyists- one for $30.39 by Monsanto's Duane Simpson, and the other, a $24 meal at Dantanna's, by Debra Flores, Boeringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Dantanna's is described this way on its website:
Dantanna’s combines culinary excellence with the entertainment value of sports to create the ultimate restaurant experience. Dantanna’s is not a sports bar – it’s Atlanta’s only upscale sports restaurant that exudes the sophistication and elegance of a five-star restaurant and excitement and entertainment of having a private box at your favorite game.
-Ameristar Casino lobbyist Sarah Topp, representing the Missouri Railroad Association, paid for $59.50 worth of concert tickets on June 3.
-Betsy Ledgerwood, Missouri Coalition of Children's Agencies, paid $282.14 for airfare to a conference.
-On June 22, Sara Schuett, Missouri Bar, paid $475 for continuing legal education services and $304.88 for travel.
Even though Talboy piled it on during the last two weeks of May and the month of June, lobbyists also plied him with gifts during the legislative session, including:
-On Inauguration day, Franc Flotron, representing his lobbying firm, Flotron & McIntosh footed the bill for $153.99 in meals, while Charles Simino, Embarq, paid for $84.16.
-Brent Hemphill, Hemphill & Associates paid for $153.40 in meals, food, and beverage on March 11.
-Madeline Romious, AT&T bought Talboy four tickets to a first round NCAA Basketball Tournament in Kansas City March 19. That bit of March Madness cost $252.
UPDATE- Documents posted today on the Missouri Ethics Commission website show Mike Talboy is now over $9,000 in lobbyists' gifts, nearly $5,000 more than the nearest legislator.