Saturday, August 01, 2009

The cultural education of Luann Ridgeway

Give Sen. LuAnn Ridgeway credit.

When the Missouri Senate is not in session, the Clay County Republican does her best to improve herself culturally and intellectually. That process is made easier by the helpful lobbyists who are willing to foot the bill for her education.

During the month of June, Sen. Ridgeway learned about Irish music, Missouri baseball, the law and the legislative branch, to the tune of $927.73, according to documents posted this morning on the Missouri Ethics Commission website.

It was Embarq lobbyist Gregory S. Gaffke who presented Sen. Ridgeway with $268 worth of tickets to the Celtic Woman concert at the Sprint Center in Kansas City June 26. A video of one of the songs the group performs accompanies this post.

Six days earlier, Nancy Giddens, representing Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, footed the bill to the tune of $90 for Sen. Ridgeway to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play the Kansas City Royals.

Her other lobbyist-financed educational activities in June included a $103.33 meal from Jennifer Dunham, a lobbyist whose clients include Anheuser-Busch and Isle of Capri casino, but this meal was paid for by her lobbying firm, $410 for continuing legal education books from Catherine Barrie, Missouri Bar lobbyist, and Sheila Gay Tracy, lobbyist for the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce bought a $16 meal for Sen. Ridgeway for a legislative update, according to the Ethics Commission documents.

During the first six months of 2009, Sen. Ridgeway has received $3,467.66 in lobbyists' gifts.

A wise woman once wrote, "The real role of government is to set the rules for everyone to compete on a level playing field and allow everyone to compete in the free market system --- not to pick winners and losers based upon who has the best lobbyist."

That comes from a June 10 capital report written by Sen. Luann Ridgeway.


Anonymous said...

Great reporting with class.

Anonymous said...

It would have been a lot cheaper just to watch Celtic Woman on PBS during one of their pledge drives.