The prefiling of bills for the 2010 legislative session began this week, and some of the earlier headlines went to Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, and his wide-ranging ethics proposal.
Shields' bill would bar lobbyists from making political contributions to senators and representatives while the legislature is in session. What it doesn't do is cut off the gravy train for legislators who want to lap up all of the freebies the lobbyists have to offer.
That number includes Shields, according to documents posted this week on the Missouri Ethics Commission website. According to the reports posted for October, Sprint Nextel lobbyist John Kristan Jones provided Shields with $500 worth of tickets to the Oct. 4 NASCAR race at the Kansas Speedway. He also received $198 worth of "entertainment tickets from lobbyist L. Kent Gaines, representing Hunt Midwest Enterprises.