Documents posted this morning on the Missouri Ethics Commission website show Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, leading Joplin-area legislators with $83.81 in lobbyists' gifts for October, but that figure does not tell the whole story.
Reports filed by two lobbyists show Richard was not the only recipient of gifts during the Speaker's Conference at Sea Island, Georgia.
Rodney Boyd, representing Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, not only bought a $61.20 meal for Richard, but bought meals costing the same amount for Richard's wife, Patti, his chief of staff Jeff Brooks, and Brooks' wife, according to Boyd's report.
Michael D. Harrold, lobbyist for Express Scripts, St. Louis, paid for a $22.61 meal for Richard and one for the same amount for Brooks.
Richard's total in lobbyists' gifts for 2009 is $2,466.83, not counting gifts for his wife or staff members.
Only two other Joplin-area legislators accepted gifts in October, according to the Ethics Commission documents. Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, accepted a $20.83 meal from Travis Brown, representing billionaire educational voucher supporter Rex Sinquefield, while Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, received a $12.26 meal from David Hale, Missouri Hospital Association. Emery has received $395.66 in gifts this year, while Mrs. Ruestman has $671.96.
Three representatives, Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, and Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, did not accept any gifts from lobbyists in October. Their totals for 2009 are $563.07 for Flanigan, $1,978.80 for Stevenson, and $514.27 for Wilson.