A total of $3,006.15 in travel and lodging from the powerful Gamble & Schlemeier lobbying firm put Rep. Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, on top of the list of Joplin-area legislators in lobbyists' gifts for 2009. For the year, Stevenson collected $5,107.96 in gifts.
Oddly, the big trip, the location of which was not specified in online documents posted on the Missouri Ethics Commission website, took place Oct. 1, but was not filed with the Ethics Commission until Jan. 19. According to the lobbyists' filings, Stevenson solicited the gifts.
The amount was split between lobbyists William Gamble and Jorgen Schlemeier, and was credited to nearly all of their clients- Missouri Beverage Association, Missouri Railroad Association, Missouri Pharmacy Association, Ameren UE, Missouri Dental Association, Missouri Fire Service Alliance, Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri, Missouri American Water Company, Missouri Psychological Association, Missouri College of Emergency Physicians, Missouri Residential Care Association, Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education and Ameristar Casinos.
Stevenson's Oct. 1 spree enabled him to cruise past Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, who had $3,414.92 in gifts, including $188.57 in December.
Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, recorded $774.41 for 2009, with $25 coming in December.
Though Ed Emery, R-Lamar, had only $736.48 for the year, $280.71 came in December, as lobbyists paid for his meals, cab fare and entertainment while he was in Washington, D. C. to the tune of $271.33.
Emery, the chairman of the Utilities Committee, received a $50 meal at Ruth Chris Steakhouse and a $45 meal at the Oceanaire Restaurant, paid for by John R. Sondag, AT&T lobbyist, and received a $93.03 meal, a $3.33 cab ride, and for $79.97 for entertainment at the Ford Theater, paid for by Peabody Energy lobbyist Michael Gibbons.
Trailing the other Joplin area legislators in lobbyists' gifts were Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage at $591.12 and Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, at $566.02.