For the past decade, the Turner Report has kept an eye on the gifts our elected officials receive from lobbyists representing special interests. Saturday, I reported on Sen. Shalonn "Kiki" Curls, D-Kansas City, who accepted more than $7,500 in gifts during 2012, including tickets to Justin Bieber and New Edition concerts, a barbecue bash to celebrate the close of the legislative session, sports tickets and various and sundry meals.
In a post I will make later today or tomorrow, I will report that out of Missouri's 34 state senators, 19 accepted more than $1,000 in gifts (with a 20th missing by about $50). And this does not include all of the gifts that are hidden by saying they are being given to an entire committee or to the entire Senate or House rather than to individual politicians.
You also have a growing number of politicians who are paying back the gifts- not with their own money, but with funds from their campaign accounts.
As always, there has been legislation prefiled this year which would limit or eliminate lobbyists' gifts. It won't go anywhere, because it has become the accepted way of doing things in Jefferson City.
The latest Turner Report poll offers readers an opportunity to make their views known. The poll, which is located in the upper right hand corner of this page, will be open until one minute after midnight. Please feel free to leave comments on this post.