Wednesday, August 17, 2005

News-Leader investigates lobbyists' influence

The influence of lobbyists on southwest Missouri legislators is explored in an article in today's Springfield News-Leader. As you might expect, first and foremost among those profiled is Rep. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin. And for the first time, a media outlet other than The Turner Report makes note of gifts Hunter has received from casino lobbyists.
The only fault I can find with the article is that it does not get into one of the more insidious ways that lobbyists can give gifts that are not put on the disclosure forms that are filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. All they have to do is to make campaign contributions to the legislators, where their lobbyist jobs are usually disguised as something else, a practice I have been detailing on this blog for the past several months.
The article also notes that the legislators do receive expense money which is designed to cover the cost of meals.
You can find the article at:

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