Thursday, February 23, 2006

Blunt promotes ethanol proposal

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt was in Joplin Wednesday promoting his proposal to require that fuel sold in the state contain 10 percent ethanol. As far as I know, this is a solid proposal that would benefit Missourians who raise corn, as well as companies in Missouri that are involved in producing ethanol.
However, I always look at the money and the governor's brother, lobbyist Andrew Blunt was quick to cash in, as I pointed out last week.
It was only a few days after the governor mentioned his plan during the State of the State message that the younger Blunt added AGP, an Omaha, Neb.-based firm, which will open a major ethanol production plant this fall, to his client list. AGP recently announced a major expansion at its soybean processing plant in St. Joseph.
As I noted in that post, AGP has been a major player in Missouri politics for quite some time, according to Federal Election Commission documents. Over the past four years the company's political action committee has contributed $12,000 to Senator Jim Talent, $6,000 to Senator Kit Bond, $10,000 to Congressman Sam Graves, and $10,500 to Rep. Kenny Hulshof.
Governor Blunt's campaign contribution disclosure forms do not include any donations from AG Processing, but he has received $2,200 over the past two election cycles from the Omaha offices of the national law firm Kutak Rock. According to Kutak Rock's website, the law firm serves as counsel "for the acquisition, construction and financing of ethanol plants."

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