Friday, February 10, 2006
Hunter back on top
State Representative Steve Hunter is back up to his old tricks.
Only one month has passed in the 2006 General Assembly and already the Joplin Republican has accepted $764.04 in gifts from lobbyists, more than his fellow area representatives Ed Emery, R-Lamar, Ron Richard, R-Joplin, Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, and Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho and Senator Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, combined, according to Missouri Ethics Commission documents.
Apparently, no one has told Hunter, who has a sideline job as a membership recruiter for Associated Industries of Missouri, a lobbying organization, that coziness with lobbyists is not too fashionable during these days of Abramoff.
Nearly half of Hunter's gift total came in the form of entertainment from City of St. Louis lobbyist James E. Farrell, three such instances, each totaling $125, were recorded Jan. 27, according to the documents.
Other lobbyists contributing to Hunter's horn of plenty included:
-William Gamble, Ameren, Ameristar Casinos, and Missouri Railroad Association, among others, $22 meal, Jan. 3
-Samuel Licklider, Empire District Electric Company, $21.98 meal, Jan. 4.
-Farrell, $8 meal, Jan. 9
-Kyna Iman, Missouri Southern State University, $100, meals, food and beverage, Jan. 11
-Gary Burton, City of Joplin, Isle of Capri casinos, Missouri Association of Insurance Agents, among others, $89.62, meals, food and beverage, Jan. 17.
-Scott Swain, Verizon, $30 meal, Jan. 19.
-David Smith, Blue Cross Blue Shield, $23.27 meal, Jan. 19.
-Brad Thielemier, Missouri State Troopers Association, $23.27 meal, Jan. 20
-Joseph Thompson, Missouri Gas Energy, AT&T, $25.50 meal, Jan. 24
-Fred Dreiling, Harrah's Casinos, AFLAC, among others, $31 meal, Jan. 30
Other Area Legislators
Gifts received by other area legislators included:
Kevin Wilson- Wilson received $88.98 in gifts from five lobbyists, topped by a $22.20 meal from Sherry Doctorian of Armstrong Teasdale on Jan. 25. Other lobbyists buying gifts for Wilson represented AT&T, Guaranty Land Title Title Insurance, Missouri School Boards Association, the Judicial Conference of Missouri, and the Supreme Court of Missouri.
Bryan Stevenson- Stevenson collected $104.29 from five lobbyists, led by a $35 meal from Kyna Iman of MSSU. He also accepted gifts from lobbyists representing Aquila, Judicial Conference of Missouri, Supreme Court of Missouri, and Armstrong Teasdale.
Marilyn Ruestman- Ms. Ruestman's $81.92 in gifts came from two lobbyists, $59.72 from Gary Burton, and $22.20 from Sherry Doctorian.
Ron Richard- Richard ranked second among area legislators with $225.18 in gifts, topped by a $106.47 meal on Jan. 18 from Patricia Strader of Empire District Electric. He had two meals from Gary Burton, one for $26.66 on Jan. 4, and the other for $83.18 on Jan. 17.
Ed Emery- Emery picked up $48.70 from two lobbyists, $26.50 for meals from Drue Duncan representing Ameren and $22.20 from Ms. Doctorian.
Gary Nodler- Nodler ranked number three among area legislators with $173.15, topped by a $91.171 meal from Burton on Jan. 17. The next day, Nodler accepted $16.66 in meals, food and beverage from David J. Klarich, lobbyist for MOHELA. Other gifts came from lobbyists representing AT&T, Supreme Court of Missouri, Judicial Conference of Missouri, Great Plains Insurance, Kansas City Power & Light, Missouri School Boards Association, and Empire District Electric Company.