Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Feb. 21 a banner day for Blunt campaign
Those who are looking for a quick tutorial in how to raise campaign financing need look no further than one day in the reelection campaign for incumbent Governor Matt Blunt.
That was the day the big shakedown occurred at Thompson Coburn, the St. Louis law firm, that coincidentally, of course, had been hired to represent the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) as it fights Attorney General Jay Nixon's attempt to keep its assets from being sold.
On that day, Thompson Coburn worked its way around that pesky old $1,275 campaign spending limit by having more than 60 people donate to the governor, raking in slightly over $15,000. Among those donating was the state's former Director of Revenue Janette Lohman, now in the tax practice division of the law firm. Only three of the Thompson Coburn-related contributions came on days other than Feb. 21, according to the April quarterly disclosure report, filed Monday with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Thompson Coburn wasn't the only place where the money was shaking like the leaves on the trees. The Ethics Commission documents show the national engineering firm HNTB, which has received many lucrative contracts from the Missouri Department of Transportation since Governor Blunt came into office last year (and which donated $40,000 to his first campaign), also had contributions raining in from across the country on Feb. 21 including:
Kenneth Graham, Caledonia, Wash., $1,275; Gary Link, Mission, Kan., $500; Edward McSpedon, VisWest Hills, Calif., $1,275; C. Patrick McLarney, Kansas City, $250; Terry Miller, Overland Park, Kan., $1,275; Scott Smith, Prairie Village, Kan., $1,275; Paul Yarossi, Ringwood, N. J., $1,275; James Anglin, Longwood, Fla., $1,000; Harry Axtell, Kansas City, $500; Terry Campbell, Kansas City, $500; Charles Dulic, East Lansing, Mich., $500; Robert Fogle, Overland Park, Kan., $500; HNTB lobbyist James Farrell $500.
Farrell was not the only lobbyist to appear on the Blunt contribution list. He collected at least $15,000 from registered lobbyists during the past three months, including $1,000 from his father, Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt's former senior legislative assistant Samantha Poole, who was recently described in a Washington Post article as being "at the top" of the national Republican leadership's K Street lobbying operation.
Ms. Poole was not listed on the disclosure forms as a lobbyist. Of the 17 registered lobbyists, spouses or those with close connections to lobbyists who contributed to the Blunt campaign this time around, only two were listed as lobbyists, Farrell, and Jim Russell, Jefferson City, whose clients include MFA, American Express, Eli Lilly and Company, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and Hallmark Cards. Russell donated $1,000.
Even perhaps the state's best known lobbyist, the governor's younger brother, Andrew Blunt, who contributed $1,275, is not listed as a lobbyist. His workplace, the law firm of Schreiman, Rackers, Francka & Blunt is listed, but strangely as "Schreiman, Rackers, Francka et al" The law/lobbying firm donated $1,275, as did firm member Brian Francka.
Other lobbyists contributing during the past three months included:
Steven Ahrens, Missouri Propane Gas Association, $1,275; Christopher Byrd, $250; Sherry Doctorian, Armstrong Teasdale, $675; Melanie Musick-Foley, SBC, $250; Richard C. Wiles, Aquila, Mastercard, Missouri Cable Telecommunication Association, Missouri Insurance Coalition, Pfizer, Boeing, Waste Management, Inc., $250; Ann Tettlebaum, wife of lobbyist Harvey Tettlebaum, Missouri Health Care Association, Missouri Republican State Committee, Logisticare Solutions, LLC, $1,275; Tom Rackers, the city of Jefferson City, Genesis Group, Ltd., National Strategies, Inc., $1,275; Harry Otto, Missouri Society of CPAs, $250; Harry Gallagher, Golden Rule Insurance, Mortgage Bankers Association, R. J. Reynolds, The Poultry Federation, $1,275; Tony Feather, Advocates for School Choice, AT&T, $1,275; Samuel Licklider, Licklider and Associates, Empire District Electric Company, $250; Janette Lohman, $625.
The Blunt campaign received $307,118.33 in contributions during the last quarter, according to the Ethics Commission documents, and spent $220,124.70. leaving it with $1,722,021.50.