The connection between money and politics has always been a focal point of this blog and since The Turner Report has picked up a few hundred extra readers per day over the last several months, I thought I would provide a brief review of some of the investigative stories newer readers might have missed during the first half of 2006:
More about Gary Nodler and Ethics- This article revealed information of money poured into Gary Nodler's campaign coffers by Moark and its officials.
Hunter loses lobbyist gift title, no recount expected- This post unveiled the first Turner Report Wall of Shame with Rep. Mike Sutherland, R-Warrenton, slipping by Rep. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, to take the dubious honor of receiving more gifts from lobbyists than any other representative.
Moark attorney/former DNR director defends top polluters- The attorney representing Moark's plans to build new egg laying facilities in the Neosho area, former Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director David Shorr, has changed from representing the people to representing the state's top polluters.
Lobbying firm funneling money to Nodler, PAC- This article was the first to note the money that the powerful lobbying firm of Gamble and Schlemeier has been pumping into the Elect Nodler Committee and the Nodler Leadership PAC.
St. Louis senators top 2005 Hall of Shame- Rep. David Klindt, R-Bethany, topped the senatorial Hall of Shame, with several St. Louis Democrats making the top 10.
National lobbyists pouring money into Blunt campaign- At least $30,000 of Governor Matt Blunt's campaign contributions came from national lobbyists with connections to his father, Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt.
Missouri lobbyists also contributed to Blunt campaign- The headline should explain everything.
When great minds think alike- Some area representatives had a bad habit of plagiarizing their weekly columns.
The best task force money can buy- Most of the members of the Healthcare Information Technology Task Force appointed by Governor Matt Blunt had two things in common- they were connected to the medical industry and they donated to the governor's campaign fund.
Governor's brother cashes in on ethanol proposal- Months before word spread about Andrew Blunt's investment in a company that was attempting to cash in on ethanol legislation, this article concerning connections between the Blunts and ethanol interests ran.
More MOARK money connected to Nodler
More about MOARK, committee shell games- This post examined contributions made by MOARK and others to legislative district committees.
Speaking with one voice- More on the state representatives' plagiarism
Outside money helps buy Jasper County election- Rep. Steve Hunter convinced many of his legislative buddies to pour money into his wife's successful 2004 face for Jasper County public administrator.
Goodman deals with critical issues- Sen. Goodman described his bill, SB1114 as a bill to protect families; it called for a later start for schools. What he didn't mention was how much extra money it would make for the tourism interests- or how much he was receiving from those same interests in the form of campaign contributions.
Area legislators co-sponsoring vouchers legislation- An incredible amount of money has been poured into the campaign coffers of Missouri legislators by proponents of school voucher programs.
Nodler still raking in the bucks- More lobbyists contribute to senator's campaign fund.
Scott leads charge to keep Wal-Mart out of banking- Sen. Delbert Scott, who sponsored a bill to keep Wal-Mart out of the Missouri banking industry, receives considerable funding from banking interests.
June hearing set for Emery- State Rep. Ed Emery asks his lawyer, Sen. Jack Goodman, to have his court date for driving on the wrong side of a roadway and causing an accident delayed because the General Assembly was in session.
Missourian article explores state lobbying reform efforts- Noting Sen. Carl Bearden's quotes in a Columbia Missourian article, The Turner Report pointed out the connections between lobbying gifts received by Bearden and legislation he has sponsored.
Homeschool proponents donate heavily to Nodler PAC- K12, William Bennett's organization contributed $5,000 to the Nodler Leadership PAC. Of course, K-12 is a company that provides curriculum for virtual schools, such as the one in the bill recently signed by Governor Blunt.
Contributors pay Ruestman's NRA dues- It's amazing the things politicians find to spend their campaign contributions on.
Nodler sings praises of virtual school- Sen. Nodler, whose Nodler Leadership PAC received $5,000 from a company that provides curriculum for virtual schools, naturally effusively praises the virtual school bill.
Feb. 21 a banner day for Blunt campaign- The governor's campaign funds increased by more than $15,000, just from the 60-plus contributions that came from people connected with the Thompson Coburn law firm on Feb. 21.
Kinder piling up lobbyists' contributions- This one is just what it sounds like.
Cashing in on voter IDs- Not surprisingly, as it became apparent that the voter ID bill was going to pass in Missouri, a Texas firm that specializes in such things hired a new lobbyist to work in Missouri, Jay Reichard, who shares many of his clients with Andrew Blunt.
Hunter has more lobbyists' gifts than other area legislators combined- An examination of lobbyists' gifts received by Rep. Steve Hunter during the first three months of 2006.
Rector actions keep doors open for telemarketers- A St. Louis Post-Dispatch story told of how Rep. Rex Rector, R-Harrisonville, singlehandedly derailed legislation that would have toughened Missouri telemarketing laws. The Turner Report noted the campaign contributions Rector had received from the special interests who were opposed to the legislation.
Schaaf's friends are not yours and mine- Rep. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, a doctor, put a roadblock on legislation that would have helped Missourians by penalizing doctors for Medicaid fraud, but would have hurt the doctors who are bankrolling the representative.
Joplin Globe investigates Nodler- When the Joplin Globe began its two-part series on the money behind Sen. Gary Nodler, The Turner Report provided some helpful links.
Shine the light on everything except lobbyists- Sen. Gary Nodler was a co-sponsor of the campaign finance bill which supposedly is going to shine the light on money in politics, yet Nodler has received many campaign contributions from lobbyists, almost none of whom are labeled as such.
Democrats lead Hall of Shame inductees- Democratic senators topped the Hall of Shame list for the first half of 2006.
State auditor candidate tops Springfield area in lobbyist gifts- Rep. Mark Wright, a candidate for state auditor, has accepted more gifts from lobbyists in 2006 than any other Springfield-area legislator in 2006.
Gates, lobbyists providing fund for Blunt PAC- Lobbyists' contributions to Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt's Rely on Your Beliefs PAC are outlined.
Gaming Commission appointment is big Blunt contributor- Lawyer Samuel Hais, his firm, and his family all poured money into the governor's campaign fund.
Monroe Street laundry cited by Democrat blog- Rep. Marilyn Ruestman's laundered campaign money is examined.
Governor's health care advisor is lap dog for special interests- The conflicts of interest of Governor Blunt's advisor and former state representative Jodi Stefanick are explored.