Saturday, July 29, 2006

Blunt's Gaming Commission appointments come under fire

The Missouri Democratic Party Friday attacked Governor Matt Blunt's appointment of two major campaign contributors to the Gaming Commission.
"Governor Blunt is using government to reward his friends and family and to trade campaign contributions for gubernatorial appointments," Democratic Party spokesman Jack Cardetti, was quoted as saying by the Kansas City Star.
Republican spokesman Paul Sloca naturally said that wasn't the case and noted that the contributions made by Sam Hais and Noel Shull were a matter of public record and nothing was being done to hide them.
That argument points out the major flaw in the law recently signed by Governor Blunt that eliminates all campaign contribution limits in favor of more open disclosure. It doesn't matter if it's all in the records if no one is paying any attention and for the most part, the media does not pay enough attention to the influence of special interests on politics.
This is the first mention I can find in the traditional media of contributions made by Hais and Shull. These contributions were first brought to light in this blog. In the June 9 Turner Report...a full seven weeks ago...I wrote about the campaign contributions made by Hais, his family, and colleagues to Governor Blunt's election campaign. The AP article indicates those ties are deeper than I reported, since Hais also contributed $45,000 to the National Republican Governors Association.
The Turner Report also was the first to note Shull's contributions in a post on April 26, more than three months ago.
The newly appointed Gaming Commission head, former St. Louis County Executive Gene McNary also made a $1,075 contribution to the governor's campaign.

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