Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Area candidates contribute to NRA, NRA supporters

State representatives Steve Hunter and Marilyn Ruestman, both Joplin Republicans, have opposition in next week's general election, but that didn't stop them from spending some of their campaign money on the National Rifle Association.
Eight days before the election reports filed by the two indicate, in addition to money for their own campaigns, Hunter and Ms. Ruestman set aside some cash for the NRA.
Ms. Ruestman, whose frontier justice law was based on a law the organization is trying to implement across the nation, paid $45 to Friends of NRA in Carl Junction on Oct. 20, her report says. In the past, she has paid NRA membership dues from her campaign accounts, though taxpayers pay enough to be able to afford to take the dues out of her own pocket.
The same holds true for Hunter, who paid $35 in NRA dues, according to his report.
Hunter's report showed no contributions, the same amount as in his October quarterly report. He spent $11,366.37, leaving him with $6,488.40 in the bank. His biggest expenditure, $10,000, went to the House Republican Campaign Committee. He also contributed $325 apiece to Republican House candidates Don Scott and Dwight Schornhorst, $289 for Joplin Chamber of Commerce dues, and $237.97 on a Citi Card account for a chili cookoff.
Records do now show that Hunter spent any of his campaign money on his own campaign.

Hunter's opponent, Steve Daniels of Carl Junction, reported receiving $1,025 during the past three weeks, and spending $2,713.01, leaving him with $3,550.23.
Daniels' biggest contribution, $325, came from Carpenters' Local Union No. 311 PAC. He also received $300 from the Jasper County Democratic Central Committee, $200 from Local No. 124 Voluntary Political Fund, $100 from IBEW Local Union No. 545 PAC, and $100 from the Democratic 129th Legislative District.
Ms. Ruestman picked up $5,925 in contributions during the first part of October and spent $2,475.86, leaving her with $60,676.53. She has raised $130,436.68 during the two-year election cycle. Those contributing the maximum $325 to Ms. Ruestman were:

Justice Institute of Missouri PAC, Kansas City; American Family Insurance, St. Joseph; Nodler Leadership PAC, Joplin; Credit Union PAC, St. Louis; Missouri Medical PAC, Jefferson City; 129th Republican Legislative District Committeee, Joplin; HCA Missouri Good Government Fund, Jefferson City; Committee for Political Action of Missouri Certified Public Accountants, St. Louis; MMH PAC, Jefferson City; United Healthcare Services, Minneapolis, Minn.; and Competitive Enterprise Growth, Jefferson City. It should be noted that the Competitive Enterprise Growth and HCA Missouri Good Government Fund, both are listed as having addresses of 101 East High Street, Jefferson City, the same address as lobbyist Harry Gallagher.

Contributing $300 to Ms. Ruestman were: St. John's Family PAC, Joplin; Northport Health Services of Missouri, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Motor Carrier Public Affairs, Eldon; Missouri Association of Insurance Agents, Jefferson City

Ms. Ruestman's opponent, Democrat Ben Carnahan of Neosho, har raised $7,801 this year, but only $825 during the first three weeks of October. He spent $1,128.48 this month and has $3,234.35 in his account.

His biggest contribution, $325, came from Carpenters Local 311, Joplin. Other contributions were: McDonald County Democratic Central Committee, $200; David Page, Seneca, $100; Joan and Mike Banks, Joplin, $100; and Kim Wood, Joplin, $100.

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