Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hunter, Ruestman tops in receiving lobbyist gifts

An examination of lobbyist reports for Joplin-area representatives shows Joplin Republicans Steve Hunter and Marilyn Ruestman topping the list in receiving gifts, but it appears the two are headed in different directions.
While Hunter, as usual, topped the list with $385.05 during January, it was still far below the $1,007.63 he compiled in January 2006.
Ms. Ruestman, on the other hand, received more gifts, to the tune of $270.83 than she received during all of 2006, when she picked up $214.82 worth, according to Missouri Ethics Commission documents.
Two representatives, Hunter and Ron Richard, R-Joplin, received less than last January, though in Richard's case, it was only a few dollars. Other area legislators Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, and Ed Emery, R-Lamar, were ahead of last January's totals.

Steve Hunter- The largest gift on Hunter's list, $84 for entertainment, came from University of Missouri lobbyist Martin Oetting. Hunter also received two meals totaling $65 from Travis Brown, whose client list includes AT&T and voucher supporter K12. Though Hunter is employed by the business lobbying group Associated Industries of Missouri, he still received two meals totaling $40.51 from AIM lobbyist Jim Kistler.

Marilyn Ruestman- Ms. Ruestman's $270.83 in gifts was topped by $243.37 in meals, food, and beverage Jan. 3 from Patricia L. Strader, lobbyist for Empire District Electric Company.

Ron Richard- Richard's total was down slightly, from $225.18 in 2006 to $210.32 this year, including meals from seven lobbyists, with none of them totaling more than $50.

Ed Emery- Emery received $58.70 worth of meals, food, and beverage, up from $26.50 in January 2006. None of Emery's meals were for more than $15.50.

Bryan Stevenson- Stevenson recorded $120.93, up from $82.09 last year. Most of that total, $107.16, came from Chris Liese, lobbyist for many clients, including the city of Jolpin, Eagle Picher, St. John's, and Isle of Capri Casinos. The other $13.77, came from former Rep. Gary Marble, R-Neosho, president of Associated Industries of Missouri.

Kevin Wilson- Wilson, who had only $48.03 at this point last year, was up to $165.67 in January, with $140 in entertainment from MU lobbyist Oetting.

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