Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ozarks Politics blog focuses on Hunter

In its latest profile of what it calls "wingnuts," the Ozarks Politics blog focuses on Rep. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin:

The majority of legislation Hunter has filed over his tenure is in the pro-business/anti-labor arena. However, the most laughable bill he has filed was from this past session (HB 1149). This bill would ban any member of the General Assembly from working for a organization that engages in lobbying the legislature. The kicker, he got it assigned to the committee he chairs (Workforce Development and Workplace Safety) where it died without a hearing. Talk about covering your ass!

Hunter's ethical challenges don't end there. He is also a darling of the lobbying set. Taking a look at his lobbying disclosures, Hunter racked up some serious lobbying money being spent on him by groups wanting to bend his ear. Chief among them -- the former lobbyist for AIM, Jim Kistler. Kistler left AIM last year to work for Associated Builders and Contractors - another anti-labor group that is also represented by Matt Blunt's bag boy, Jewell Patek. AIM and ABC have similar interests and Hunter is their guy. Current AIM director and former Joplin-area rep. Gary Marble is another frequent dining partner.

The blog also notes the rapidly spreading rumor that Governor Matt Blunt is preparing to appoint Hunter director of the Division of Workers Compensation:

Who better to make sure injured workers get a fair shake than the guy who has spent his entire Jeff City career trying to screw them?

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