Sunday, July 01, 2007

MU lobbyist doles out $1,587 worth of Kenny Chesney tickets to state officials

(This story was revised at approximately noon today. For more information, see the comments section.)

Kenny Chesney's May 18 concert at the Mizzou Sports Arena cost an arm and a leg for country fans who wanted to see him in person.
It did not cost a cent to some Missouri senators and representatives and their wives who received complimentary, top-drawer, $69 tickets, courtesy of University of Missouri lobbyist Stephen Knorr.
Documents posted today on the Missouri Ethics Commission website indicate Knorr gave $1,587 worth of tickets to public officials, including Speaker of the House Rod Jetton and his wife, Cassie, representative and State Senate candidate Tom Dempsey, R. St. Charles, and of course Rep. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, and his wife, Jasper County Public Administrator Rita Hunter.
Rep. Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, received five tickets, according to the document, while Rep. Kenny Jones received two and Gus Wagner, who works in the office of Sen. Dan Clemons, R-Marshfield, picked up four.

Others receiving tickets, according to the Ethics Commission documents were Rep. Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles, and his wife Debbie; Rep. Timothy Jones, R-Eureka, Rep. Robert Mayer, R-Dexter, and Mayer's wife, Nancy.

The Ethics Commission document indicates two recipients, John Fourere of Attorney General Jay Nixon's office, and Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, reimbursed Knorr for the full amount of the tickets.


Anonymous said...

Can't they pay their own pay? Sort of seems like they probably earn more than us. I don't see any good reason why they should be getting freebies.

pchose19 said...

They get paid $31,000 a year plus travel expenses and a stipend every day while in session. That's not as much money as you are assuming.

Anonymous said...

Since when was Dempsey a candidate for AG? Last I heard he was running for Chuck Gross's vacant seat, senate district 23.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this concert back in May. This story has a lot of mistakes: Dempsey running for AG, concert being in August, what else is incorrect?

Anonymous said...

Randy _ why don't you use your investigative skills to find out the name of everyone who got free tickets - from anyone-registered lobbiest or not...

Does it upset you that someone is passing out tickets to a Kenny Chesney concert instead of tickets to one of your band's performances?

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice the only people going to see a country concert are the Republicans? Ha.

Randy said...

I have removed the item about Tom Dempsey and corrected it to read State Senate candidate.

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy said...

Changes will also be made as far as the date of the Chesney concert is concerned. I saw several references on Chesney sites to an August concert and had not run across the May concert date.
My apologies for the error.

Randy said...

"They get paid $31,000 a year plus travel expenses and a stipend every day while in session. That's not as much money as you are assuming."

Perhaps not, but let's remember that to many people in the state of Missouri that would be considered quite adequate, and nearly all of our legislators have other jobs, many of them quite lucrative.

Anonymous said...

Ah, leave them alone. They are all a little bit country. Isn't it better to get free tickets than beg for cell, gas and publication money from his constituents?

Anonymous said...

Well since you brought it up, pchose19... And let me point out that had you not brought this up, I wouldn't have looked.

Fiscal year 2007 Governor's Recommendations


Salaries for 34 members, total $1,071,448 requested

Mileage for 34 members, total $56,435 requested

Per diem for 34 members, total $226,100 requested.

You do the math. Mine comes out at about $37,967 more or less.

I am sort of curious though, Randy. What are the Senate Contingent Expenses and Joint Contingent Expenses for? Staff or something else? I notice that's a rather large sum involved there as well. I notice that the Representatives have an Expense Voucher fund of 1 1/2 million as well.

Yep, those poor Senators and Representatives. Tied down in Jeff City for, what, approximately 68 days out of 365? That only gives them 9 months to do something with.

...Let's see... My math never was very good, but $37,967 divided by 68 days. ...Isn't that about $558.34 a day?

Anonymous said...

The $31,000 is no longer accurate. They received a $1200 plus 4% pay raise which is closer to $33,500 now and it will increase each year from now until the deceptive amendment they wrote the summary for is changed by a vote of the people. Hopefully it won't be worded to make the voters thinks they are not allowing convicted felons to receive a pension like it was last time.

The stipend is $88 every day they are in session. So they report Monday afternoon and recess early Friday morning to get 5 days or $440 a week. Since lobbist by their meals, they are making extra tax-free money.

They will be making $60,000 a year in salary for 5 months of work by 2010 since they will not have the fortitude to stop any of their pay increases in the future.

Randy said...

Thanks for the update. I would say they'd need the extra money to pay for concert tickets, since those are bound to go up, but since they don't have to pay for those, they can sock that money away for a rainy day.