Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Legislators, lobbyists charged with misdemeanors in casino case

Big deal!

That's what some people are saying about the misdemeanor charges facing Sen. Jeff Smith, D- and Rep. Joe Aull, D-Marshall, in connection with events that occurred July 31 at the Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville.

Arraignments for both men, plus former Isle of Capri lobbyist Lynne Schlosser are scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 6 in Pettis County Circuit Court. Smith allegedly attempted to gamble with Aull's identification card at the instigation of Ms. Schlosser.

While I have a problem with people violating the law, even when it comes to misdemeanors, I am more concerned with the part of the story that has remained totally unmentioned in the media.

Smith, Aull, Aull's wife Candee, Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, Sen. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, and Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, were having a night out on the town at the expense of a lobbyist representing a special interest with a stake in numerous bills that will come before the legislature during the 2008 session.

Chris Liese, a former state representative from St. Louis, and now a lobbyist for Isle of Capri spent $910 wining and dining the legislators and Mrs. Aull on July 31, according to Missouri Ethics Commission documents. Sadly, this kind of occurrence is so commonplace that the media simply does not care, or more likely, has failed to do their research. A total of $130 was spent on "meals, food, and beverage" for each person, the documents indicate.

What happened at the Isle of Capri casino on July 31 may not be a "big deal" to some people, but it includes nearly everything that is wrong with our state legislature. We have elected officials deciding that their own laws do not apply to them. We have a former state legislator, Liese, cashing in on his taxpayer-financed expertise to represent the monied special interests, and we have legislators who, quite legally, are allowing their way to be paid by the same special interests who are behind many of the bills that make their way through the legislature.

This is a case made for the media, and if they choose to concentrate simply on the charges facing Smith, Aull, and Ms. Schlosser, they are missing the story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Last month a friend from my Reserve Unit who is running for state rep on the south side of Kansas City told me more about this ugly mess for the Democrat party. My friend is a conservative Democrat who tells a lot of stories about corruption in the Kansas City Democrat party. He is a good officer and but he has no chance in politics in KC without a D after his name. S0 he has a D after his name. He knew about this mess in Boonville at our last Reserve weekend. As you probably know Jolie Justus is a lesbian. Her ex-gal pal is working on my friend's state rep campaign. The ex-gal pal told my friend's wife that Justus was falling down drunk at the Boonville Casino party and was making out with her new-gal pal and the Dems fear this is all on casino security tapes which could make some great material for commercials showing what the Ds stand for.