Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Koster accepts Springsteen tickets from law firm lobbyist

Democratic attorney general candidate Chris Koster's campaign has been fueled by contributions from lawyers in and out of Missouri, but that is not all the newly-minted Democrat has received from attorneys.

According to a disclosure report posted today on the Missouri Ethics Commission website, Koster received $393 worth of tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert on Aug. 24 from Stinson Morrison Heckler lobbyist Tricia Workman.

The gift is more than half of the $735.43 in gifts Koster has received from lobbyists this year, but that total, low compared to many of his fellow legislators, is a far cry from the norm for Koster, as the July 26 Turner Report noted:

When the ball dropped and 2006 turned into 2007, Democratic attorney general candidate Chris Koster celebrated the new year with food and drinks provided by Ameristar Casino lobbyist Jorgen Schlemeier, according to Missouri Ethics Commission documents.
The documents indicate Schlemeier paid $117.75 for "meals, food, and beverage" for Koster and a like amount for Rep. Shannon Cooper, Rep. Tom Dempsey, and Dempsey's wife, Mollie.

The Ethics Commission documents indicate Koster changed more than his party this year. He has also changed the way he deals with lobbyists.

This year, Koster has accepted $342.43 in lobbyists' gifts. He accepted more than that, $475, on one day, June 24, 2007.

The post continues:

In 2007, Koster accepted $2,175.28 in lobbyists' gifts, including $475 for continuing legal education costs June 24 from Sara Schuett, lobbyist for the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys. The previous day, he accepted $298.70 from Ms. Schuett for travel and lodging and on June 22, Ms. Schuett provided $117.53 in meals, for a grand total of $891.23.

The Ethics Commission documents show that Koster not only accepted more than two thousand dollars in gifts from lobbyists in 2007, but he did not always wait for the lobbyists to come to him.

On Jan. 2, 2007, Ethics Commission records indicate Koster solicited $290.52 in "meals, food, and beverage" from Derek Leffert, lobbyist for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

Koster accepted even more from lobbyists in 2006, $2,343.49, according to the Ethics Commission documents, including his end of the year celebration on the dime of Ameristar Casino. The total included another $181.95 in meals from Schlemeier, with $50.94 of that total credited to Ameristar Casino.

The 2006 total also included $110 in entertainment from Erin Elliott, University of Missouri, $125 in entertainment and $25 for meals on Oct. 1 from Brett Leopold, Sprint Nextel, $120 in meals Sept. 22 from Mel Nicholson, SSM Health Care, and $475 from Ms. Schuett on June 22.

Koster's Republican opponent, Michael Gibbons, has received a similar $739.95 in lobbyists' gifts during 2008, with no Springsteen tickets, but he did receive a St. Louis Cardinals baseball ticket and a fruit basket

1 comment:

Tom Hanna said...

Really, Springsteen tickets? That's almost enough reason to quit the Republican State Committee and file for statewide office as a Democrat the next day. Now I understand...