Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Missouri's newest lobbyist: Steve Hunter enters the revolving door

Former 127th District State Representative Steve Hunter registered as a lobbyist Tuesday, according to documents filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Hunter is merely the latest in a long line of term-limited legislators to cash in on their years "representing" the people, a list that has also grown to include former Sen. Mike Gibbons and former Rep. Shannon Cooper in recent weeks.

Hunter, of course, has a long familiarity with how lobbyists work since he has accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from lobbyists during the past three years, especially from casino interests, and has worked for the lobbying organization Associated Industries of Missouri, sponsoring its legislation...legislation, I might add, in which Hunter never showed an interest until he began working for the organization.

The ranks of registered lobbyists in Missouri is liberally sprinkled with former legislators who waste no time after leaving office in representing special interests before their former colleagues.

It is time that an ethics bill, such as the bipartisan legislation offered by Rep. Bryan Yates, R-Lee's Summit, and Rep. Jake Zimmerman, D-Olivette, pass and stop the special interests from extending their stranglehold on the Missouri General Assembly.

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