Saturday, December 04, 2010

New Ethics Committee chairman has accepted $15,000+ in lobbyists' gifts

It looks like it will be business as usual for the Missouri House of Representatives during the 2011 session.
Newly appointed House Ethics Committee Chairman Timothy Jones, R-Eureka, has accepted $15,507.59 in lobbyists' gifts during his four years in office, according to Missouri Ethics Commission documents.

As Jones has climbed the ladder to majority leader, a position he will assume in January, he has continued to pick up more and more gifts each year, starting at $1,445.03 in 2007, then moving up to $1,945.92 in 2008, $6,771.61 in 2009, and $5,345.33 through the first 10 months of 2010.

This year, special interests have footed the bill for a dozen golf outings, to the tune of more than $1,500.

His most recent excursion (reports for November will  not be posted online until December 1, came October 4, when David Michael Jackson, the lobbyist for billionaire Rex Sinquefield paid the $375 for Jones to play in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Tournament.

Other lobbyists joining in on Jones pay to play fun time were Craig Felzien, AT&T; Charles Simino, Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association (Simino also bought a $50 pair of sunglasses and paid for a $10 meal), Jorgen Schlemeier, Missouri Fire Service Alliance; David A. Smith, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield; Terry Briggs, Site Improvement Association; Travis Brown, AT&T; John R. Sondag, AT&T; Heath Clarkston, Affordable Equity Partners; and Brent Hemphill, Brent Hemphill and Associates.

Most of Jones' golf outings were in Missouri, but he also played at the lavish Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego while attending a taxpayer-financed junket to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual conference.

AT&T lobbyists Travis Brown and John R. Sondag paid for two rounds of golf for the conservative Republican, whose chief claim to fame has been as a plaintiff in the Birther lawsuit against President Barack Obama.

As I noted in the Oct. 2 Turner Report:

AT&T lobbyists Travis Brown and John Sondag took good care of Timothy Jones, with Brown paying for $115 worth of "entertainment" and Sondag footing the bill for a round of golf for Jones to the tune of $203, on Aug. 4, the day before the conference started.

At a time when many Missourians are having trouble making ends meet, it is always nice to see our elected officials can have the cost of their golf outings covered. However, that is not the only way in which special interests are making sure the new Ethics Committee chairman is able to cover the costs of all those little extras you have to have to play the Jefferson City power game.

Billionaire Rex Sinquefield's lobbyist David Michael Jackson also took care of paying for Jones to watch the St. Louis Cardinals September 14 to the tune of $145, while another lobbyist, Judith Dungan, representing SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, paid for four tickets to the same game, totaling $220.

Tina Shannon, representing Ameren UE, made sure Jones had free tickets to the MU-OU football game October 23 and also paid for his food.

That meal was one of 95 paid for by lobbyists during the first 10 months of 2010, according to the Ethics Commission documents.


Anonymous said...

"At a time when many Missourians are having trouble making ends meet,..."

Playing the on old heart strings with lines like this is an old stunt...Of course we are sympathetic for people in a bad way and we are doing what we can to help...but using an old saw like that in a political statement is pretty low.

Randy don't be so predictable. All the time you spend looking for ways to run people down would be better spent flipping hamburgers and giving your wages to the poor.

Anonymous said...

So 7:03 are you actually condoning the Ethics Chairman's actions? Are you saying it is okay for this free money to influence our politicians? I would think instead of putting Randy down, you would be more concerned with what is going on in Jefferson City.

Anonymous said...

Liberals like Randy are simply bitter old hate mongers who are jealous and envious of the success of others and just plain terrified that the common sense people began taking the country back on Nov. 2. Get a clue, this money is a drop in the bucket over four years and would not influence a flea.