Monday, January 02, 2017

Dankelson campaign contributions, Ace Mohr, P1 lawsuit against R-8 featured in top September 2016 posts

Ever since the Turner Report began covering area and state news more than 13 years ago, I have made it a point to examine political candidates' financial disclosure reports.

They provide an idea of who is supporting candidates and with how much money. Those records were also a source of investigative reports for me when I was working at the Carthage Press. Once in the late '90s, I was examining a state representative's quarterly report when I saw the name of a person I knew was a lobbyist.

After that, I compared his donor list to the list of registered lobbyists on the Missouri Ethics Commission website (the internet was a brand new tool at that point) and I found approximately two dozen lobbyists, who had contributed to this politician on this one report. None of them was labeled as a lobbyist. They used the same tricks then as they do now. They were listed as working for their firms, or as directors of government relations, or sometimes there was not even any mention of an employer.

Then I examined the political action committees that were donating to this legislator and discovered, and by this time, I was not surprised, that they were clients of these lobbyists.

By the time, I was finished with examining this one report, the total I could connect to the lobbyists was in the thousands of dollars and remember this was at a time before the legislature decided to make it easier and eliminated campaign contribution limits.

Campaign finance reports played a big role in Turner Report investigations in 2016, including examinations of Seventh District Congressman Billy Long's Vegas trips and penchant for having his campaign contributors pay for thousands of dollars worth of meals.

But one of the biggest stories to emerge from campaign finance reports took place in September 2016 and it was right here in Jasper County. The stories stemmed from my examination of disclosure reports from the Division II judge race.

I noticed that the winner of that race, then Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney Dean Dankelson,received a $2,000 contribution from a Joplin criminal defense firm three weeks after he won the primary election over Steve Carlton. It appeared the contribution was solicited to help Dankelson pay the agency that handled his last minute advertising barrage.

I wrote another post detailing campaign contributions both Dankelson and his primary opponent, Steve Carlton, received from lawyers. While most of the money Carlton received from attorneys came from outside Jasper County or from family connections, Dankelson's were coming from criminal defense attorneys who still were dealing with his decisions as prosecuting attorney and who would be dealing with him as a judge. The contributions were legal, but they were questionable, to say the least.

The most scandalous information to come from Dankelson's campaign finance reports, came in October, and will be included in the top posts for that month.

The revelations about Dankelson's campaign finance reports were featured in some of the most visited posts in September, a month that was dominated by more information stemming from a closer examination of Dankelson, including later developments in cases against Ace Mohr of Carthage.

This type of investigative work is seldom done by any other Joplin area media source..

Those of you who believe this kind of reporting is necessary to keep our elected officials, candidates, and power brokers in line and who believe the Turner Report/Inside Joplin/Inside Joplin Obituaries provides a service that is valuable to you and to the community, please consider supporting this news operation by using the PayPal buttons below to donate or to take a subscription. If you would prefer not to use PayPal or a credit card, you may send contributions to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G., Joplin, MO 64801.

The top 10 posts for September 2016, a couple of extras, and links to the posts containing the top stories from January through August are featured below the PayPal buttons.

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Top 10 Posts for September 2016

1. Criminal defense firm gave Dankelson $2,000 three weeks after election

2. Dankelson: It's time to keep Ace Mohr off the streets

3. Lawsuit magnet Mike Johnson "retires" from Joplin R-8 School District

4. Ace Mohr still driving a year and half after refusing blood alcohol test

5. Ace Mohr behind bars on receiving stolen property charge

6. Lawsuit claim: Neosho businessman's multi-million dollar scam led to Innovative Objects bankruptcy

7. Don't blame the people of Joplin for the Blasters' failure

8. Joplin MAP scores near the bottom in Jasper, Newton counties

9. Joplin R-8 legal expenses in P1 lawsuit top $1 million

10. Lawyers contribute more than $11,000 in Jasper County judge race

And these extras

Innovative Objects files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Why are taxpayers still paying a quarter of a milion annually to Rob O'Brian and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce?

Top 10 Posts from January through August

KOAM departure, Zach Williams lawsuit, $3.5 million lawsuit among top January 2016 posts

Resignations of two R-8 principals, memories of T. J. Bowman top February 2016 posts

Threats of JHS school shooting, superintendent's love affair top March 2016 posts

Diamond sex scandal, Blasters lawsuit, my triple bypass vacation among top April 2016 posts

FBI investigation of Northpark Mall owners, Tina Smith resignation among top May 2016 posts

Mitchell departure, new job for Sachetta, my apology for Tina Smith article top June 2016 posts

Trump Jr. Dankelson, Woolston, Scott Watson, Billy Long featured in top July 2016 posts

Ace Mohr, Dean Dankelson, Downstream Casino robbery, R-8 graphic designer among top August 2016 posts

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