Sean's blog

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The Jeff City Gift Culture, by the Numbers

Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) records show that state legislators, statewide officials, judges and local officials have accepted more than $10,810,500 in gifts from lobbyists since 2004. On average, that’s $900,000 — every year — in free meals, booze, trips, lodging and other gifts. Almost all of these gifts go to members of the General Assembly and their staff members.

Jeff City Gift Takers, Ranked (New Data)

The Missouri Ethics Commission today released lobbyist gift data for July 2015. Rep. Mike Colona (D-St. Louis) now tops all gift takers for the year. 

MEC: ALEC junket details improperly hidden from public

The Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) ruled Friday that free food and drinks provided to former Speaker John Diehl, former Speaker Tim Jones, Sen. Ed Emery, Rep. Sue Allen and Sen. Wayne Wallingford during the 2014 American Legislative Exchange Council junket in Dallas, TX were improperly reported as ‘group expenditures.’ The MEC’s consent order and Letter of Concern indicating that “there were reasonable grounds to believe violations of the law occurred” are posted on the Commission’s website.

The MEC investigation and ruling centered on a “Missouri Night” dinner during the August 2014 American Legislative Exchange Council junket and meetings in Dallas.  The total bill for the meal at the Dallas Chop House was an outrageous $5,686, split between the five legislators, two of their spouses, fifteen lobbyists and fifteen other unidentified individuals. Lobbyists with interests before the General Assembly paid for the extravagant evening.

The free food and drinks provided to Diehl, Jones, Allen, Emery and Wallingford were originally reported as going to the "Entire General Assembly," even though the lobbyists paying for the meal knew exactly which legislators were in Dallas at the luxury steakhouse. Incredibly, some of the lobbyists in question reported the small cab fares for specific legislators before attempting to hide the much larger cost of the meal from those same legislators' gift reports.

Majority of GOP voters in Missouri support raising minimum wage to at least $10 an hour

Two thirds of Missouri voters in a new PPP poll support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, and 52% of Republicans favor increasing it to at least $10. 

Jeff City's Lobbyist Gift Takers, Ranked

The Missouri Ethics Commission released lobbyist gift data for June 2015 today. Here are you updated rankings of gift takers in the House and Senate, January 2015-June 2015. Rep. Tom Flanigan of Carthage tops all takers for the year. 

We Stand With Planned Parenthood

A group of extreme anti-abortion activists secretly recorded and heavily edited videos that make outrageous claims against Planned Parenthood and the care they provide. But we aren't fooled and you shouldn't be either.

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