Thursday, July 28, 2005

Blunt Suspected of Violating Missouri's Campaign Finance Laws

The Missouri Ethics Commission announced that they have referred a complaint filed against Gov. Matt Blunt for violating Missouri's campaign finance laws to the Attorney General's office. This marks a dramatic victory for Missourians and the role of integrity in government.The Missouri Democratic Party filed this complaint after learning that Matt Blunt had failed to report an illegal in-kind contribution of a tour bus to his campaign by Mike Kehoe. Only after the MDP reported this violation did Blunt's campaign pay for the use of the bus. Unfortunately, they decided to pay for just a third of the bus's fair market value, again constituting an wrongful in-kind contribution well above the amount that individuals are allowed to contribute to candidates.So, just what did Mike Kehoe get in return for his largesse to Blunt's campaign? Your governor appointed him to the Missouri Highway Commission. This case is just one more example of the apparent quid pro quos for campaign contributions that have become standard operating procedure under Matt Blunt:
Blunt named a convicted thief as Missouri's top business recruiter after she helped raise thousands for his campaign
Blunt let special interests choose his cabinet, even letting the insurance industry hand pick the state's insurance watchdog
Blunt handed out license fee offices to numerous donorsBlunt and the Republicans have tried to disparage the efforts by the MDP to expose this pattern of payoffs as just politics as usual. But they couldn't be more wrong. The Ethics Commission's decision to refer this case to the Attorney General for is believed to be the first time since the Commission was formed in 1993 that it has found such probable cause to refer an ethics complaint against a sitting governor.The MDP believes that integrity in government is critical for the public to trust their elected officials. The people of this state deserve an open and honest government that acts in their best interests.And where is Matt Blunt today? According to the Republican Governor's Association, he's in Idaho for a two-day thank you to special interests who have given generously to the help elect Republicans -- including $2,500,000 to Blunt in 2004."It's fitting that on the very day the Ethics Commission announces they have found probable cause to refer an ethics complaint against Matt Blunt for prosecution, that Gov. Blunt and his chief of staff are in Sun Valley, Idaho thanking political contributors," said MDP spokesman Jack Cardetti. "Clearly, this is an administration that shows little regard for ethical guidelines and acts as if they are above the law."

Wonderful Rolemodel Governor!

=Concerned=

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Family That Pays Together, Stays Together: A Look at Blunt's Campaign Contribututions.

In this day and age when family members usually go their separate ways, you have to appreciate a local family that bucks that trend.Take the Beshores.They're a family that follows the old saying, "The family that pays together stays together," and the man they are paying is Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.The media made a big deal out of Blunt's early campaign war chest of three quarters of a million, but they overlooked the little guy, the family guy, the one who spends his hard-earned money to improve government.That's Lance Beshore, Joplin. By night, he's a family man, but 24 hours a day, he is a lobbyist in the employ of Carthage-based Fortune 500 company Leggett & Platt.According to the campaign disclosure forms on the Missouri Ethics Commission website, Dr. Beshore, listed as a physician, gave the governor the maximum contribution, $1,200. His wife, Sharon Cornell Beshore, listed as a homemaker, also gave $1,200. His son, Brent Beshore, listed as student gave $1,200. (If I could have donated $1,200 to politicians when I was in college, I wouldn't had to have spent years paying off a student loan.) Dr. Beshore's father-in-law, Harry Cornell, of Leggett & Platt gave $1,200.The Leggett & Platt extended family also stepped up to the plate. Karl Glassman gave, you guessed it, $1,200. and Leggett & Platt itself was also down for $1,200.In addition to Leggett & Platt, the governor once again had a steady stream of contributions from registered lobbyists, in addition to Dr. Beshore, though none of them were listed as lobbyists.Among those:-Burch and Associates, the lobbying firm operated by former State Representative Jerry Burch gave $300. His firm represents Missouri Hospital Association, Southwest Missouri State University, Greene County Commission, Springfield City Utilities, and the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.-Gaines Brown Consulting, a lobbyist firm gave $1,200, which represents Monsanto, Premium Standard Farms, Kansas City Chiefs, and Southwestern Bell (SBC) among others.-L. Kent Gaines lobbyist for Gaines Brown Consulting, $1,200. No occupation was listed for Gaines.-University of Missouri lobbyist Tom Atkins donated $1,200. His occupation is listed as Tom Atkins Investments.-Kenneth Teasdale with the lobbying firm Armstrong Teasdale, which represents Ameren UE, gave $1,200. His firm was listed for his occupation.-Harvey Tettlebaum, lobbyist for the Missouri Health Care Association, donated $1,200.Sizable donations from lobbyists are par for the course for a Blunt campaign. As The Turner Report noted on May 25, Matt Blunt received money from nearly 100 registered lobbyists during his 2004 gubernatorial campaign. You can find that information at:http://rturner229.blogspot.com/2005/05/much-has-been-written-about-amount-of.html***One of the most interesting donors on the disclosure form filed by Governor Blunt's campaign was "Columbia Fee Office," which gave $1,200 on June 30.Joplin-area donors, in addition to those associated with Leggett & Platt included:David Humphreys, TAMKO, $1,200, Dr. Blake Little, Joplin, $1,200; Ron Richard, listed as C&N Bowl Corp, $1,200, Patty Richard, Joplin, $1,200; and Dee Wampler, Springfield, attorney, $500.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Daddy Blunt Not Prioritizing Medicare - The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who earlier predicted his panel would deal with a bill in early June, said Wednesday it may not get to it until September at the earliest. Meanwhile, the head of the Senate Finance Committee said he hoped a meeting Thursday morning might spur some action, though he was not sure it would. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., said the schedule for his Ways and Means committee bogged down because of the Central American Free Trade Agreement and other legislation. "The issue is dealing with more time-sensitive legislation first," Thomas said. Social Security "is not time-sensitive, and we are going to pass CAFTA" before Congress begins its summer recess at the end of the month. Thomas was quick to say about Social Security legislation: "There's no hang-up on contents. It's just how many days we got and how many space shuttles don't get off the ground." The House delayed its votes and curtailed some committee action Wednesday so members could attend the launch of the space shuttle Discovery, which ended up being scrubbed because of an equipment problem. Rep. Roy Blunt (news, bio, voting record) of Missouri, the No. 3 Republican in the House, told reporters he doubted lawmakers would deal with the bill this month. That would delay the debate until fall, when the Senate is expected to be consumed with a Supreme Court confirmation battle. Sen. Charles Grassley (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters Tuesday he was unsure when his committee would begin work on Social Security legislation. His staff is expected to outline several ideas for the committee's Republican members during a business meeting Thursday, but two of those members have expressed doubts about Bush's proposal, which includes personal investment accounts.

A Blunt is a Blunt is a Blunt!!

=Concerned=

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Blunt Bans Medications - Buys SUV!!!

The third worst governor in the country has banned Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra from Missouri’s Medicaid program. The move will save the state about $200,000 a year, slightly more than Blunt spent to renovate the Governor’s Office and buy himself new SUVs.

Sex is only for the wealthy in Missouri - just like SUV's and Mansions!

=Concerned=