Suspicions raised as Mo. representative changes vote after son hired as lobbyist

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by Russell Kinsaul / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 13 at 9:40 PM

 (KMOV) -- Questions are being raised about whether a state lawyer’s vote on two bills were bought.

Representative Penny Hubbard of St. Louis changed her votes in this last week’s veto session after her son received a job as a lobbyist.

During the regular session, Representative Hubbard voted against a bill to limit lawsuits by uninsured drivers and a bill to limit lawsuits against Doe Run. Her son, Rodney Hubbard, was hired by Doe Run the day before she voted for the Doe Run limits during the recent veto session.

Now she put out a statement late in the day saying her son didn’t lobby her on either bill.

There were a number of bills vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon that the legislature planned to vote to override this week.

When asked if Representative Hubbard’s vote was bought by hiring her son at the last minute, Attorney Jane Dueker said “Absolutely not because she had already committed long before.”

Dueker, a lobbyist for Doe Run said after Hubbard voted against the bill in the regular session, she invited her to tour Doe Run Plant and talk to the company officials.

Hubbard released a statement saying “By the end of June I committed to support the override of HB650 and I was one of seven democrats who changed their original votes on the bill.”

News 4’s Russell Kinsaul asked Dueker why Rodney was hired, she said “He was hired because, one, he's a former legislator and, two, he has a lot of good relationships, especially with city democrats."

Dueker said Rodney Hubbard was one of three extra lobbyists hired by Doe Run at the last minute to have enough lobbyist to communicate quickly with all legislators before the vote, She said it's common practice.

Rodney Hubbard was also hired by the Missouri Insurance Coalition to lobby lawmakers to support limiting lawsuits by uninsured voters which Representative Hubbard voted against in the regular session and voted for this week, helping override the governor's veto.

In her statement, she said she changed her position after learning more about the issue and that her son never lobbied her.

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