ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – If you couldn’t afford to go to a World Series or Blues hockey game…maybe you should run for office. Those are just a couple of the perks handed out to state legislators in 2011, according to the Missouri Ethics Commission.
The lavish gifts are legal but it is definitely eye-popping to view the amount of gifts that legislators, including their kids and staff members, received – for free.
One Ameren lobbyist spent $1,750 of utility profits to send five local politicians, Representatives Karla May, Steve Webb, Mike Colona, Tishaura Jones and Senator Robin Wright-Jones and their family members, to the World Series.
Ameren lobbyist Catina Shannon spent $26,846 gifting politicians with dinners and tickets to see Mizzou football and Blues hockey games in 2011. Ameren also spent hundreds of dollars to send one of Representative Chuck Gatschenberger’s children to three Blues games in December.
Steve Webb, who sits on the utility committee, accepted more than $1,500 in gifts from Ameren, AT&T and Kansas City Power & Light. Webb told News 4 that the gifts do not sway his decision-making.
Ameren issued the following statement: “Designated employees use a variety of opportunities to build relationships and to educate the people who make legislative decisions that affect our company and, as a result, our customers.”
The “opportunities” are all listed on the Missouri Ethics Commission website.