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Veto session offers chance for Missouri lawmakers to raise money

There are nearly 30 fundraisers scheduled to coincide with the Missouri General Assembly’s annual veto session.
There are nearly 30 fundraisers scheduled to coincide with the Missouri General Assembly’s annual veto session.

Lawmakers will return to the Missouri Capitol Wednesday to consider whether to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes.

But many arrive the day before with another goal in mind: To raise money.

There are at least 26 fundraisers scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday to coincide with the General Assembly’s annual veto session. It’s become a bipartisan tradition in Jeff City, with legislators filling their campaign coffers before turning their attention to official business.

Missouri has no cap on how much a donor can contribute to a candidate’s campaign, and during veto session, there is no shortage of lobbyists and interest groups ready to cut a check.

The fundraising starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday, when Republican Rep. Caleb Rowden holds his annual golf tournament. It costs $200 for individuals to play and $800 for a team.

Kansas City state Reps. Brandon Ellington and Bonnaye Mims will co-host a fundraiser for fellow Democrat Rep. Courtney Curtis of St. Louis County at 4 p.m. at J. PFinneys, a sports bar just down the street from the Missouri Capitol. Suggested donations range from $325 to $1,000.

Once that’s done, J. PFinneys will host two more fundraisers: one for Independent Rep. Keith English of St. Louis County and another for Republican Rep. John McCaherty of Jefferson County.

McCaherty’s event will feature House Speaker Todd Richardson and House Majority Leader Mike Cierpiot, who are also scheduled to attend four other fundraisers Tuesday night around downtown Jefferson City.

There are two fundraisers featuring an all female slate of lawmakers.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Jill Schupp and Reps. Deb Lavender, Lauren Arthur and Tracy McCreery will hold a joint fundraiser entitled “SLAM,” an acronym for their last names, at 4 p.m. On the Republican side, Reps. Kathie Conway, Diane Franklin, Marsha Haefner and Sheila Solon are hosting an event entitled “Four Blondes and a Fundraiser” that begins at 6 p.m.

The final event of the day will be held at the home of Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe, a Jefferson City Republican, where guests will enjoy dessert and cocktails by his pool. Money raised will support Kehoe, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard of Joplin and the Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Cost to attend ranges from $500 to $2,500.

There are six more events scheduled early Wednesday morning, starting at 8 a.m. Most take place at the Jefferson City Country Club.

Veto session begins at noon on Wednesday.

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