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Missouri lawmakers are ranked by how many lobbyist gifts they received

Missouri law does not cap the amount of gifts that lawmakers can accept from lobbyists.
Missouri law does not cap the amount of gifts that lawmakers can accept from lobbyists.

Missouri Reps. Mike Colona and Tom Flanigan have received more lobbyist gifts so far this year than any other lawmakers, according to a list published Tuesday by the liberal group Progress Missouri.

Missouri law does not cap the amount of gifts that lawmakers can accept from lobbyists. Progress Missouri compiled its list using public data from the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Colona, a St. Louis Democrat, received $3,083.28 in gifts from January to July. His largest gift was $800 from a lobbyist for the utility company Ameren in March to pay for “entertainment” at the Scottrade Center.

Flanigan, a Carthage Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee, received $3,017.54. His largest gift was a $231.06 meal paid for by a lobbyist for the Missouri Council of School Administrators.

Just behind them in third place was Rep. Brandon Ellington, a Kansas City Democrat, who received $2,822.90 in gifts from lobbyists.

Former senator Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat who resigned after being accused of sexual harassment by two interns, ranked sixth with $2,460.37 in lobbyist gifts.

Rep. Kevin Austin, a Springfield Republican, topped the list of lobbyist gifts given to a lawmaker’s staff and family with $2,571.54 in gifts.

Only 27 lawmakers — including Democratic Sen. Jason Holsman of Kansas City and Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph — reported no lobbyist gifts. That means they either refused all lobbyist gifts that would be reported to them individually or reimbursed lobbyists for the value of all gifts that were reported as given to them.

Most gifts, however, are reported to groups of lawmakers — such as committees, or even the entire General Assembly. The Missouri Ethics Commission recently ruled that several Missouri lobbyists probably broke state law by reporting a $5,000 dinner in Texas attended by seven lawmakers as a gift for all 197 members of the General Assembly.

See the complete list at www.progressmissouri.org/jeff-city-gift-takers-ranked-new-data.

Top individual gift takers from January to July 2015

1. Rep. Mike Colona, St. Louis Democrat: $3,083.28

2. Rep. Tom Flanigan, Carthage Republican: $3,017.54

3. Rep. Brandon Ellington, Kansas City Democrat: $2,822.90

4. Rep. Mike Leara, St. Louis area Republican: $2,801.37

5. Sen. Brian Munzlinger, Williamstown Republican: $2,768.51

6. Former senator Paul LeVota, Independence Democrat: $2,460.37

7. Sen. Bob Dixon, Springfield Republican: $2,373.07

8. Sen. Paul Wieland, Imperial Republican: $2,318.07

9. Rep. Robert Cornejo, St. Peters Republican: $2,296.11

10. Rep. Shawn Rhoads, West Plains Republican: $2,225.01

Source: Missouri Ethics Commission

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