Government & Politics

26 fundraisers in two days: Missouri legislators return to Jeff City for veto session

A veto session, it turns out, is a capital time for lawmakers to raise money in Jefferson City.
A veto session, it turns out, is a capital time for lawmakers to raise money in Jefferson City.

The Missouri General Assembly will be back in the Capitol on Wednesday to consider whether to override any of Gov. Eric Greitens’ vetoes.

But before they do that, they’ll focus on raising campaign cash — and enjoying their fair share of free food and booze — in a parade of parties and fundraisers all over the Capitol City, with 16 events Tuesday night and 10 more Wednesday morning.

The festivities kick off at a 4 p.m. Tuesday fundraiser for Democratic Sen. Jill Schupp of St. Louis County and Reps. Lauren Arthur of Kansas City, Deb Lavender of Kirkwood and Tracy McCreery of St. Louis.

A few blocks away, at the offices of the Heartland Credit Union Association, eight Republican legislators are holding a fundraiser at 4:30 p.m. they’ve dubbed the “Gr8tful 8.” GOP Reps. Chrissy Sommer, Mark Matthiesen, Bryan Spencer, John Wiemann, Justin Hill, Phil Christofanelli, Tom Hannegan and Nick Schroer are the guests of honor.

The credit union will host another fundraiser two hours later for Republican Reps. Elaine Gannon, Jim Hansen, Dan Houx, Jim Neely and Donna Pfautsch. House Speaker Todd Richardson and House Majority Leader Mike Cierpiot are scheduled to attend.

Two lobbying firms — one run by Andy Blunt, the other by John Bardgett — are hosting a fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. for Republican Reps. Jason Chipman, Derek Grier and Shawn Rhoads.

Bones Restaurant and Lounge, located a couple of blocks from the Capitol, will have a busy night.

From 6 to 8 p.m., the restaurant is the site of two fundraisers, one for Democratic Reps. Jon Carpenter and Michael Butler, the other for Republican Reps. Bill Kidd, Kirk Mathews and Rocky Miller.

At 7:30, Bones will be the location for a fundraiser for eight freshmen Republican lawmakers: Reps. Rusty Black, Jean Evans, Rick Francis, Mike Henderson, Dean Plocher, Mike Stephens, Nate Tate and Sara Walsh.

The day will conclude with a gathering Tuesday night at the Jefferson City home of Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe. Dessert and cocktails will be served by the pool for those willing to make a $500, $1,000 or $2,500 contribution to the campaign accounts of Kehoe, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard or the Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Fundraising will continue at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, starting with a gathering at a downtown diner for coffee and Danish with Cierpiot, who is running for a vacant Jackson County seat in the Missouri Senate.

The Senate Democrats get in the act Wednesday morning, hosting a 7:30 a.m. gathering at Bones.

Seven more breakfast events are scheduled for Wednesday morning.

The veto session begins at noon Wednesday.

Jason Hancock: 573-634-3565, @J_Hancock