#8
Number eight on our lobbying list in the form of a 6th Grade math problem…

This year, the Missouri General Assembly received $20,853.97 worth of free “non-alcoholic beverages” from the Missouri Beverage Association, a trade organization that (among other things) lobbies against regulations on sugary drinks. Assuming all of the non-alcoholic beverages were cans of soda, how many free cans of soda did lawmakers receive? Assume the price of a 12 pack is $2.99.
Show your work.
Solution:
20,853.97 / 2.99 = 6,974.57
That number would be the number of 12 packs of soda. Let’s see how many cans of soda that would be.
(6,974.57)12 = 83,694.86 cans of soda.
For extra credit, that’s nearly 8,000 gallons of soda.
Note: I’m sure the trade organization gets a much better price than what Schnucks is currently charging, so the actual number of cans would be much higher.
Image via Flickr / Simon Cocks

#8

Number eight on our lobbying list in the form of a 6th Grade math problem…

This year, the Missouri General Assembly received $20,853.97 worth of free “non-alcoholic beverages” from the Missouri Beverage Association, a trade organization that (among other things) lobbies against regulations on sugary drinks. Assuming all of the non-alcoholic beverages were cans of soda, how many free cans of soda did lawmakers receive? Assume the price of a 12 pack is $2.99.

Show your work.

Solution:

20,853.97 / 2.99 = 6,974.57

That number would be the number of 12 packs of soda. Let’s see how many cans of soda that would be.

(6,974.57)12 = 83,694.86 cans of soda.

For extra credit, that’s nearly 8,000 gallons of soda.

Note: I’m sure the trade organization gets a much better price than what Schnucks is currently charging, so the actual number of cans would be much higher.

Image via Flickr / Simon Cocks

#9
Concerts aren’t just for hip young kids. As number nine on our list shows, concerts are also for hip old lawmakers (who don’t want to pay for their own tickets).
This year, lobbyists have treated Missouri legislators to at least $9,317.05 worth of tickets to concerts and plays.
What were the big-ticket items? The most money was spent on September 14 this year ($1,240), paid for by Kansas City Power & Light. It was the night the energy company was hosting “the Manufactured Superstars,” which Wikipedia tells me is “an electronic dance music DJ/production duo.” Senator Kiki Curls (who currently holds the top spot on our lobbyist list) and Representative Gail McCann Beatty, both Democrats, received tickets that day.
Energy companies paid for most of the concert tickets this year — and many concert venues are sponsored by the energy industry.
Other popular concerts
Zac Brown Band
Rep. Dave Hinson (R): $128
Sen. Mike Parson’s staff (R): $128
Sen. Ryan Silvey’s staff (R): $128
Rep. Kevin Austin’s staff (R): $64
Rep. Lincoln Hough (R): $64
John Mayer
Sen. Tom Dempsey (R): $135
Bruno Mars
Rep. Myron Neth (R): $499.54
Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D): $175
Rep. Clem Smith (D): $175
Keith Urban
Rep. Lyndall Fraker (R): $130
Rep. Don Phillips (R): $130
Image via Flickr / jeaneeem

#9

Concerts aren’t just for hip young kids. As number nine on our list shows, concerts are also for hip old lawmakers (who don’t want to pay for their own tickets).

This year, lobbyists have treated Missouri legislators to at least $9,317.05 worth of tickets to concerts and plays.

What were the big-ticket items? The most money was spent on September 14 this year ($1,240), paid for by Kansas City Power & Light. It was the night the energy company was hosting “the Manufactured Superstars,” which Wikipedia tells me is “an electronic dance music DJ/production duo.” Senator Kiki Curls (who currently holds the top spot on our lobbyist list) and Representative Gail McCann Beatty, both Democrats, received tickets that day.

Energy companies paid for most of the concert tickets this year — and many concert venues are sponsored by the energy industry.

Other popular concerts

Zac Brown Band

Rep. Dave Hinson (R): $128

Sen. Mike Parson’s staff (R): $128

Sen. Ryan Silvey’s staff (R): $128

Rep. Kevin Austin’s staff (R): $64

Rep. Lincoln Hough (R): $64

John Mayer

Sen. Tom Dempsey (R): $135

Bruno Mars

Rep. Myron Neth (R): $499.54

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D): $175

Rep. Clem Smith (D): $175

Keith Urban

Rep. Lyndall Fraker (R): $130

Rep. Don Phillips (R): $130

Image via Flickr / jeaneeem

#10
Not to be too crabby here, but I’ve never really understood the allure of seafood in Missouri. Sure, I get it if you’re on the coast, but we’re about as far away from the ocean as you can get.
But apparently the Missouri legislature doesn’t share my opinion. This year, lawmakers accepted $6,385.21 worth of free crab.
The bulk of it was disclosed as going to committees and groups (a recurring theme in this list), and the largest chunk of it was paid for by energy and healthcare lobbyists.
In April, the General Assembly had a couple “crab boils,” which are apparently a social event. Who knew?
As we’ve pointed out before, St. Louis Community College disclosed a $335 gift for a “Senate Crap Boil.” We’re hoping it’s a typo.
Image via Flickr / Inspire Kelly

#10

Not to be too crabby here, but I’ve never really understood the allure of seafood in Missouri. Sure, I get it if you’re on the coast, but we’re about as far away from the ocean as you can get.

But apparently the Missouri legislature doesn’t share my opinion. This year, lawmakers accepted $6,385.21 worth of free crab.

The bulk of it was disclosed as going to committees and groups (a recurring theme in this list), and the largest chunk of it was paid for by energy and healthcare lobbyists.

In April, the General Assembly had a couple “crab boils,” which are apparently a social event. Who knew?

As we’ve pointed out before, St. Louis Community College disclosed a $335 gift for a “Senate Crap Boil.” We’re hoping it’s a typo.

Image via Flickr / Inspire Kelly

#11
Sure, getting affirmation from your kids on Mother’s Day is fine. But who do moms really want emotional encouragement from? Their lobbyists.
Lobbyists representing about a dozen businesses gave out about $500 worth of flowers in the month of May this year.
According to the disclosures, the flowers were for “female members of the House.” A few things:
Does that mean Senate moms aren’t getting any love?
The flowers were disclosed as going to the House Majority Caucus, which would imply only only House GOP moms got flowers. That’s cold.
Image via Flickr/slgckgc11

#11

Sure, getting affirmation from your kids on Mother’s Day is fine. But who do moms really want emotional encouragement from? Their lobbyists.

Lobbyists representing about a dozen businesses gave out about $500 worth of flowers in the month of May this year.

According to the disclosures, the flowers were for “female members of the House.” A few things:

  1. Does that mean Senate moms aren’t getting any love?
  2. The flowers were disclosed as going to the House Majority Caucus, which would imply only only House GOP moms got flowers. That’s cold.

Image via Flickr/slgckgc11

#12
Jefferson City isn’t a big place (trust me, I’ve worked there). Sometimes while in Missouri’s capitol, legislators can crave the hustle and bustle of big city life… you know, like Columbia.
When lawmakers get tired of eating at restaurants in Jefferson City, they can be taken out instead to CC’s Broiler, which touts itself as “Columbia’s Premier Steakhouse.”
I’ve never been, so I can’t attest to the steak’s premier-ness, but I suppose the money speaks for itself. Lawmakers have received $6,912.55 in free food and drinks at the establishment this year.
What’s remarkable is that the nearly $7,000 was spent on only four visits.
For 98 percent of that free food, we can’t know who’s eating it. It was sourced as going to two committees: Utilities and “Leadership for Missouri Issue Development,” which is made up of nine House GOP leaders.
Image via Flickr /naotakm

#12

Jefferson City isn’t a big place (trust me, I’ve worked there). Sometimes while in Missouri’s capitol, legislators can crave the hustle and bustle of big city life… you know, like Columbia.

When lawmakers get tired of eating at restaurants in Jefferson City, they can be taken out instead to CC’s Broiler, which touts itself as “Columbia’s Premier Steakhouse.”

I’ve never been, so I can’t attest to the steak’s premier-ness, but I suppose the money speaks for itself. Lawmakers have received $6,912.55 in free food and drinks at the establishment this year.

What’s remarkable is that the nearly $7,000 was spent on only four visits.

For 98 percent of that free food, we can’t know who’s eating it. It was sourced as going to two committees: Utilities and “Leadership for Missouri Issue Development,” which is made up of nine House GOP leaders.

Image via Flickr /naotakm

#13
Apparently people like free Cardinals tickets. Yeah, I know, this is probably the least surprising gift on the list — but it’s still a lot of money.
This year, lobbyists spent more than $25,000 to take members of the Missouri legislature out for Cards games. John Bardgett & Associates (a lobbying firm) and AT&T have both spent more than $5,000 each on the gifts.
75 lawmakers received tickets to games throughout the year. That’s nearly 40 percent. Only a few times were the gifts hidden by being sourced as going to committees, which is at least better than many of the others on our list.
I’ve written about the free Cardinals tickets before, and I think I’ve made just about every lame baseball pun you could imagine. So without further ado, here’s when the lawmakers were taken out:

Picture of Busch Stadium via Flickr/ pdsphil

#13

Apparently people like free Cardinals tickets. Yeah, I know, this is probably the least surprising gift on the list — but it’s still a lot of money.

This year, lobbyists spent more than $25,000 to take members of the Missouri legislature out for Cards games. John Bardgett & Associates (a lobbying firm) and AT&T have both spent more than $5,000 each on the gifts.

75 lawmakers received tickets to games throughout the year. That’s nearly 40 percent. Only a few times were the gifts hidden by being sourced as going to committees, which is at least better than many of the others on our list.

I’ve written about the free Cardinals tickets before, and I think I’ve made just about every lame baseball pun you could imagine. So without further ado, here’s when the lawmakers were taken out:

Picture of Busch Stadium via Flickr/ pdsphil

#14
In August, at least a couple members of the legislature had representatives go to a conference in Chicago for what’s called the “American Legislative Exchange Council.”
ALEC is an influential conservative organization that bristles at being called a lobbying group. ALEC is known for writing what’s called “model legislation” — bills that can advance the agenda of large corporations in numerous states. 
Last week, the Guardian wrote a series of articles on the organization based off of leaked internal documents. You should either read the pieces or listen to the journalist’s interview on Fresh Air.
Progressive outlets hold ALEC up as a “corporate bill mill exerting extraordinary and secretive influence in the Missouri legislature,” while the Guardian journalist jokingly refers to it as a dating service to connect politicians and large corporations.
While family and staff members from Senators Wayne Wallingford and Scott Rupp were in Chicago for ALEC’s conference, lobbyists foot the bill for $827.76 worth of food and drinks.
Progress Missouri, a liberal outlet, estimates that ALEC has spent more than $40,000 on trips for Missouri lawmakers since 2008. But of course, it’s hard to know for sure since ALEC counts itself not as a lobbying organization (which would mean more disclosure), but as a private club for members.
Photo via Flickr / Phil Roeder

#14

In August, at least a couple members of the legislature had representatives go to a conference in Chicago for what’s called the “American Legislative Exchange Council.”

ALEC is an influential conservative organization that bristles at being called a lobbying group. ALEC is known for writing what’s called “model legislation” — bills that can advance the agenda of large corporations in numerous states. 

Last week, the Guardian wrote a series of articles on the organization based off of leaked internal documents. You should either read the pieces or listen to the journalist’s interview on Fresh Air.

Progressive outlets hold ALEC up as a “corporate bill mill exerting extraordinary and secretive influence in the Missouri legislature,” while the Guardian journalist jokingly refers to it as a dating service to connect politicians and large corporations.

While family and staff members from Senators Wayne Wallingford and Scott Rupp were in Chicago for ALEC’s conference, lobbyists foot the bill for $827.76 worth of food and drinks.

Progress Missouri, a liberal outlet, estimates that ALEC has spent more than $40,000 on trips for Missouri lawmakers since 2008. But of course, it’s hard to know for sure since ALEC counts itself not as a lobbying organization (which would mean more disclosure), but as a private club for members.

Photo via Flickr / Phil Roeder

#15Living in a metropolitan area, sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re living in a very rural state. Until you stumble across a disclosure for a lobbyist gift that’s $500 toward a “House and Senate Boots Scoot and Boogie Event at Memorial Park,” of course.
In case you’re not familiar (I wasn’t), Boots Scootin’ Boogie is a song by the country music duo Brooks & Dunn. There’s a line dance to it. Since my words obviously aren’t doing it justice, here’s the music video.

The party took place in early May, and was paid for by the Missouri State Council of Firefighters and Fred Dreiling LLC. It was sourced as going to the Entire General Assembly.
How many people went? What did they do there? Why weren’t we invited? All valid questions without an answer.
Image via Flickr / Jennifer June

#15

Living in a metropolitan area, sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re living in a very rural state. Until you stumble across a disclosure for a lobbyist gift that’s $500 toward a “House and Senate Boots Scoot and Boogie Event at Memorial Park,” of course.

In case you’re not familiar (I wasn’t), Boots Scootin’ Boogie is a song by the country music duo Brooks & Dunn. There’s a line dance to it. Since my words obviously aren’t doing it justice, here’s the music video.

The party took place in early May, and was paid for by the Missouri State Council of Firefighters and Fred Dreiling LLC. It was sourced as going to the Entire General Assembly.

How many people went? What did they do there? Why weren’t we invited? All valid questions without an answer.

Image via Flickr / Jennifer June

#16
In June, lobbying firm John Bardgett & Associates bought 197 beach balls — enough for every member of the Missouri legislature. The beach balls came with the firm’s logo on them.
It worked out to $214.73 altogether, or just $1.09 per ball (what a steal!).
Maybe it’s just the winter months talking, but I really just don’t get this gift. Like, what are the lawmakers supposed to do with a beach ball? If we lived in Florida, sure, that makes (sort of) sense…but in Missouri? What beaches are they supposed to take this ball to?
Maybe in January all the lawmakers will blow the beach balls up and knock them around from their desks on the floor of the General Assembly.
Here’s hoping.
Image via Flickr / shawnzrossi

#16

In June, lobbying firm John Bardgett & Associates bought 197 beach balls — enough for every member of the Missouri legislature. The beach balls came with the firm’s logo on them.

It worked out to $214.73 altogether, or just $1.09 per ball (what a steal!).

Maybe it’s just the winter months talking, but I really just don’t get this gift. Like, what are the lawmakers supposed to do with a beach ball? If we lived in Florida, sure, that makes (sort of) sense…but in Missouri? What beaches are they supposed to take this ball to?

Maybe in January all the lawmakers will blow the beach balls up and knock them around from their desks on the floor of the General Assembly.

Here’s hoping.

Image via Flickr / shawnzrossi

#17
Legislators being taken out by lobbyists to play 18 holes of golf seems like a cliche at this point. But it also happens to be one that is true, in this case.
This year, Missouri lawmakers were treated to more than $12,000 worth of golf that they didn’t have to pay for. The top three businesses paying for the golf were the Missouri Wholesale Distributors Association ($3,053), AT&T ($1,847) and Ameristar Casino Hotel ($1,795).
The legislators that hit the links the most were Rep. Ron Hicks (R-St. Peters) and Sen. Ryan McKenna (D-Crystal City), who were taken out for $645 and $597 worth of golf, respectively.
As in previous gifts on our list, it’s impossible to know who is actually receiving. More than $4,000 of the spending on golf was hidden by being designated as going to committees, rather than just one lawmaker.
For example, the Missouri Insurance Coalition’s lobbyist spent $929.64 for golf and food and drinks on July 15. Who did that lobbyist take? According to disclosures, he took the “Entire General Assembly,” which (of course) doesn’t name which members of the General Assembly actually went. The spending amounts to somewhere between a dozen and 15 golfers at the event.
The General Assembly has 197 members in all.
None of this is illegal, by the way. Under Missouri’s rules, a lobbyist hiding the recipient of a gift is perfectly acceptable.
Image via Flickr/Seth Lemmons

#17

Legislators being taken out by lobbyists to play 18 holes of golf seems like a cliche at this point. But it also happens to be one that is true, in this case.

This year, Missouri lawmakers were treated to more than $12,000 worth of golf that they didn’t have to pay for. The top three businesses paying for the golf were the Missouri Wholesale Distributors Association ($3,053), AT&T ($1,847) and Ameristar Casino Hotel ($1,795).

The legislators that hit the links the most were Rep. Ron Hicks (R-St. Peters) and Sen. Ryan McKenna (D-Crystal City), who were taken out for $645 and $597 worth of golf, respectively.

As in previous gifts on our list, it’s impossible to know who is actually receiving. More than $4,000 of the spending on golf was hidden by being designated as going to committees, rather than just one lawmaker.

For example, the Missouri Insurance Coalition’s lobbyist spent $929.64 for golf and food and drinks on July 15. Who did that lobbyist take? According to disclosures, he took the “Entire General Assembly,” which (of course) doesn’t name which members of the General Assembly actually went. The spending amounts to somewhere between a dozen and 15 golfers at the event.

The General Assembly has 197 members in all.

None of this is illegal, by the way. Under Missouri’s rules, a lobbyist hiding the recipient of a gift is perfectly acceptable.

Image via Flickr/Seth Lemmons