St. Louis Public Radio has launched a new project that will keep track monthly of gifts and money lobbyists give to Missouri legislators. Its first report tracks expenditures in the first two months of 2013. In January and February Ameren Corp., provider of electricity and gas to a large portion of the state, topped the list with expenditures of more than $25,000.
KWMU, University of Missouri - St. Louis, April 10, 2013
St. Louis Public Radio has launched a new data-oriented project that will be keeping track of all the money Missouri legislators receive from lobbyists.
In just two months this year, Missouri legislators and statewide officials received more than a third of a million dollars in gifts from lobbyists. Expensive meals, basketball tickets and clothes are all common gifts to the people that craft our laws and govern us.
Probably none of this is surprising to you. It's fairly understood that lobbyists spend a lot of money on public officials. But there hasn't been an easy way to break down that large, and often foreign-seeming $338,396 that lobbyists spent on politicians.
That's why St. Louis Public Radio is starting a new project to keep track of that money, and hopefully answer the questions of who's giving it, who's receiving it, and what it's going toward.