Daily Archives: April 18, 2008

MO Attorney General candidate rakes in casino contributions

For many political observers this week was of great excitement and importance as every candidate’s fund-raising reports were made available by the Missouri Ethics Commissions. Several stories have been written concerning the financial status of a variety of candidate’s as they look to build their campaign war-chests for the upcoming months.

As we did last summer, we will once again encourage candidate’s to take our Casino Watch pledge, promising voters that they will no longer accept contributions from gambling special interests. But as we review all the latest contributions and lobbyist gifts in an effort to educate the public on which candidates are being persuaded by gambling special interest dollars, we want to share with you some candidates who are already drawing interest over the source of their campaign funds.

Current MO State Senator Chris Koster, a candidate for Attorney General, who raised eyebrows a few months ago by switching political parties is now drawing scrutiny for the sources of his campaign donations.

According to Missouri Political News:

Tuesday Koster filed a report with the Missouri Ethics Commission that claimed he amassed $593,674 during the first quarter of 2008. A closer examination reveals that 90 percent of his contributions originated with political committees, $226,500 of which was funneled through legislative committees under the guise of in-kind contributions…

While at first glance this may seem like an insider-only story, the Turner Report explains that Sen. Koster has turned to gambling special interests dollars to fuel his quest to be the state’s next Attorney General. According to the Turner Report:

Among the other contributors who circumvented contribution limits by giving first to the Economic Growth Committee, which then laundered their cash through the legislative committees were:

Ameristar Casinos, St. Charles and Kansas City, $17,450

We will continue to track and report casino contributions and lobbyist gifts as the information becomes available. In the meantime, check back often for updates on our Casino Watch pledge signers.