Monday, December 03, 2007
Portwood picking up freebies right and left
There is no off season for lobbyists when it comes to providing gifts to Missouri legislaors.
A case in point is Dr. Charles Portwood, R-St. Louis County. According to Missouri Ethics Commission documents, Portwood has collected $3,820.19 in lobbyists' gifts for 2007, with a great deal of them coming in the past few weeks when, of course, the legislature has not been in session.
During October, Portwood snared $528 worth of University of Missouri football tickets on the 6th and the 13th from MU lobbyist Erin Elliott.
That would be enough, but another Mizzou lobbyist, Allen James Snider, kicked in with $174 worth of tickets to an Elton John concert, topping it off with a $12 meal on Oct. 5.
Portwood's September haul included a $100 ticket to a St. Louis Cardinals' game from his former colleague and current Rex Sinquefield lobbyist Carl Bearden on the 19th, the same day Bearden bought him a $69.71 meal and drinks.
On Sept. 15, another MU lobbyist, Martin Oetting, provided football tickets worth $140.
In August and September, Portwood allowed lobbyists to pay his entry fee into four golf tournaments, with three of them provided by Gene Maggard, representing AT&T.
Since the conclusion of the 2007 legislative session, Portwood has picked up more than $2,500 in lobbyists' gifts.
That total includes a $168 framed photograph recognizing Portwood's accomplishments from lobbyist James Tuscher, representing Paraquad, Inc. of St. Louis on July 25. Tuscher, of course, also provided Portwood with a $72.43 meal and drinks.
If legislative leadership includes showing the way in accepting freebies from lobbyists, then Dr. Portwood certainly is deserving of that award.