Of the 29 people who comprise the St. Louis board (28 aldermen and president Lewis Reed) more than half have had no lobbying expenses reported in their name so far this year. Others have had lobbyists spend as little as $11.95 buying them lunch or
hundreds buying them seats to ballgames and concerts.
Leading the list with the most lobbyist expenditures is Sixth Ward alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett
who's had lobbyists spend $1327.30 on her through September -- the latest figures available from the Missouri Ethics Commission
. Those perks include gift bags, meals, and tickets to multiple venues.
Most the expenses tied to Triplett have come via Brian K. Leonard
, a lobbyist for Ameren UE, and one of just a handful of corporate peddlers working City Hall. Leonard has treated Triplett to $887 worth of freebies this year, including tickets to see Jay-Z perform at Scottrade Center and several trips to Busch Stadium.
"Ameren's headquarters is located in the Sixth Ward, and we've partnered on a number of initiatives," explains Triplett. "Basically this is relationship building. These tickets do not buy any
type of influence or sway my opinion about legislation."
Triplett adds that she often shares tickets she gets with constituents and neighborhood leaders. And while she leads her peers in the amount spent on her by lobbyists, several of her colleagues have also gobbled up their share of corporate handouts.
Below is a list of lobbyist expenditures reported to the ethics commission for each alderman through September...
- Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed - $396: The board president has been visited by all the major lobbyists working City Hall. Travis Brown (the lobbyist for Rex Sinquefield) treated Reed to a $146 meal back in January. Steven Hoven, a lobbyist with SSM Healthcare, spent $110 on Reed to attend and dine at Bob Costas' benefit at the Fox Theatre last April featuring Jennifer Hudson. Anthony Lancia, the lobbyist for Associated General Contractors of St. Louis, spent $85 entertaining Reed in April.
Charles Troupe - $11.95 lunch
- Ward 2 Dionne Flowers - $65: Tickets to a concert courtesy of LeRoy Grant, Jr. lobbyist for AT&T
- Ward 3 Freeman Bosley Sr. - $0
- Ward 4 Sam Moore - $791: Tickets to the Missouri Valley Basketball Tournament, courtesy of Ameren. Baseball tickets courtesy of Ameren and the Associated General Contractors.
- Ward 5 April Ford-Griffin - $163: Concert and basketball tickets; lunch at Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Conference
- Ward 6 Kacie Starr Triplett - $1,327
- Ward 7 Phyllis Young - $0
- Ward 8 Stephen Conway - $0
- Ward 9 Ken Ortmann - $0
- Ward 10 Joseph Vollmer - $0
- Ward 11 Matt Villa - $0
- Ward 12 Fred Heitert - $0
- Ward 13 Fred Wessels - $50: Boys Club Golf Outing courtesy of John Sondag with AT&T
- Ward 14 Stephen Gregali - $0
- Ward 15 Jennifer Florida - $0
- Ward 16 Donna Baringer - $112: Cardinals ticket, courtesy of Associated General Contractors
- Ward 17 Joseph Roddy - $0
- Ward 18 Terry Kennedy - $0
- Ward 19 Marlene Davis - $456.12: Basketball tickets, concert tickets
- Ward 20 Craig Schmid - $0
- Ward 21 Antonio French - $288: multiple sports and entertainment tickets courtesy Brian Leonard with Ameren
- Ward 22 Jeffrey Boyd - $157: Including $150 worth of tickets to Devon Alexander fight at Scottrade Center in August courtesy of LeRoy Grant with AT&T
- Ward 23 Joe Vaccaro - $0
- Ward 24 Bill Waterhouse - $12.73
- Ward 25 Frank Williamson - $554: Multiple baseball tickets courtesy of Associated General Contractors, boxing tickets courtest of Ameren
- Ward 27 Gregory Carter - $0
- Ward 28 Lyda Krewson - $0
Bonus: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay
has had three lobbyist expenditures filed against him so far this year totaling $202. Two of those expenditures have come courtesy of lobbyist Rex Sinquefield's lobbyist, Travis Brown, who spent $144 on dinner for Slay in January and $28 to buy him lunch in September.
Poor St. Louis Aldermen. Sure, their $32,000 a year salary is nothing to sneeze at and roughly on par with what state reps ($36k) and senators ($31k) earn. But when it comes to wining and dining on the credit card of lobbyists, St. Louis aldermen take a distant back seat. Well, most of them anyway.