One supporter of Jeff Smith compared him to a Kennedy.
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, Build-A-Bear CEO Maxine Clark and an ex-girlfriend are among the hundreds of people who wrote to a federal judge asking for leniency in the sentencing for former state senator Jeff Smith.
The letters, along with some penned for former state representative Steve Brown, had been closed to the public but were unsealed in federal court late last week.
Smith had spent his two-plus months prior to sentencing lobbying his supporters both in and beyond Missouri to write on his behalf. It's a diverse bunch that includes numerous elected officials, several journalists, educators, lawyers, secretaries, former interns and campaign workers, constituents, at least one police officer and a current member of the city's police board.
A professor at Princeton University likened Smith to Robert Kennedy, and, for that matter, all the Kennedys who'd ever been involved in one "legal impropriety" or another.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wrote, "Like him or not, Jeff Smith challenged government leaders to care about issues that otherwise seemed far removed from their districts and their lives."
Smith's ex-girlfriend of four years, Elisabeth Smith (not a typo; she has the same last name), talked about how she played second fiddle to his political ambitions, but never held it against him.
Elisabeth Smith's mother describes how Jeff Smith never made time for grooming or material possessions and describes how she and her daughter, "with a small amount of discreet purchases, moved him, quite literally, out of the children's department into one for diminutive men."
To read some of the outpouring, click on the document that appears after the jump.
A list of the supplicants you can find in the letters, here or below:
-Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster -Lt. Governor Peter Kinder -Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee -Missouri State Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler -Jerry Schlicter (St. Louis lawyer, Democratic fundraiser) -Pete Rothschild (St. Louis developer) -Becky Homan (formerly with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) -Thomas Hoerr (New City School headmaster) -Amy Gill (St. Louis developer) -Todd Epsten (CEO, Major Brands; commissioner, St. Louis police board) -Michele Duffe (St. Louis real estate executive) -Maxine Clark (CEO, Build-A-Bear) -Rodney Boyd (St. Louis lawyer, lobbyist) -Susan Block (St. Louis lawyer, former circuit judge) -Adrienne Smith (ex-girlfriend's mother) -Andy Smith (brother) -Elisabeth Smith (ex-girlfriend) -State senator Scott Rupp -State senator David Pearce -State senator Eric Schmitt -State senator Matt Bartle -State representative Donald Calloway, Jr. -State senator Jason Crowell -State senator Jane Cunningham -State senator Ryan McKenna -Shane Cohn (St. Louis alderman) -David Drebes (political journalist, Missouri Scout) -Bob Duffy (associate editor, St. Louis Beacon) -Nolan Pour (St. Louis police officer) -Vincent Schoemehl, Jr. (CEO, Grand Center)