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Lobbyist Money Help  

Campaign donations or access donations?

March 6, 2006
By: Andrea Ramey
State Capital Bureau

Questions are being raised, and eyebrows as well, after the adult entertainment industry donated a large sum of money to a political action committee with close ties to House Speaker Rod Jetton.

Andrea Ramey tells us why some question the timely contribution.

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The Kansas City Star reported over the weekend that strip clubs donated $35,000 to a fundraising committee with close ties to House Speaker Rod Jetton.

Strip clubs made the donation last year when lawmakers were considering the legislation that would crack down on the porn industry and potentially shut some down.

House Minority leader Jeff Harris says he doesn't know enough about it to say whether or not it passes the smell test.

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Contents: "Certainly there are questions that arise just after reading this Kansas City Star story, things like timing of the contribution, certainly the fact that it was the porn industry contributing raises some eye-brows. I think we'll learn more about this, I would hope that we learn more about this in the coming days and weeks."

Jetton's communication staff said repeatedly that he was unavailable for comment.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.

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The Kansas City Star reported on Saturday strip club owners donated $35,000 last year to a political action committee that has close ties to House Speaker Rod Jetton.

The donation was made as legislation that would've cracked down on the porn industry was being considered.

The bill died in the House after Jetton assigned it to an unfriendly committee.

The President of the Center for Governmenatal Studies Bob Stern says it obvious to him what was really at work.

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Contents: "When the large contribution is given in a non-election year, when nobody knows who's running, it's absolutely clear that it was given for governmental access reasons as opposed to election reasons. It shouldn't be called a campaign contribution. It should be called a government access contribution.

After repeated attempts to contact Jetton, his communication staff said he wasn't available for comment.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.