Representative Shannon Cooper receives money from a casino and some Democrats raise their eyebrows
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Representative Shannon Cooper receives money from a casino and some Democrats raise their eyebrows

Date: April 23, 2008
By: Max Hyman
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: A KMOX investigation has found that a legislator with a major voice in gaming legislation received money to stay at the Ameristar Casino. 

Max Hyman (HIGH-man) has more from Jefferson City.

OutCue: SOC

House Rules Committee Chair Republican Representative Shannon Cooper received over one thousand dollars from casino lobbyists in February.

Cooper says what he's given and where he stays on trips doesn't affect his decision-making.

Actuality:  COOPE1.WAV
Run Time: 00:06
Description: Nope. I have no problem. I can, I can stay at somebody's hotel and vote against their issue if it's not right for the people of the state.

But some Democrats disagree.

Jackson Representative Ray Salva says more money is getting thrown at legislators to try to convince lawmakers to vote in favor of casinos.

Actuality:  SALVA2.WAV
Run Time: 00:06
Description: In my six years in Jefferson City, I've never seen so much money hit these halls concerning this gaming issue.

Ameristar's Missouri casinos are in Kansas City and St. Charles.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Max Hyman, KMOX News.

Intro:  One of the most powerful members of the Missouri State Legislature receives more than $1,000 from casino lobbyists  RunTime:0:40
OutCue: SOC

Republican Representative and House Rules Committee Chair Shannon Cooper maintains he did nothing wrong in accepting money from lobbyists.

But Jackson Democratic Representative Ray Salva says he would not hesitate to out anyone who makes decisions based on benefits from lobbyists.

Actuality:  SALVA3.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: It's going to be no strings left unpulled. If someone I find out is taking perks from the gaming industry and it reflects on their vote on this legislation then I'm going to make it public.

Cooper received the money from a gaming lobbyist for what is listed as travel accomodations.
When asked what the trip was for, the Clinton Representative said it was for business.
Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Max Hyman.

Intro: A KMOX investigation found that one of the most powerful voices on gambling in the state recently received more than a thousand dollars from casino lobbyists.

Max Hyman (High-man) has more from Jefferson City

OutCue: SOC

Republican Representative and House Rules Committee Chairman Shannon Cooper denied any wrongdoing and said the trips were for business.

But Jackson Democratic Representative Ray Salva wants answers as to why state legislators are letting themselves be bought for votes.

Actuality:  SALVA4.WAV
Run Time: 00:16
Description: Who's going to St. Louis. Who's getting the free rooms at the Ameristar. Who's getting the free tickets to the Jimmy Buffett concert tomorrow night. And that group that goes there, how they're going to vote on this legislation. I think it's something that we have to look at.

Cooper refused comment when asked about the Buffett concert and hotel rooms.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Max Hyman. KMOX News.

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