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The same article notes that Jackson County Circuit Judge David Byrn and Chris Benjamin spoke to the grand jury in February.
Bryrn was treasurer of the Committee for Honest Campaigns PAC that received the $35,000 from the People of Private Enterprise PAC in April 2005. The Star reported in January that Rep. Doug Ervin (R-Kearney) said Don Lograsso "told him that the Committee for Honest Campaigns was organized specifically to discreetly funnel donations that could be politically damaging to fellow Republican candidates."Read More »
Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse
in Kansas City
The Star has the fascinating story of what happened when Rep. Doug Ervin (R-Kearney) and former Rep. Brian Baker (R-Belton) asked pointed questions about the receipt of strip club contributions by a campaign committee with strong ties to (former?) House Counsel Don Lograsso, and the prompt actions by former Speaker Rod Jetton to make sure anti-strip club legislation went nowhere.
According to Erving and Baker, Jetton blackballed them:
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Who replaces House General Counsel Don Lograsso in the inner circle of Republican leadership? Is he replaceable?
House General Counsel Don Lograsso doesn't want to talk about a reported federal inquiry about a 2005 bill regulating strip clubs, but Ron Richard is publicly acknowledging that Lograsso has had "some conversations" about "all that grand-jury-in-Kansas-City-talk.” The Star:
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Don Lograsso, the Missouri House's general counsel and top advisor to disgraced former Speaker Rod Jetton, has been placed on unpaid leave.
According to the Associated Press, Lograsso is on unpaid leave because his eyesight is deteriorating and he might need surgery, and this development has absolutely nothing to do with FBI questions or potential grand jury testimony in the news this week.
UPDATE: The Star reports that current Speaker Ron Richard said he had no idea why Lograsso is taking "an unexpected and indefinite leave of absence."
How does Richard not know why Lograsso is taking an unpaid leave of absence, even after they talked about his departure? What did they talk about, bowling?Read More »
As first alluded to here yesterday, a federal investigation appears to be looking at the alleged pay-to-play leadership of former Speaker Rod Jetton -- especially his role in killing a 2005 bill sponsored by Sen. Matt Bartle (R-Lee's Summit) that tried to crack down on strip clubs. In today's Star:
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The word out of Jefferson City today is that a federal grand jury in the Western District is actively looking at pay-to-play allegations pertaining to a 2005 bill to crack down on the adult entertainment industry.
Current and former officials have apparently been asked to speak to the grand jury in early February.
The adult entertainment legislation at the center of the rumors has long been a point of controversy, and was specifically cited in a Star article just last month as an example of allegedly corrupt behavior in the Capitol. Previous Fired Up! coverage of the legislation may be found here.
Talk of grand jury action is squishy by nature, but we'll post any updates or related information as it's available.
Only one party in Jefferson City has been responsible for committee assignments and bill hearings for the last seven years.
Maybe the chickens are coming home to roost for former GOP Speaker Rod Jetton and his General Counsel, Don Lograsso? We'll see.
You might think that --after having heaped upon her unwanted sexual advances, a retaliatory firing, and an insensitive and illegal investigation of her claims by the Highway Patrol-- Missouri Republicans were done trying to victimize Heather Elder, the woman who was sexually harassed by former Agriculture Director Fred Ferrell.
Of course, you would be dead wrong. No matter how low our state's GOP powerbrokers get, they can always go one step lower.
Sources tell Fired Up! Missouri that Heather Elder was recently fired, without cause, from a job as a legislative secretary to a Republican House member on orders of GOP House Counsel Don LoGrasso.Read More »
You've gotta love GOP politics. Don Lograsso owes the porn industry big time for subsidizing his taxpayer salary with consulting fees via one of his PACs.
So when the porn kings asked Lograsso to get involved in the State Senate primary against Senator Matt Bartle, Lograsso had no choice but to oblige. And he did it with great vigor. Here's the letter he sent out just before the primary attacking Bartle and his campaign team.
So now, the entire Senate leadership has retaliated by sending a letter of their own, to all Republican members of the House.
Lucky for longtime Lograsso pal, Senator Luann Ridgeway, only the leadership was asked to sign so she didn't have to make a difficult personal decision.
Earlier today, Speaker Rod Jetton sent an email to GOP candidates for the House urging them not to accept contributions from the PAC, People For Private Enterprise, a front-group for the adult entertainment industry in Missouri.
This might seem unremarkable, unless you happen to remember that Speaker Jetton's General Counsel is a consultant to a PAC that was used to launder money from People For Private Enterprise and to get that money into the hands of GOP candidates.
From a March 4, 2006 KC Star story on the topic:Read More »
Don Lograsso, the General Counsel to Speaker Rod Jetton and the Missouri House of Representatvies is paid $55,000 a year for part time work, according to a story in today's Columbia Daily Tribune.
Here is the latest Temple Tantrum on the KC Star's report this weekend that Speaker Rod Jetton and his General Counsel, Don Lagrosso, have been providing special favors for the strip club industry in Missouri.
The Kansas City Star has a devastating story today on a kickback scheme devised by Speaker Rod Jetton and his General Counsel, Don Lograsso.
In the scheme, strip club owners donated money to a PAC that pays Lograsso consulting fees, and in return, legislation that threatened their industry was assigned to a hostile committee by Speaker Jetton.
Part of Lograsso's job as General Counsel to the House is to advise the Speaker on the assignment of bills to committee.
This matter needs to go to the Public Integrity Unit at the Justice Department right away. Given the open feud between the Jetton faction of the GOP and the Graves/Blunt factions, it would be a conflict for U.S. Attorney Todd Graves to oversee this investigation.Read More »
Speaker Rod Jetton and his staff have been under significant pressure lately. Everyone knows that being a Republican Speaker of the House, or their legal counsel, can cause a lot of stress.
So, while I normally encourage the media to do their job of holding the Republicans in the legislature accountable, I feel obligated to warn my fellow journalists what can happen when GOP leaders and their staffers feel too much pressure.
Here's a Columbus Dispatch story on the former legal counsel to the Ohio Speaker of the House:
And, yet more:
So keep your eyes peeled for Don Lograsso. Actually, on second thought, perhaps a better warning might be, "Don't look Ethel!"