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Lobbyists give different stories to Missouri Ethics Commission

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The capitol building in Jefferson City

A $3,000 dinner involving several Republican Missouri lawmakers highlights how lobbyists are reporting things differently to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The meal at a Dallas steakhouse was provided during an August conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council. It involved House Speaker Tim Jones, Majority Leader John Diehl, Rep. Sue Allen, Sen. Ed Emery and Sen. Wayne Wallingford.

The Kansas City Star reports the tab was split by lobbyists. But seven lobbyists reported the meal as going to "the entire General Assembly" while five others reported their expenses as being made on behalf of the individual lawmakers.

Missouri law says lobbyist gifts can be reported to a group if all members are invited in writing. One lobbyist said he thinks all legislators were invited, though only a few attended.

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