Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Barker's lawyer used to work for Wasinger's fund raising firm

It doesn't mean a thing when it comes to politics, but what a twist!

I'm sure many of you were wondering after the last post if Amy Blunt, Tim Barker's new lawyer, was related in any way to former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. He's listed as a candidate she did work for on the Lanthrop and Gage website. Well, as it turns out, she and Matt are brother and sister.

Of course, that little article really got me interested. The firm she registered to lobby for in 2005 was Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin. Doesn't that name sound familiar? Well, it should! Husch Blackwell Sanders was the law firm that just recently hosted a D.C. fund raiser for "conservative" Rob Wasinger! It also happened to be a firm that does work for the California Stem Cell Initiative, but you can read more about that here.

It looks as though the firm merged at some point into Husch Blackwell Sanders even though their new website doesn't say so. If you do a google search for "peper martin, kansas city" it returns a Google Map address for Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin which is the same as the Kansas City offices of Husch Blackwell Sanders.

It looks like Amy Blunt wasn't a lobbyist for long. After registering on 4/20/2005 she was terminated on 5/2/2006. But the good news is she's back, and now lobbying under the firm of Lanthrop and Gage as of 3/19/2008. She currently only has two clients.

What a twist that the lawyer Barker's now using used to do work for the same firm that's now doing D.C. fund raisers for Wasinger.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Barker answers the $22,000 question

FEC reports show that Tim Barker has a bit of a problem keeping track of all that cash that is flowing into his campaign account. On May 8 he had to answer the $22,000 question to the FEC.

It looks as though Barker finally had to report to the FEC for his rather large disbursement that he later took back. The large disbursement was quite a mistake (maybe?) on his part that showed he only had around $2,200 in the bank in his January 09 report. I can't quite figure out what happened other than he probably has an inexperienced treasurer and what should have been a funds transfer ended up as a disbursement. A sign of how things will work in the campaign? Who knows.

The FEC filing is interesting, but it's not as interesting as the amended organization statement filed in February. The FEC, in all its glorious government efficiency, posted the cover letter with instructions to Barker's treasurer on what to do with the amended statement. Looks as though the amended filing was because his treasurer (who's a registered Democrat by the way) changed her last name.

The cover letter, which wasn't included in the original filing, is from a Donna Labayen at Lanthrop and Gage. Lanthrop and Gage, you'll recall, is the law firm where Kansas Senate Vice President (and VP of the mods) John Vratil is partner. Labayen is an assistant to C. David Barrier, an attorney in the Kansas City, Missouri office, although it appears Barker's actual attorney is Amy Blunt. The instructions and amended statement of organization was cc'd to Blunt, a governmental affairs lawyer. Her bio lists work done for former Gov. Matt Blunt of Missouri.

I can't hardly believe the firm of Lanthrop and Gage was chosen by accident. It looks like the mods have picked their candidate, so Mann and Boldra might want to look out. Should we be at all surprised that Vratil helped out a former Democrat who's decided to be a Republican to get elected to office? Hardly.

With his business dealings and change of heart, it looks to be right on target if you ask me.