TARGET 8: Does Roy Blunt have too many conflicts of interest?

1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago October 14, 2016 Oct 14, 2016 Friday, October 14 2016 Friday, October 14, 2016 7:53:00 AM CDT in Target 8
By: Lauren Donovan, KOMU 8 News
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JEFFERSON CITY - KOMU 8's Target 8 Investigative team analyzed a negative advertisement about U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R). The ad paid for by his challenger, Jason Kander (D), laid claims that Blunt voted to raise his pay 12 times, lives in a $1.6 million D.C. mansion, and his wife and all three of his children are all lobbyists. 

ARE ALL THE BLUNTS LOBBYISTS?

The campaign ad alleges: "his wife ant three of his children are all lobbyists"

From Blunt's first marriage he had three children: Matt, Amy and Andrew. 

From 2005 - 2009, Matt Blunt served one term as the Governor of Missouri. Today, Matt works in Washington D.C. and serves as the President of the American Automotive Policy Council. The large auto lobby represents three corporate giants: FCA US LLC (Fiat and Chrysler Automobiles), Ford and General Motors. 

Amy Blunt Mosby is registered as an "active" lobbyist in Missouri. 10 years ago she represented a few clients. Today however, she only represents one in Jefferson City before the General Assembly. She has not been to D.C. in three years. Amy currently works for the Bespoke Group, a public policy firm in Columbia that deals with the finance sector. 

Andrew "Andy" Blunt is also registered as an "active" lobbyist in Missouri. A well known political consultant, Andy is currently running his father's reelection campaign. Many of Andy's reported clients are involved in the cable television industry. 

Blunt's second wife, Abigail Perlman is a lobbyist for Kraft Foods. He married Perlman in 2003 and the two adopted a son together, whom they adopted from Russia. 

SUPPORTS INCREASES IN HIS PAY?

The ad stated: "voted to raise his own pay 12 times." 

When Blunt ran for office in 2010, the average pay for a U.S. Senator was $174,000 annually. That salary has not changed today. 

The first of these votes was made in 1997, when he was serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The Missouri Democratic Party argued Blunt voted to raise his pay on 12 different occasions, which is confirmed through the U.S. Senate voting history. Blunt refused to comment on this issue. 

DOES HE LIVE IN A "MANSION"? 

The ad said Blunt has a "$1.6 million D.C. mansion."

"Very comparable homes are three times as expensive in Washington D.C.," Columbia real estate agent, Susan Horak said.

Though she said she does not support one candidate over the other, Horak said the ad was misleading, though the term "mansion" can be applied to both."At 1.6 million here (Columbia) and I could find, there are comparable homes between about $3.5 million to $5 million in Washington D.C. market," Horak said. 

"These are not people who are living significantly beyond their means, they are just hardworking people in the Columbia community," Horak said. Because the value of a $1.6 million mansion in Washington D.C. is different than that of a mansion in Columbia, Missouri. 

For more on my interview with Horak visit: https://vimeo.com/187351566

 

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