Britton, influential Missouri lobbyist, dead at 88
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An influential Jefferson City lobbyist whose legislative victories included bringing legalized riverboat gambling to Missouri has died at 88.
On Wednesday Senate Leader Tom Dempsey along with the rest of the Missouri senate mourned the death of John Britton. They spoke out by saying, "We mourn the loss of one of Missouri's favorite sons, a man we were privileged to call a colleague and a friend. Though he would never have called himself a hero, that is exactly what he was."
John Britton died Tuesday at a Jefferson City hospital after an extended illness, said his son-in-law Robert Burns, an Associated Press reporter in Washington.
One of Britton's first clients in a half-century lobbying career that made him one of the most influential people in the state Capitol was Anheuser-Busch, a company he represented despite having quit drinking.
Britton, a notorious chain smoker who frequently flaunted the Capitol's no-smoking rules, worked to keep beer taxes down and fought limits on public smoking.
Britton was previously a speech writer for then-Missouri Attorney General Thomas Eagleton.