Chris Koster, in yet another case, of pay-to-play corruption, took at least $182,000 in campaign money from law firms seeking to represent Missouri in a multiple plaintiff case against GlaxoSmithKline over the drug Avandia (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
“Pay-to-play” sleaziness is nothing new to Chris Koster – in June 2012, State Auditor Tom Schweich discovered the deep and growing scandal involving Koster, his official office and his political campaign.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article in 2011 said that Koster opened up the controversial Avandia case for law firm bidding after a New Mexico law firm donated $25,000 to Koster. That, and other actions, show how Koster lives up to his nickname, “Obama’s Lawyer.” Consider the fact he took campaign contributions from Express Scripts executives after meeting with them on the taxpayers’ time and dime, and also has accepted nearly $750,000 in campaign contributions from firms that were bidding for state work.
Republican Attorney General nominee Ed Martin said Missourians deserve an Attorney General with integrity, not a slick talker with a “For Sale” sign on his office.
“The Avandia case is just another example of Koster’s disgraceful trail of corruption. State Auditor Tom Schweich’s strong audit was only the beginning of exposing the facts. Koster might as well have a “For Sale” sign outside his office. Koster has accepted nearly $750,000 in contributions from multiple law firms that sought his favor for state work. Having gone toe-to-toe in the courtroom with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, I know what corruption looks like. Koster has thrown away the integrity of his elected office with Chicago-style pay-to-play fundraising. Koster is truly living up to his title of ‘Obama’s Lawyer.’”
As reported by the Martin campaign on Monday, Koster received more than $260,000 in 2008 political contributions from firms that later bid on official contracts from Koster. Since 2008, Koster has received nearly $475,000 in contributions for a total of nearly $750,000. These large donations routinely come from some of the largest law firms in Missouri, including Humphrey, Farrington & McClain, Hershewe Law Firm, Strong, Garner, Bauer PC, and Langdon & Emison – all of which have received payment from the state during Koster’s time in office.
Schweich’s June 2012 audit caught Koster red-handed accepting over $170,000 in campaign contributions from law firms actively bidding on state contracts – a situation Auditor Schweich definitively called “a conflict of interest.” Another $4 million was spent on “legal and expert” witness services, but without adequate documentation to justify the expenses. Clearly, Koster is using taxpayer dollars to pad his campaign coffers.