To the editor:

The recent audit of the Attorney General’s office, as well as the Steve Kraske article in the Kansas City Star on July 21, 2010, has been a real eye opener for those citizens who follow our state government.

To the editor:
The recent audit of the Attorney General’s office, as well as the Steve Kraske article in the Kansas City Star on July 21, 2010, has been a real eye opener for those citizens who follow our state government. The audit provides an example of how “not” to manage a public office and taxpayer dollars. The article is not very encouraging for those of us who believe state government and elected officials should be above reproach.
The audit shows nearly half of the law firms receiving contingency contract awards from the AG’s office also contributed to Attorney Gen. Chris Koster’s re-election campaign. Together these law firms contributed more than $170,000 to Koster, which could be interpreted as an attempt to buy business (pay to play), and a potential conflict of interest. Additionally, when some bids were awarded to firms not preferred by Koster, he promptly vetoed the award and requested another bid.  Furthermore, Koster and his office spent $4.6 million in taxpayer money on legal and expert witness services, without documenting exactly how and why all the money was spent. This once again contributes to the reason that our citizens are distrustful of politicians.
This audit and the Kraske article speak volumes about Chris Koster, his character and ethics. As a former state representative, I think it is troubling that the Attorney General’s Office would accept contributions from firms bidding for business involving our tax dollars. Koster should have refused these campaign contributions and worked for Missourians instead of working to fill his campaign coffers. I urge Koster to return the campaign contributions and publicly apologize to the taxpayers of Missouri for wasting their confidence and money.
In November, we need to make a change and elect a person who cares and serves the people and not their own self-interest.