Springfield law firm Strong on political spending

Eric Olson, SBJ EditorThe state’s chamber is reporting that Springfield trial law firm Strong-Garner-Bauer PC is No. 3 on a list of 15 law firms that donated $2.4 million combined to statewide political campaigns from 2005–08.

Here are the top trial-attorney contributors through Oct. 6, according to Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry research:

  • Simmons Cooper LLC, East Alton, Ill.: $390,075
  • Montee Law Firm, St. Joseph: $236,114
  • Strong-Garner-Bauer, Springfield: $216,375
  • Hershewe Law Firm, Joplin: $177,775

No other southwest Missouri law firms are on the list.

The chamber’s research shows that Missouri trial attorneys have invested more than $5.39 million in the election, with more than $1.5 million of that going to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Nixon.

And since Aug. 28 – when Missouri removed its campaign contribution limits – trial attorneys have given candidates an average of $31,514.10 per day through Oct. 6, the chamber says. Included in that figure is a $25,000 single donation Sept. 12 to Nixon by Strong-Garner-Bauer, according to Springfield Business Journal’s research for the Oct. 27 cover story, “Donations Unlimited.”

Chamber officials – who have endorsed Republican candidate Kenny Hulshof – are frustrated by this spending, which they say is more than the average working Missourian spends on a home.

“Yet, it’s the average working Missourian who pays the price of excessive litigation through lost access to quality health care, lost economic opportunities, and increased costs of goods and services,” says chamber President and CEO Daniel P. Mehan, in the release.

Strong-Garner-Bauer PC principal Steve Garner tells SBJ that as a trial attorney, it’s his job to protect consumers, and Nixon has done a good job of just that as Missouri’s attorney general.

Are these numbers going to influence your vote? Make a comment here, or voice your opinion at sbj.net/poll.

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