Your Opinion: Ameren supporters also received contributions

Dear Editor:

If you want to know why the politicians in the Senate and House are trying so hard to pass bills to help Ameren cash in, perhaps we should consider this.

Between 2010 and 2012 alone, Ameren doled out over $400,000 in contributions to Senate and House members. Thirty of the current 34 senators received money from Ameren.

Mr. Kehoe, sponsor of Bill 207, received more contributions from Ameren than 28 other senators. Nine of the 10 senators on the committee recommending approval of Ameren’s bill received contributions and/or gifts from Ameren, including Chairman Lager.

In the House, 81 out of the current 163 representatives received contributions from Ameren. Representative Riddle, sponsor of the House bill allowing Ameren to raise rates, received more money from Ameren than 79 others. Out of the 24 committee members of the House who recommended approval of Riddle’s bill, 14 received contributions from Ameren, including Chairman Funderburk, who also received gifts.

Of all the groups contributing money to Rep. Riddle and Sen. Kehoe, Ameren gave the most. Ameren also has 14 registered lobbyists, more than double any other group.

Ameren gave $100,000 alone to Gov. Nixon. So don’t look for any veto from his office when the Ameren bill gets to his desk.

If Ameren is allowed to charge customers “infrastructure” fees up to 10 percent of its revenues twice a year, their rate increases over the past five years will seem like chicken feed. With revenues of over $6 billion dollars in 2012, that’s up to over $600 million on top of what they will continue to get in rate increases. Considering what they are getting back in return, the money the’ve paid the politicians has been money well spent.

So, when Sen. Kehoe says he wants to listen everyone’s view on the Ameren case, you better bring a big wallet.


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