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Kinder Says Hotel Bills Legitimate, Audited

Brian Kelly
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Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder says St. Louis is the economic engine of the region, and he will “Not apologize for spending a lot of time there.”

Kinder made the statement on Total Information AM, reacting to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report that since 20006, Kinder has billed taxpayers for 329 St. Louis area hotel nights, worth over $35,000.  The Report says Kinder has stayed at St. Louis hotels much more than other elected officials.

Kinder tells KMOX, “I will make no apology for spending a lot of time in St. Louis and doing a lot of things that other officeholders do not do.”

Kinder says  he paid the government rate of $105 during his stays at the Chase Park Plaza, the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton and elsewhere, He says, “There were many times I’d attempt to stay at other hotels, The Sheraton, The Westin, The Renaissance Grand, some Hampton Inns and they would have a rate higher than the $105 that I was staying with.

“We’re now supposed to conclude that it’s bad, if  an elected official in the state of Missouri, number two after the governor, spends a lot of time in the largest metropolitan area in our state. learning about the problems in the state, in that city, in that region.

“(St. Louis) happens to be halfway from my home, Cape Girardeau to Jefferson City and if I’m in Jefferson City, St. Louis is halfway home.”

Kinder says the Post-Dispatch knew, but didn’t put in the story, that he has been audited twice, “Both by auditors of the opposing party (Democratic) to my own (Republican). If their allegation is that Auditor Claire McCaskill, now our Senator, or former Auditor Susan Montee, now the state chairwoman of the Democratic Party  is incompetent for not raising any of these issues, they gave me a clean bill of health, why would the Post-Dispatch leave out the fact that I’ve been audited twice and no concerns were raised about any of the hotel stays.”

When asked how his hotel spending differs from Governor Jay Nixon’s $400,000 in state airplane expenses, Kinder says “It is different in that mine has been audited, and his has not.”

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