ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder breaks his silence on the exotic dancer allegations, issuing a brief statement of denial and blaming the scandal on Governor Jay Nixon.
Former Penthouse Pet and exotic dancer Tammy Chapman told the Riverfront Times and KMOX that Kinder was a nuisance customer in the 1990s, when she allegedly performed dances for the then state senator at a metro-east strip club. She claims Kinder had to be asked not to return after he became “aggressive” during her dance routines. Chapman also claims that in recent months, she ran into Kinder at a south St. Louis bar known for its “pantsless” waitresses, and Kinder allegedly offered to let her stay in his Brentwood condominium, which is campaign-funded.
The Kinder statement does not address any specific allegations.
“Like most people I am not proud of every place I have been but this woman’s bizarre story is not true,” the statement says, “The Democrats have tried to use these tactics against me in the past and they have failed. Jay Nixon may want to make up false stories about the past, but I, like most Missourians, remain focused on the issues that are important to Missourians like jobs and education.”
The statement goes on to criticize Nixon’s job as governor. Kinder has long been named as a leading contender for the Republican nomination for governor. But UMSL Political Science Professor Dave Robertson says Kinder finds himself embroiled in a scandal that voters will find hard to forget.
“It’s the kind of salacious story that really gets attention from the average person,” Robertson said, “I think it’s going to tempt other Republicans to get into the race against Peter Kinder.”
Sidestepping questions about the exotic dancer allegations, Kinder has not returned phone calls to KMOX and he left a public appearance in Columbia without taking questions from reporters present. KOMU TV 8 in Columbia says Kinder appeared at a charity MDA gathering, but left abruptly before the event was over.
The Missouri Democratic Party issued a statement on the story:
“If these disturbing reports are so untrue, why did it take Peter Kinder six days to say anything?… No one forced Peter Kinder to go to a bar known for its ‘pantsless parties’ or other adult establishments.”
UMSL Political Science Professor Dave Robertson says this story may take a while for Kinder to deal with.
“It’s going to linger for a while,” Robertson said, “while it builds on top of other problems that have been identified… the Kinder campaign expenditures.”
To hear Tammy Chapman’s interview, click here: