Old patronage system in Missouri sparks new investigation

Source: By STEVE KRASKE and DAVE HELLING, The Kansas City Star, Sat, Apr. 15, 2006

Federal authorities are investigating Missouri’s network of license fee offices and how they were awarded to political supporters of the Blunt administration, The Kansas City Star has learned. The federal involvement is the second to come to light in Jefferson City recently. FBI agents also have begun interviews involving lobbying practices in the state Capitol, The Star revealed Thursday……… Blunt last year privatized the last 11 state-run offices in the system, meaning that state workers no longer operate any fee offices, including the one in downtown Kansas City. Blunt said the change would serve customers better while saving the state money. Those who run the offices are independent agents who contract with the state. Since Blunt took office, another wrinkle was added to the system: private umbrella companies hire workers for different offices and handle the offices’ cash flow. The company in the Kansas City area is called KCFA Management.