Peter Kinder More Interested in Partying on Taxpayer’s Dime than Serving the People of Missouri

 MDP launches site highlighting Kinder’s partying, abuse of taxpayer dollars

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Democratic Party launched www.PeterKindersParty.com, a website highlighting Kinder’s reckless habit of billing taxpayers for his lavish lifestyle.  Last year, Kinder reimbursed taxpayers more than $54,000 for hotel stays and travel related to political fundraisers, sporting events and fancy parties.
 
“Throughout his career, Peter Kinder has shown he is more interested in partying on the taxpayers’ dime than serving the people of Missouri.  Peter Kinder has habitually misspent taxpayer funds – charging taxpayers at least $54,000 so he could stay at luxury hotels, eat expensive meals and attend fancy parties.  The last thing Missouri families need during these challenging times is an undisciplined politician who is more interested in having fun than doing his job,” said Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Mike Sanders.
 
Over the past year and a half there have been numerous public reports about Kinder’s wasteful use of taxpayer funds to finance his own lavish lifestyle.  Through it all, Kinder has skirted Missouri state laws and refused to release his official schedules so Missourians can piece together exactly how much money he wasted.
 
PeterKindersParty.com will serve as a resource for Missourians to track how Kinder inappropriately spent their money, as well as providing information about his extreme positions on a variety of issues.  The website will be updated with new information as the campaign moves into the final weeks. 
 
BACKGROUND: KINDER PARTIES – YOU PAY
 
You Paid for It: $54,000 to Finance Kinder’s Lavish and Bizarre Lifestyle.  In April, Kinder was caught “improperly billing taxpayers for personal and political hotel stays” at luxury hotels and casinos like the Four Seasons, the Ritz Carlton, and the Chase Park Plaza.  Kinder was forced to reimburse taxpayers more than $54,000 after he refused to come clean with Missourians about how much of their tax dollars he had spent to finance this lavish lifestyle.  [AP, 7/6/11; St. Louis Post Dispatch, 4/3/11, 4/28/11]
 
 “Caught With His Hand in the Public’s Pocket.”  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said this “utter disregard for taxpayers” by Peter “Kinder, who in 2004 campaigned on the slogan ‘every dollar counts,’” makes him look “like the worst kind of hypocrite.”  Kinder blurred “the line between official and political business, treating taxpayers as ATMs.  This story is simply about a state official who got caught with his hand in the public’s pocket.”  [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 4/5/11]
 
Missourians May Never Know How Much Kinder Truly Owes.  Later, a state auditor’s review “concluded that inadequate records make it impossible to tell how much of Kinder’s costs were for official business versus personal or political activities.”  The St. Louis Post Dispatch called Kinder’s attempts to skirt public records laws “ludicrous.”  [AP, 7/6/11; St. Louis Post Dispatch, 4/27/11]
 
Doesn’t Peter Kinder Have a Home in Missouri?  Kinder’s expensive hotel stays all took place in Missouri.  His predecessor, Joe Maxwell, would travel home to his family.  “Democrat Joe Maxwell, who was lieutenant governor before Kinder, said social events are an important part of winning elections, not the official function of the office.  "Politically, I attended a bunch of those because that's how I got elected. I went to a lot of Christmas parties in St. Louis," said Maxwell, who lives in Mexico, Mo. "The thing I did was - I drove home. I don't remember spending the night."  Maxwell, who was lieutenant governor from 2000 to 2005, was reimbursed for less than $2,500 for hotel stays in Missouri during his four years in office.” [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 4/3/11]