Porn News

New recording sheds light on 2005 porn donations to Senator Chuck Graham in Missouri Legislature

We don’t mind donations made to www.adultcybermart.com/Home.html

Jefferson City – from www.stltoday.com – When the Missouri porn industry tried to kill a bill regulating strip clubs in 2005, it put more than one lawmaker on its dance card.

The industry’s lobbyist, through a political action committee known as People for Private Enterprise, distributed more than $65,000 in campaign donations in the early months of the legislative session, as the bill was being debated.

The largest of those donations, a $35,000 check that went to a committee connected to a top aide of then-House Speaker Rod Jetton, has been the subject of a federal investigation into alleged pay-to-play activities in the Missouri Capitol.

But a $5,000 check to a committee affiliated with ex-Sen. Chuck Graham [pictured], D-Columbia, may prove just as interesting to federal investigators.

According to campaign finance documents and an audio recording of a 2006 phone call, that money made its way to the same Democratic operative from St. Louis who helped bring down two area lawmakers last fall.

The operative, Milton “Skip” Ohlsen III — who is currently in federal prison on gun and mortgage fraud charges — taped a phone call in June 2006 that ties Graham to a donation made by the porn industry during the time the bill was being debated.

Ohlsen was a Democratic campaign consultant who had worked with Graham and other Missouri Democrats. The Post-Dispatch has obtained the audio recording and verified its authenticity. Ohlsen, who taped many of his phone conversations, recorded the date and time and whom he was calling before he dialed the number.

The FBI is investigating the 2005 porn bill because of allegations that lobbyists exchanged campaign money for official action, which would violate state and federal law. Graham worked against passage of that bill. Trying to hide the source of campaign funds would also violate the law.

FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton would “neither confirm nor deny” any ongoing investigation. She offered the same answer when asked if there were any connections to Ohlsen or Graham.

Graham has denied having a role in the fundraising of the committee that took the $5,000. But it’s a committee that started for the sole purpose of helping Graham win election as majority leader. In fact, the committee name, FLAG, stands for Friends and Loyal Allies of Graham.

The $5,000 that FLAG took — its only contribution in 2005 — ended up being paid to a consulting company called DSG, which is owned by Ohlsen.

In 2006, Ohlsen was running the state auditor campaign of state Sen. Maida Coleman, D-St. Louis. In a phone call with her, the conversation turned to a Columbia Daily Tribune article that indicated the porn industry money ended up with DSG. At the time, the newspaper did not connect the dots between Ohlsen and DSG.

But Coleman knew that DSG was Ohlsen’s company and that Ohlsen had been working with Graham on various Democratic election efforts.

“I’m a little pissed at your boy Chuck,” Ohlsen told Coleman in the phone call, on June 22, 2006. He was upset because Graham hadn’t given him a “heads up” about the Tribune article.

“They inferred that it was Chuck’s PAC,” Ohlsen said of the article, “which it was.”

“Right,” said Coleman. “Same difference.”

Then Ohlsen told Coleman that Graham used the money that “came from the porn industry,” to “pay for something.”

From the phone call:

Ohlsen: “Brilliant Chuck in all of his wisdom. … The timing of this was around the time that debate was going on on porn on the floor where Chuck was fighting for the porn industry when they dropped five grand in a PAC he was affiliated with.”

Coleman: “So what does he do, ask you to run the money through your company for him?”

Ohlsen: “He needed to pay for something. … So that money trickled that direction.”

What the money ultimately went for is unclear in the conversation, though Ohlsen indicates it had some campaign-related purpose that he and Coleman shouldn’t discuss over the phone.

Graham, whose career in the Legislature began in 1996, was not up for re-election in 2006. When he was, two years later, he lost his seat to Kurt Schaefer.

Coleman said last week that she remembers her conversation with Ohlsen, but she declined to comment on the recording.

Ohlsen is in federal prison in Tennessee after being sentenced last year to 30 months in prison on gun possession and mortgage fraud charges. A request to interview Ohlsen was denied by prison officials.

The treasurer of the committee that took the $5,000, Eric Stockton, didn’t return calls for comment.

Graham said he has not been contacted by the FBI. He denies knowing anything about the donation from the porn industry.

“I didn’t know anything about any of that stuff,” Graham said. “I tried to stay as far away from Skip as much as I could.”

ties to graham

Though much of the attention has been on Jetton, Graham ended up playing a key role in the debate on the porn bill in 2005.

Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee’s Summit, sponsored the bill, SB32. It passed the Senate on March 29 that year.

Over the next few days, People for Private Enterprise — the porn industry PAC — would make $45,000 in campaign donations, including the $35,000 to the committee connected to a Jetton aide, and the $5,000 to a committee connected to Graham.

The donation to Graham was first reported in campaign finance forms as though it came from the firm of lobbyist Kent Gaines, who represented the industry. The report was later changed to show the money came from the private enterprise committee.

Gaines’ attorney, Matt Schelp of St. Louis, declined to comment on the federal investigation.

Gaines is the lobbyist who had approached Jetton early in the session asking about making a campaign donation. Jetton said he told Gaines he couldn’t take such a donation.

Jetton — who opposed portions of the bill that would have added new taxes and taken away local control — sent the bill to a committee headed by state Rep. Bob Johnson, R-Lee’s Summit. Johnson, who is no longer in the Legislature, said he killed portions of the bill but knew nothing about the porn industry donation.

“I have an aversion to the Legislature wanting to be the morality police for all of our citizens,” Johnson said.

Johnson is scheduled to speak to the federal grand jury in Kansas City on Tuesday.

Jetton, who has consistently denied he knew anything about the $35,000 donation, told the Post-Dispatch that he has agreed to appear before the same grand jury on Wednesday. Jetton said he intended to waive his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and answer any questions about the porn bill.

Bartle’s bill — in watered-down form — passed Johnson’s committee but never made it to the House floor.

Instead, at Jetton’s direction, it was attached to his unrelated bill on drunk driving, where it was debated in the Senate.

Graham filibustered. He said he opposed the bill because it violated the state’s constitutional requirement that bills not be about unrelated topics. For several days, Graham delayed passage of the bill.

It ultimately passed but was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court for the very reason Graham opposed it.

ethics pressure

Several years later, Bartle is still trying to pass his anti-porn bill.

He introduced it each of the past few years and it fell short of the support it needs to become law. This year, his bill has passed the Senate but has yet to be assigned to a House committee.

Key provisions include a ban on full nudity at strip clubs and a ban on lap dances.

Jetton looks at what’s happened to Bartle’s bill and simply sees the legislative process in action. Bills that don’t have enough support get sent to unfriendly committees. Or they get filibustered in the Senate. Or they never leave the House speaker’s desk.

Whether or not anything illegal took place in 2005, the media attention of that investigation has helped push lawmakers to suggest wide-ranging changes to state ethics laws.

One of the provisions of a bill being considered this year would make it illegal for contributors to move campaign donations from committee to committee, as People for Private Enterprise did in 2005.

Under the bill, committees would no longer be able to give to other committees. Had that law been in effect in 2005, the porn industry group could not have given its $35,000 to Committee for Honest Campaigns, or its $5,000 to FLAG. Instead, the money would have had to go directly to a candidate.

Another provision of the proposed ethics law would require any donation of more than $250 during a legislative session to be reported within 24 hours. In 2005, the donations from the porn industry weren’t widely known until after the session was over.

Another factor that has helped propel ethics reform is the sting that ensnared three former St. Louis-area Democrats — then-Sen. Jeff Smith and House members Steve Brown and T.D. El-Amin.

Smith and Brown were brought down on charges related to a flier that criticized Smith’s opponent in a failed 2004 congressional bid. El-Amin was convicted on an unrelated bribery charge.

Ohlsen was a key figure in the Smith and Brown cases — he had been hired by Smith to create the fliers, and he recorded conversations with Brown as they talked about a conspiracy to lie to the feds.

At that time, Ohlsen was an active Democratic operative, with ties all the way up to the governor’s mansion.

But by the time Ohlsen called Maida Coleman in 2006, he indicated that he felt like he was being pushed away by the same Missouri Democrats who had depended on his help during elections.

“I get zero help, zero anything from Chuck now,” Ohlsen told Coleman, who had her own conflicts with her fellow Democrat.

“There’s a lot of people who are going to have to be paid for their sins,” she responded.

Ohlsen ended the call with what appears to be a prescient warning:

“I buried a lot of bodies,” Ohlsen said. “And everybody knew what was going on.”

248 Views

Related Posts

University Committee Meets to Decide Fate of Wisconsin Professor Who Posted on OnlyFans

LA CROSSE, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-La Crosse held a hearing to decide the fate of a veteran University of Wisconsin professor, who was removed from his post as chancellor last year due to unremorsefully creating and appearing in adult…

Australian Court Upholds Local Censorship Powers of eSafety Commissioner Inman Grant

SYDNEY — The ongoing fight between Australia’s unelected top online censor, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, and X owner Elon Musk over her office’s power to ban specific content in the country and also abroad, has moved into murky territory with…

Emma Hix, Blake Blossom Command Episode 3 of Seth Gamble’s ‘Iris’

"Decision," the third installmen of award-winning director/performer Seth Gamble lates Wicked Pictures feature "Iris" is now streaming on Wicked.com.

Wicked Drops 3rd Installment of Seth Gamble’s Erotic Thriller ‘Iris’

LOS ANGELES — Wicked Pictures has released the third installment of reigning XBIZ Performer of the Year Seth Gamble's latest feature, "Iris."The erotic thriller stars Blake Blossom in the title role, along with Emma Hix, Jennifer White, Charles Dera, Dan…

NCOSE CEO Repeats Factually Inaccurate Statements About Pornhub Moderation at Ted Cruz Event

WASHINGTON — NCOSE CEO Dawn Hawkins repeated factually inaccurate claims about Pornhub’s content moderation on Tuesday during a press conference co-organized in Capitol Hill by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.The event was the public unveiling of Cruz’s Take It Down Act,…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.