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Reply #7: Oh, and then there's his brother and Graves' wife highly questionable ethanol connections [View All]

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-22-08 09:48 PM
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7. Oh, and then there's his brother and Graves' wife highly questionable ethanol connections

Show Me Ethanol, which is on track to open this spring, received conditional approval 15 months ago from State Treasurer Sarah Steelman to benefit from below-market interest rates. But that condition required Show Me Ethanol to comply with the treasurer's strict conflict-of-interest policy, which applies to all statewide projects, not just the proposed ethanol plant.

Under the rules, no incentives can be given if the company has even a single investor who is a lawmaker, statewide elected official, state department director or a parent, sibling, spouse or child of any of those officials. So far, Show Me Ethanol has been unable to comply.

That's because its investors include state Rep. John Quinn, R-Chillicothe; his wife, Mary; and Andy Blunt, the brother of Republican Gov. Matt Blunt. Also invested in the plant is Lesley Graves, the wife of U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo. The treasurer's policy doesn't specifically list Missouri's federal lawmakers as prohibited investors, but Steelman has interpreted her policy so that it does. The Graves family was unaware its investment could pose a potentially costly conflict for Show Me Ethanol until contacted last month by The Associated Press, said the congressman's spokesman, Jason Klindt. As a result, Lesley Graves now plans to sell her investment, Klindt said. "She didn't want Show Me to be held to some sort of different standards just because she was an investor," Klindt said.

The Quinns and Andy Blunt are still holding on to their shares, though they told the AP they would consider selling if Steelman remains steadfast and the company needs them to do so. Steelman insists no exceptions to her policy will be made.

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