© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
KCUR FM is operating at lower power and KCUR HD1 & HD2 (Classical) are off air while Kansas City PBS performs repair work. Signals will be restored this afternoon.

Bartle Testifies For 'Pay To Play' Grand Jury

Video frame courtesy of KMBC, TV-9
State Senator Matt Bartle talks with reporters on the courthouse steps about a bill he sponsored that some say was killed in a \"pay to play\" maneuver.


Kansas City, Mo. – A federal grand jury investigating whether there is a "pay to play" system in the Missouri legislature heard testimony Tuesday from Lee's Summit Republican Senator Matt Bartle and the chairman of a political committee involved in money transactions that some allege led to the killing of a Bartle bill toughening restrictions on the adult entertainment industry.

Federal grand jury rules prohibit witnesses discussing their testimony. But Senator Bartle did talk with TV-9's Michael Mahoney on the courthouse steps about the bill and its fate.

The bill was killed in committee after now resigned Republican House Speaker Rod Jetton assigned it to a committee with a chairman hostile to its content. Bartle comments, "I think... that was just a way to kill it."

Coincidental to the committee assignment, a group opposing the bill made a $35,000 donation to a another group called the Committee for Honest Campaigns. Was there a connection? Bartle didn't make that accusation, but did say, "I know that there was a contribution made, and it sure looks really bad."

Senator Bartle doesn't believe he is the subject of the investigation. And the other witness, Circuit Court Judge David Byrne, also believes he was strictly a witness. But there is little doubt that former speaker Jetton is at least one focus of the investigation.

Audio clips courtesy of KMBC,TV-9

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make non-profit journalism available for everyone.