Documents show that the Kinder Frat Party Tour spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars living the dream at several restaurants buying thousands in shrimp and booze.
In a scene right out of a movie, Kinder's Frat team went on a spending spree and Fired Up Missouri has it all broken down:
Big food and alcohol bills
A number of events in September 2008 came with significant food and bar bills. For instance, at the conclusion of the race on September 14, organizers ran up a whopping $19,999.13 bill at J. Buck's in St. Louis:
- $6,460 for an open bar
- $9,196 for a buffet
- $2,818 in gratuity
And that total doesn't include entertainment for the party, which cost an additional $2,030. The previous week, before the race began, organizers spent an impressive $17,533 at the Hyatt Crown Center in Kansas City:
- $3,443 on alcohol
- $150 on bartenders
- $9,639 on food
- $2,747 in service charges
In just a few days before the race, organizers spent $37,812 on meals, alcohol, drinks and room service at the Kansas City Airport Hilton. Most of that money was for banquet meals, but a cool $94.14 was spent on a room service cheese and wine platter for two.
Based on an initial review of other expense reports obtained with a Sunshine request to the Dept. of Economic Development, charging room service meals to the Tour was not necessarily an infrequent practice. For instance, the morning after the big party at the Hyatt Crown Center noted above, a separate room service breakfast was happily expensed to TOM, Inc.
Tour organizers also spent large sums of money on hospitality areas for the race. A total of $51,200 was paid to Creative Events for hospitality expenses over a four day span last year (9/11/08-9/15/08) as follows:
- $34,100 for "hospitality" charges (presumably food and drink)
- $5,550 for servers
- $5,600 for bartenders
- $4,000 for linens and buffet equipment rentals
- even $2,000 for Ted Drewes Ice Cream
In addition, $10,000 was paid to a "hospitality coordinator" without supporting documentation or contract, and $2,270 was paid to a "hospitality assistant" without supporting documentation.
Other interesting expenses
Reading through the accountants' report, a few other bills stood out:
- $13,259 in announcer salary, reimbursed to Medalist Sports
- $1,957 to rent an inflatable arch from a company in Austin, Texas
- $51,585 in meals reimbursed to Medalist Sports
It total, $2,274,794 was paid to Tour of Missouri, Inc. in 2008 from public entities, making up a full 70% of its deposits for the year. This public money came from the Division of Tourism, Department of Agriculture, Missouri Development Finance Board and State of Missouri. The accountants' report flags an interesting $25,000 of this total from the "State of Missouri" -- it was deposited on November 7, 2008 without supporting documentation, and "coded to Agri Missouri by TOM."
We at The KC Blue Blog are calling on Lt. Governor Peter Kinder to answer publicly how the tour, which his staff is deeply involved in, can waste this kind of money?
An even more important question is whether Peter was there when this money was spent?
We shall see.