The Attorney General's office (AGO) retained the right to reject proposals for contingency fee contracts even though state law does not include any provision for doing so once the Office of Administration (OA) has taken over the bid process. The Attorney General also accepted campaign contributions from law firms that submitted proposals. The AGO should not retain the power to reject responses or solicit new responses for contingency fee contracts after it requests the OA to handle the procurement process.Now, Koster's opponent, Ed Martin (R), is criticizing Koster for taking nearly $750,000 in campaign donations from law firms who have sought contracts with Koster's AG office:
Schweich’s audit caught Koster red-handed accepting over $170,000 in campaign contributions from law firms actively bidding on state contracts – a situation Auditor Schweich definitively called “a conflict of interest.” Now, Koster’s own campaign finance reports and official government documents show he received almost $750,000 in campaign contributions since the 2008 election cycle from law firms that replied to Requests for Proposal (RFP’s).
During the 2008 election cycle, Koster received more than $260,000 in campaign contributions from firms who later bid on contracts from his office. Since 2008, Koster has received nearly $475,000 in contributions for a total of nearly $750,000. These large donations routinely come from some of the largest law firms in Missouri, including Humphrey, Farrington & McClain, Hershewe Law Firm, Strong, Garner, Bauer PC, and Langdon & Emison – all of which have received payment from the state during Koster’s time in office.Pay-to-play seems to be entrenched in the upper echelons of Missouri government. Former Missouri AG and current Governor, Jay Nixon (D-MO), awarded a a $1.1 billion dollar contract to Centene after they had contributed over $60,000 to Nixon's campaign.