Missouri senators allege undue influence in Ameren bill

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | 11:48 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Two Missouri Republican senators have accused each other of doing the bidding of rival political consultants and companies as the Senate considers utility legislation.

Senators are debating a bill Tuesday that would let utilities charge for the financing costs of building new power plants. The bill is backed by AmerenUE and is opposed by smelter Noranda Aluminum Inc.

Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia drafted the bill. He says his district has been bombarded by untrue robo-calls opposing the bill. Schaefer accused Republican Sen. Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau of being involved in the campaign and doing what Noranda wants.

Crowell denied involvement and said Schaefer is doing AmerenUE's beckoning.

The two senators shouted over each other as they made their claims.


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