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(Democrat Kentucky) A non-smoking, non-drinking state representative in Kentucky who blotted his copybook by taking a junket to Costa Rico funded by the tobacco industry
1976: Jody Richards is a Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, representing the 20th District since 1976 and currently serving as Speaker of House.
1997 Aug 4: Wall Street Journal article "Tobacco-Funded Group gives Legislators Free Trips." details the many junkets for politicians organized and run by Philip Morris's Corporate Affairs department (headed by Andrew Whist).
These junkets were organised through the National Governor's Association (NGA) and the Council on State Governments (SGA) — and supposedly funded by the totally-fake tobacco-controlled business/media societies, the New York Society for International Affairs (NYSIA), American-European Community Association (AECA) and a journalistic junket group called LIBERTAD.
On the NYSIA Costa Rica trip June 13-19 1997
- Rep Charles Williams, Mississippi
- Rep Bob Starke, Florida
- Rep Jody Richards, Kentucky
- Rep Steve Gaw, Missouri
- Rep Carol Donovan, Massachusetts
- Sen Manny Aragon, New Mexico,
- Sen David Cain, Texas
- Sen Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico
- Sen Ray Powers, Colorado
- Sen Jeff Wells, Colorado
- Sen Jeff Wentworth, Texas
- Lt Gov Olena Walker, Utah
1998 Jun 29: from the Deposition of Andrew Whist
He went on the NYSIA Costa Rica junket but said he didn't know PM funded it
2006: Jody Richards will not run for governor in 2007! Richards, 67, told reporters Monday he plans to focus his attention on being speaker of the House. ...
He won an election to the 20th House District in Bowling Green. He has been re-elected ever since. A teetotaler and non-smoker, Richards has been a longtime member of Greenwood Park Church of Christ. He and Neva, his wife of 32 years, run a book wholesaling company in Bowling Green called Superior Books Inc.
At 69, Richards is the oldest candidate for governor this primary season. But during a mid-April trip to Eastern Kentucky, he easily kept up with his twenty-something campaign staffers as they sprinted up courthouse steps in Boyd, Elliott and Morgan counties. Richards attributes his health to "good genes."
After 31 years in the legislature, Richards told the Nicholasville audience that "there's not been a hint of scandal" in his service. That's generally true, although in 1997, The Wall Street Journal reported that Richards was among a group of state legislators who accepted a free trip to Costa Rica. The trip was sponsored by a non-profit group that received the bulk of its funding from tobacco giant Philip Morris, which employs lobbyists in Kentucky.
Lawmakers are prohibited by state law from accepting anything of value from lobbyists. The Legislative Ethics Commission cleared Richards on charges that he acted improperly.