Peter Kinder Spinning Lies; Claims Democratic Operative Works for RFT
|Cuckoo conspiracy: Kinder claims RFT provided this photo to ourselves.|
Kinder admitted knowing Tammy Chapman when she worked as a stripper in at the Diamond Cabaret in the mid-1990s. However, he said he never had any contact with her since, until he happened upon her this past winter at Verlin's, a south-city watering hole where waitresses work in the underwear.
Kinder told Loesch that he stopped at the bar to use the restroom and then ordered a glass of wine. It was then, he claims, that Chapman approached him and snapped a photograph of the two on her cellphone.
"That is the extent of the story," said Kinder.
Kinder denied, too, that he ever got rough with Chapman while she performed lap dances for him. "Had I been, it should have been reported to the authorities," he said. The lieutenant governor also cast aside Chapman's claims that he asked her to move into his Brentwood condo when seeing her at Verlin's. "That's just one of the things put out there in this 'hit piece,'" said Kinder.
Kinder then went on to suggest that a friend of Chapman's, John Ross, is behind the scandal. Kinder says Ross is a "contributing writer and editor for the Riverfront Times" who provided the photo of him and Chapman to the paper. In 1998 Ross ran for Congress as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Jim Talent. And, as Kinder told Loesch, Ross "has all kinds of connections with my opponents."
Here at Riverfront Times, we're baffled as to how Kinder came up with this theory. For starters, Ross has never worked or written for our publication. We can also say that Ross is not the person who supplied us with the photo.
Reached by phone today, Ross can't explain Kinder's conspiracy, either. Not only has he never written for the RFT, he says our publication tried to write a "hit piece" about him in 1998. He also says that he never saw the photo of Kinder and Chapman before its publication on the Riverfront Times'' website -- and advised Chapman against talking to the media after the picture went public.
Moreover, Ross says he's always been a fan of Peter Kinder for his support of the Second Amendment. Ross, a concealed-carry instructor, operates a website dedicated to "gun culture."
"One of the biggest efforts of my life was an eleven year effort to get conceal/carry passed in Missouri," says Ross. "I hired the original lobbyist for the bill out of my own pocket. For ten years, Peter Kinder supported us in our efforts. And for ten years, [then-Attorney General] Jay Nixon tried to block us. He was an opponent. I tell everyone who comes to my shooting school that. I tell them, if it comes down to voting for Kinder or voting for Nixon, I tell them to remember who's in favor of their right to self-defense."
Kinder conducted another interview this afternoon with KMOX's Mark Reardon in which, we're told, he spun the same story about Ross' alleged affiliation with Riverfront Times.
Kinder ended his interview with Loesch by pointing to the supposedly true story, this one reported by Andrew Breitbart's "Big Government." A scan of that site shows a reporter named Dan Riehl spinning the same falsehoods as Kinder.
More media analysis of Kinder's denial here.
The RFT's Sarah Fenske contributed to this report.