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Jetton launches political consulting service

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 27, 2012 - Former House Speaker Rod Jetton is venturing back into the political world with a new venture that provides analysis on Missouri electoral contests.

Jetton, a Republican from Marble Hill, has been rolling out a new venture called Missouri Political Bug, which he described in a press release as a “campaign analysis service covering Missouri House, Senate and statewide campaigns as well as congressional politics, political developments and ballot initiatives in Missouri.”

He said in a statement that the “the goal of MPB will be to provide unbiased and objective information that will help us reliably predict the winners of House, Senate and statewide campaigns as well as ballot initiatives in Missouri.” The release goes on to say that the service is aimed at “state associations, lobbyists, corporate industries, private donors, PACs, candidates and partisan groups” that “want to know how the new districts will affect the 2012 elections.”

Missouri Political Bug’s expertise won’t come cheap. Subscribers can pay $10,000 for three reports on all legislative districts in Missouri. Analysis of a contested state representative race costs $2,000, while a report on a state Senate contest costs $4,000.

Even before he left the Missouri House in 2008, Jetton was a sought-after political consultant. But his political work was controversial, especially since he consulted while holding the powerful House position.

His plans to become a full-time consultant were derailed after he was arrested on a felony assault charge. Eventually he pleaded guilty in 2011 to a misdemeanor assault, in exchange for his admission that he struck a woman and choked her during a sexual encounter at her home.

Since then, Jetton reestablished himself as a marketing director for a Poplar Bluff-based engineering firm. He recently received an award from the Springfield Business Journal for his work at that company.

Jetton has also talked candidly about his political past,including an in-depth series on the Recovering Politician blog. He also discussed the assault case with SBJ editor Eric Olson.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.