Columbia Daily Tribune Endorses Amendment 1

Originally in the Columbia Daily Tribune on October 28, 2018:

Ballot Amendment 1, better known as Clean Missouri, isn’t perfect. If it has one key fault it’s that the amendment might be trying to do too much.

But trying to do too much, in this case, is better than doing nothing at all.

Clean Missouri’s aim matches its name, to clean up and prevent corruption big and small that has invaded statewide politics.

If passed by voters Nov. 5, Amendment 1 would:

Impose a $5 limit on the value of lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers.

Bar former lawmakers and legislative staff from working as lobbyists for two years after leaving office.

Limit campaign donations to $2,500 to candidates for the state Senate and $2,000 to candidates for the Missouri House.

Count donations to legislative candidates from political action committees that have one donor that provides more than 50 percent of the funding against that donor’s personal limit for candidate donations.

Establish an office known as the state demographer to draw House and Senate districts to be competitive between the two major parties, with other provisions intended to make the districts compact, with lines that do not cross the boundaries of political subdivisions.

None of these changes would harm voters or the electoral process. It will help reign in harmful practices that give special interests and partisan politicking a louder voice than Missouri voters.

The limit on campaign gifts is overdue. Whenever a politician accepts gifts, whether it be a t-bone dinner or event tickets, the appearance of impropriety can’t be escaped. The truth is some politicians can be influenced by such gifts. Lobbyists will tell you that gifts don’t impact public policy debates. If that were true then why bother with gift-giving at all? The practice’s existence is proof of its usefulness.

Most importantly, however, is the role Amendment 1 will play in cleaning up Missouri’s gerrymandered mess when it comes to legislative districts. Boone County is a perfect example of this.

In Missouri’s 50th House District, it’s impossible to travel from one side to the other without using a boat to cross the Missouri River or driving outside the district. The 44th House District snakes south across the Randolph County and Boone County border to encompass most of Columbia’s Third Ward. The 47th House District, like the 44th and 50th, also crosses county lines.

Columbia alone is large enough to fit three House districts inside it. Instead only the 45th and 46th House Districts are contained within its borders. This has minimized the voice and will of Columbia residents in the Missouri General Assembly.

Amendment 1 will honor existing geographical and political boundaries. That alone makes this amendment a necessary yes vote on Nov. 6.

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Columbia Daily Tribune Endorses Clean Missouri

In the July 20 paper:

Everyone should want fairly drawn legislative districts that aren’t designed to give any political party favor. It’s troubling that any politician would say otherwise, but we’d be naive to assume the parties aren’t constantly jockeying for any advantage they can get, including when it comes to the shape of districts.

However, we will never achieve government that truly works for its constituents until we can eliminate as much partisan gamesmanship as possible. The Clean Missouri plan goes a long way toward doing just that.

 

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Columbia Daily Tribune Endorses Amendment 1

In the July 20 paper:

Everyone should want fairly drawn legislative districts that aren’t designed to give any political party favor. It’s troubling that any politician would say otherwise, but we’d be naive to assume the parties aren’t constantly jockeying for any advantage they can get, including when it comes to the shape of districts.

However, we will never achieve government that truly works for its constituents until we can eliminate as much partisan gamesmanship as possible. The Clean Missouri plan goes a long way toward doing just that.

 

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Republican support for Clean Missouri ballot measure continues to grow

Supporters include former US Senator John Danforth, Hon. Paul DeGregorio, State Senator Rob Schaaf, and numerous local officials

The Clean Missouri campaign today unveiled its “Republicans for Clean Missouri” coalition. These GOP leaders are joining a broad and growing coalition of Republicans, Democrats, independents, community leaders, and editorial boards across the state, including the Washington Missourian, Kansas City Star, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who have publicly endorsed the full package of desperately-needed reforms in the Clean Missouri initiative.

The legislative reform package will increase ethics, integrity, transparency, and accountability in state government.

The Republicans for Clean Missouri coalition includes:

  • Former U.S. Senator John Danforth
  • Hon. Paul DeGregorio, former Chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and former St. Louis County Election Board Director
  • Trevor Potter, appointed to the Federal Election Commission by President George H.W. Bush; and president of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center
  • State Sen. Rob Schaaf
  • State Rep. Nick Marshall
  • Former State Senator and Current Lee’s Summit Councilmember Bob Johnson
  • Former Sen. Jim Lembke
  • Mayor Clifford Harvey, Weston
  • Dick Bauer, former Assistant Director, St. Louis County Election Board
  • Vern Middleton, Republican business leader
  • John & Gail Russell, Buchanan County GOP former committee members
  • John Saxton, St. Louis GOP Central Committee former member

Some individual endorsers’ statements include:

Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R-MO): “Clean Missouri creates an independent process with clear, transparent criteria to ensure no party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census. Clean Missouri will ensure fair and competitive elections so elected officials cannot take their voters for granted and must earn their support. I’m proud to be part of a bipartisan group of reformers to ensure voters come first — and that Missourians’ voices will always be heard in our democracy. Clean Missouri will increase integrity, transparency, and accountability in state government.”

Paul DeGregorio, Former Chairman, U.S. Election Assistance Commission and former St. Louis County Election Board Director: “In recent years Missourians have experienced serious political corruption, much of it due to the influence of big money and the lack of ethics by public officials. There are many steps we need to take to address this serious issue. Clean Missouri is clearly a step in the right direction to put measures in place that will increase transparency and accountability, and give us more competitive elections.”

Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph): “Clean Missouri would eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly, banning any single gift worth more than $5. … [T]here’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that’s why lobbyists give the gifts: they know they’ll get something in return.”

Former Senator and current Councilmember Bob Johnson (R-Lee’s Summit): “The Clean Missouri amendment will make sure legislators focus on important priorities, not what special interests and extremists want. Voters should be able to hold politicians accountable in fair and competitive general elections. That’s why I was an early supporter of the effort, and will be voting yes on November 6.”

Former Sen. Jim Lembke (R-Lemay): “Clean Missouri reforms our broken redistricting process, which is driven by insiders in both parties to protect powerful incumbents. Additionally, many conservative colleagues rightly criticize that the process often falls to judges who draw maps in secret. The Clean Missouri amendment sets out a fair process in which both parties would have a say in picking an independent expert, who then would draw fair, competitive maps according to clear, transparent criteria. Maps would then be reviewed by a citizen commission to ensure neither political party is given an unfair advantage, resulting in a plan that is representative of voters’ preferences. Districts would still be required to be compact and follow existing city or county lines where possible.”

Mayor Clifford Harvey of Weston, MO: “I signed the Clean Missouri Initiative petition, and will be voting for the desperately-needed amendment in November. … I’m a conservative Republican, but good government is something we should all be able to agree on. No matter which party you support, your elected officials should be working for you, for my own constituents, and for everyday Missourians.”

Former St. Louis Republican Central Committee Member John Saxton: “I gathered signatures for Clean Missouri, which would decrease the corrosive influence of special interest lobbyists and money, and make Republican votes like mine matter in otherwise safe Democratic districts. In light of the legislature’s lack of action to pass meaningful ethics laws, this is one major reform that fellow conservatives can join me in supporting.”

National conservative reform expert Trevor Potter, appointed to the Federal Election Commission by President George H.W. Bush, and current president of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center: “Clean Missouri addresses two of the major problems facing our democracy: partisan gerrymandering and the influence of special interests over elected officials… These common sense solutions would help ensure Missouri’s government reflects the will of its citizens.”

The Clean Missouri amendment will increase integrity, transparency and accountability in the Missouri General Assembly.

The Clean Missouri initiative will:

  • eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly
  • lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates
  • require politicians to wait two years before becoming lobbyists
  • require that legislative records be open to the public
  • ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census, by adding criteria for fairness and competitiveness of the overall map, which will be reviewed by a citizen commission and keep compact and contiguous districts

With its broad coalition of support from across the state, the Clean Missouri coalition submitted 346,956 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office on May 3, more than enough to qualify the initiative petition for the November 2018 ballot.

Signatures are now being counted and verified by local election authorities, and then the Clean Missouri amendment will be certified for the November 6, 2018 ballot.

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Clean Missouri signature turn-in makes major news all over TV, radio, and print

TV, radio, and newspaper outlets all over our state covered the Clean Missouri coalition’s historic signature turn-in of 346,956 signatures on Thursday, May 3 to increase integrity, transparency, and accountability in government.

Here are some of the highlights. Click the outlet name to see the full story.

Kansas City Star
Missouri lawmakers won’t clean up government corruption. Voters should do it for them
By The Kansas City Star Editorial Board
May 3, 2018

The vote can’t come soon enough. As recent events have shown, Missouri is one of the most unethical states in the union. And lawmakers have shown little willingness to address the problem. …

These reforms are essential. The revolving door between the floors of the General Assembly and lobbying jobs turns constantly. …

Opposition to the Clean Missouri reforms is already gathering. This should not be a surprise. In a state where Eric Greitens still serves as governor, resistance to ethical government is predictable. …

Voters, not lawmakers, need to wash the mud from Missouri government. They’ll almost certainly get the chance this year.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Messenger: Thursday was spring cleaning day in Missouri’s capital city
Tony Messenger – May 4, 2018

Republican Joe Ortwerth of St. Peters and Democrat Doug Harpool of Springfield, … in 1991, after Ashcroft’s measure failed to make the ballot, pushed for the law that ultimately created the Missouri Ethics Commission.

It wasn’t strong enough, and that’s why Clean Missouri is back at it today, with a proposal supported by liberals and conservatives alike.

One of those conservatives, former state Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, offered a bit of a mea culpa the other day. In a column in the Post-Dispatch that supported the Clean Missouri effort, Lembke, who was known for taking lobbyists’ gifts during his time in the Legislature, wrote this:

“I saw things go off the rails in 2017, with lobbyist gifts reaching an all-time high: over $1 million worth,” wrote Lembke, currently a legislative aide to Schaaf. “Looking back, if I got the opportunity to serve again, I’d do it differently, and it’s time for Clean Missouri to reform the system once and for all.” …

Voters will get their chance in November.

KMOV (CBS) – St. Louis, MO
CBS This Morning

Today a group of volunteers will be pushing in Jefferson City pushing for stricter limits on lawmakers. … It would lower campaign contribution limits, require politician to wait two years to becoming lobbyists, and require that legislative records be open to the public. The group is hoping to get the amendment on the November ballot.

Columbia Missourian
Ballot petition supports open records and limits on lobbying, donations
May 3, 2018

State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, addressed the ballot petition from the Senate floor Thursday.

Schaaf has been a vocal advocate of lobbying reform.

“This body had an opportunity to address the issue and didn’t do it,” Schaaf said. “People in Missouri are fed up with this.” …

The Rev. Cassandra Gould, pastor at Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church in Jefferson City and executive director of Missouri Faith Voices, said Thursday that lobbyists, large donors and small groups of political insiders have too much influence in the Capitol.

“When I think of what goes on in Jefferson City, I’m reminded of the prophet Amos,” Gould said. “(Amos) said, ‘For I know your crimes are many, and your sins are innumerable. They oppress the righteous, take bribes, and deprive the poor of justice at the city gates.’”

She said the people of Missouri are united to end “systemic corruption” in the Missouri legislature.

Khadijah Wilson, a leader with the Organization for Black Struggle, said she believes the amendment will make it possible for more people to run for office.

“Too often, the only people running for political offices are the rich or the well-connected, or the people who cave to special interests,” Wilson said. “This amendment levels the playing field.”

John Saxton, a St. Louis Republican who ran twice for the Missouri House of Representatives, advocated for the state demographer position that the ballot measure would establish. Under the proposal, the demographer would be chosen by the Senate majority and minority leaders from a list of at least three candidates offered by the state auditor.

“Year after year, insiders draw lines to protect and reelect powerful incumbents, whether or not they represent the public interest,” Saxton said. “Most districts in our state are not competitive.” …

Callaway County farmer Jeff Jones said he talks to his legislators about agricultural policy.

“But the legislative leadership takes millions of dollars in big-money donations,” said Jones, who is a leader with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. “They have not been hearing my voice.”

Missouri Times
Clean Missouri submits 346K signatures for initiative petition dealing with ethical issues in legislature
By Alisha Shurr – MAY 3, 2018

“Lobbyists and a small group of big donors have too much control over Missouri state government,” said Rev. Cassandra Gould of Jefferson City. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’re going to make our state government more transparent, limit the power of big money in our legislature, and make sure we can hold legislators accountable when they fail to act in the public’s interest.”

“We’re not waiting on the politicians and lobbyists to fix themselves,” said Jeff Jones, a [fourth]-generation farmer in Callaway County. “We can all see how big money drives the agenda in Jefferson City, and we’ve had enough.”

KMOX-AM (Radio) – St. Louis, MO
News at 5
5/3/2018 5:08 PM

Khadijah Wilson from Saint Louis is a leader with the Organization for Black Struggle. “This amendment levels the playing field, making it easier for citizens to run for office. That is good for Missouri’s democracy, and we need more regular people looking out for us.”

KOMU (NBC) – Columbia, MO
KOMU News at Five
5/3/2018 5:05 PM

Martin Tennant from Kansas City: “I really feel as though I’ve been a small part of a really historic change in Missouri, and a change for the better. I’m really looking forward to seeing seeing the positive effects this initiative has, on the way Missouri is run.”

Fulton Sun & Jefferson City News Tribune
Clean Missouri petitioners turn in about 347,000 signatures
May 4, 2018 by Joe Gamm

Fulton Sun coverage of turn-in featuring Jeff Jones

Rev. Cassandra Gould … said the activities that occur in Jefferson City remind her of the words of the prophet Amos, who said: “For I know your crimes are many and your sins are innumerable. They oppress the righteous, take bribes and deprive the poor of justice at the city gates.”

Among speakers was Jeff Jones, a farmer from Callaway County who said he has been discussing agriculture policy with legislative leaders but they have not listened. Legislative leaders take millions of dollars from big agriculture and don’t hear his voice, he said.

Elizabeth Davidson, of St. Louis County, said she wants legislators to focus on solutions to everyday Missourians’ concerns, such as health care. Instead, she said, they cater to lobbyists who push extreme agendas, some of whom gave more than a million dollars in gifts to legislators last year.

“No matter which party you support, that isn’t right,” Davidson said. …

John Bohney, of St. Louis, gathered more than 1,600 signatures for the petition. He said the initiative is a chance to increase integrity in government.

“Together, we can take back power from special interests and give it to the people,” Bohney said.

KOMU (NBC) – Columbia, MO
KOMU News at Six

Laura Umphenour from Springfield: “We will be excited about voting again, and we will be excited about being a part of our government, and how we are going to direct missouri in the future – how the people are gonna direct Missouri.”


KRCG (CBS) – Columbia, MO
KRCG 13 Live at 6 PM

A group that wants to ban a lobbyist gifts to Missouri lawmakers has turned in nearly 347,000 signatures to get a question on November’s ballot that would let voters decide the issue. The ballot initiative by Clean Missouri would make it subject to the states open records law, lower limits on campaign contributions, and change ow legislative districts are drawn.


KQFX (FOX) – Columbia, MO
ABC17 News at 9 on Fox 22

A group that wants to ban lobbyists gifts turned in thousands of signatures today to get a question on November’s ballot. The initiative, submitted by the organization Clean Missouri, would also make state lawmakers’ records open to Missouri’s open records law and it would lower campaign contributions. Right now, there are no limits on lobbyists gifts and lawmakers are exempt from the open records law.


WGEM (NBC) – Quincy, IL
WGEM News Today

There’s a push to make big changes to politics in Jefferson City. Yesterday a group called Clean Missouri submitted signatures to get a question that would ban most lobbyist gifts to lawmakers on the November ballot, letting voters decide. The ballot initiative would also make lawmakers’ records subject to the state’s open records law, lower limits on campaign contributions, and change how legislative districts are drawn.

KTTN – Trenton, MO
Missouri voters to decide on initiative targeting corruption in government

Rev. Cassandra Gould said there is agreement that political insiders, big donors, and lobbyists wield too much influence in state government. So her group is fighting to take back control and even the playing field for all Missourians.

“I would say that there is overwhelming – on both sides of the aisle – there is an overwhelming, unified response to being able to do this,” she said.

The amendment also would require legislative records be open to the public to boost transparency. Signatures were collected from all of Missouri’s 114 counties.

FOX2NOW St. Louis via Associated Press
Signatures submitted to ban lobbyist gifts, cap donations
May 3, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A group that wants to ban lobbyist gifts to Missouri lawmakers has turned in signatures to get a question on November’s ballot that would let voters decide the issue. …

Currently, there are no limits on lobbyist gifts, although they must be reported, and lawmakers are exempt from the open records law.

Southeast Missourian via Associated Press
News Roundup
May 4, 2018

The ballot initiative, submitted Thursday by an organization called Clean Missouri, would also make lawmakers’ records subject to the state’s open records law, lower limits on campaign contributions and change how legislative districts are drawn. It would ban lobbyist gifts over $5.

KCTV (CBS) – Kansas City
News at 4
May 4, 2018

In Missouri, a group that wants to ban most lobbyist gifts to lawmakers has turned in signatures to get a question on November’s ballot. The ballot initiative is by an organization called Clean Missouri. It would also make lawmakers’ records subject to the state’s open records law, lower limits on campaign contributions and change how legislative districts are drawn.

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We. Did. It. Clean Missouri just submitted 346,956 signatures!

On Thursday, May 3, the Clean Missouri coalition submitted 346,956 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in Jefferson City, more than enough to qualify the initiative petition for the November 2018 ballot! The constitutional amendment will increase integrity, transparency and accountability in state government.

Volunteers who have been part of the signature gathering effort gathered for the submission of more than 200 boxes of petitions with signatures, gathered by over 1600 volunteers and canvassers, from all 115 counties in Missouri.

This would not have been possible without the tireless volunteers, dedicated coalition members, and 24,449 donations from supporters!

Watch and share the video:

The Clean Missouri amendment will increase integrity, transparency and accountability in our state legislature. It will:

  • lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates
  • eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly
  • require politicians to wait two years before becoming lobbyists
  • require that legislative records be open to the public
  • ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census, by asking a nonpartisan expert to draw fair state legislative district maps, which would then be reviewed by a citizen commission

“Lobbyists and a small group of big donors have too much control over Missouri state government,” said Rev. Cassandra Gould of Jefferson City. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’re going to make our state government more transparent, limit the power of big money in our legislature, and make sure we can hold legislators accountable when they fail to act in the public’s interest.”

“Lobbyists reported giving more than $1 million in gifts to legislators of both parties last year, and almost $900,000 a year on average. That’s nuts!” said Laura Umphenour of Springfield. “No matter what party you believe in, this isn’t right.”

“We’re not waiting on the politicians and lobbyists to fix themselves,” said Jeff Jones, a fourth-generation farmer in Callaway County. “We can all see how big money drives the agenda in Jefferson City, and we’ve had enough.”

“We need a state government that is open and accountable one that puts people ahead of lobbyists, wealthy donors or partisan politics,” said Elizabeth Davidson of St. Louis County.

“We’ve got a bipartisan problem in Jefferson City, and Clean Missouri is a bipartisan solution,” said Martin Tennant of Kansas City. “I’m grateful we get to vote for it and pass it this November.”

“Year after year, political appointees draw district lines to help re-elect party insiders, even if they haven’t represented the best interests of their constituents,” said John Saxton of St. Louis, a former member of the St. Louis City Republican Central Committee. “Voters should be picking politicians, but it’s upside down right now: political insiders are picking their voters. This amendment will require that maps be crafted with clear, transparent criteria to ensure fair and competitive districts, and that a nonpartisan expert is part of the process. That’s a big reason I gathered signatures for Clean Missouri.”

“When we get big money out of state politics, we force candidates to earn our votes, debate the issues, and represent us — their constituents,” explained Khadijah Wilson of St. Louis. “Too often, the only people running for political office are the rich or well connected, or people who cave to special interests once they are elected. This amendment levels the playing field, making it easier for citizens to run for office. That is good for Missouri’s democracy, and we need more regular people looking out for us.”

“The Clean Missouri amendment will make sure legislators focus on important priorities, not what special interests and extremists want,” said former Republican state senator and current Lee’s Summit Councilmember Bob Johnson. “Voters should be able to hold politicians accountable in fair and competitive general elections. That’s why I was an early supporter of the effort, and will be voting yes on November 6.”

Signatures will now be counted and verified by local election authorities, and then the Clean Missouri amendment will be certified for the November 6, 2018 ballot.

Now it’s time to get the word out and win! To get help increase integrity, transparency, and accountability in government, visit http://www.cleanmissouri.org/volunteer.

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My motivation

We caught up with Lyn, a volunteer collecting signatures with Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action. Read more below about why she’s involved in the Clean Missouri campaign.

Q: What drew you to the Clean Missouri campaign?

A: You know, I believe that campaign finance reform is absolutely necessary for restoring democracy in our state.

Q: How will the Clean Missouri initiative change the political landscape in our state?

A: My hope is the state legislature will be more responsive to the voters and act in their best interest instead of their largest campaign contributors.

Q: What’s the best thing about volunteering with Clean Missouri?

A: I’ve really been surprised by how enthusiastic most people are about signing the petition. So many folks thank us for the work we’re doing once they’ve signed. It really motivates me to keep volunteering and gathering signatures!

Q: Is there anything else you want to share about your experience?

A: I enjoy meeting the other volunteers! We all come from different walks of life and have different reasons to be a part of this campaign. It shows how important the Clean Missouri initiative is and why it’s so necessary for Missouri.

Now, it’s your turn.

Help us get big money out of Missouri politics — sign up to volunteer and join the Clean Missouri team today.

Here are the facts – The Clean Missouri amendment will:

  • lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates
  • eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts
  • require politicians wait two years before becoming lobbyists
  • require that legislative records be open to the public
  • ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census, by asking a nonpartisan expert to draw fair legislative district maps, which would then be reviewed by a citizen commission
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#TBT from the Blue Springs Examiner: “Missouri needs to overhaul the way it draws political boundaries”

In 2012, Missouri redrew Congressional, State House and State Senate district lines in a drawn-out, extremely partisan process. The Blue Springs Examiner highlighted this process in 2012.

“The antics in Jefferson City during the past few weeks are more reason to drive home a point we’ve been making in this space for some time: Missouri needs to overhaul the way it draws political boundaries.”

It’s time for a change.

Here are the facts – The Clean Missouri amendment will:

  • lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates
  • eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts
  • require politicians wait two years before becoming lobbyists
  • require that legislative records be open to the public
  • ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census, by asking a nonpartisan expert to draw fair legislative district maps, which would then be reviewed by a citizen commission
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When Missouri Was the Wild Wild West

After the Missouri Legislature repealed contribution limits in 2008, campaign spending exploded.

In 2000, Missouri statewide and legislative candidates raised just under $40 million. However, by the 2016 cycle, donations tripled with campaign contributions topping $120,000,000.

But that’s not all.

Today donations come from fewer, bigger donors, and the donations of regular people matter less and less.

Missourians deserve better.

The passage of Amendment 2 in 2016 was a step in the right direction, but flaws in the amendment language and legal challenges have left serious loopholes in Missouri campaign finance law.

The Clean Missouri initiative will implement new contribution limits of $2,500 for State Senate candidates and $2,000 for State House candidates, increasing integrity and confidence in our state government.

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Missouri Legislators Take $872,000 in Lobbyist Gifts — Every Year

Lobbyists spend an average of $872,000 each year on gifts for politicians in Jefferson City. That’s almost a million dollars in meals, drinks, sports tickets, and other freebies.

Every year.

Lobbyists spend an average of $872,000 each year on gifts for politicians in Jefferson City. That’s almost a million dollars in meals, drinks, sports tickets, and other freebies.

Every year.

It gets worse. We don’t know who actually received over $8 Million of these gifts. Because of a loophole in current ethics laws, when lobbyists report their freebies as going to a ‘group’ or ‘committee,’ they don’t have to reveal names of the individuals receiving those gifts.

No matter what party you believe in, this is not right.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

That’s why we’re coming together to get big money out of state politics and make sure our elected officials represent us. The Clean Missouri initiative will close loopholes and ban all lobbyist gifts over $5 – making state government more transparent and our legislators more accountable.

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