Campaign rules prompting push for reform

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — For the past six years, Gov. Jay Nixon has been consistent in his call for campaign contribution limits in Missouri.

But for six years, nothing has happened.

Missouri is the only state in the nation where lawmakers can accept both unlimited campaign contributions and unlimited gifts from registered lobbyists. Missouri also allows former legislators to become lobbyists the day they leave office — something other states regulate.

Nixon’s latest call comes as a growing push has emerged from some members of the Republican-controlled General Assembly for campaign donation and lobbying limits. Secretary of State Jason Kander, who, like Nixon, is a Democrat, also is pushing for ethics reform and finance reform. Kander is the state’s chief election officer.

Kander’s proposal, which he announced last week, is sponsored in the House by Rep. Kevin McManus, D-Kansas City. It would ban all gifts from lobbyists, impose campaign contribution limits and strengthen the Missouri Ethics Commission’s enforcement power.

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