A judge in Jefferson City has ruled against a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the Missouri Ethics Commission from holding closed door hearings on so-called hardship cases stemming from a State Supreme Court ruling striking down a campaign finance law and reinstating contribution limits.
Candidates who received money in excess of the limits are required to return the over-the-limit money, and those who claim hardship in doing so are entitled to hearings before the Commission.
State Representative Margaret Donnelly (D-St. Louis), a Democratic candidate for Attorney General, had gone to court in an effort to force the Commission to hold the hearings out in the open. But Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem has refused to comply. Donnelly’s challenge is not over, but this is certainly a setback. She says she will continue to pursue the case in court or in the General Assembly with a legislative effort to have such hearings covered by Missouri’s Sunshine Law.