September 1, 2014

Gov. Nixon pushes legislature to move quickly on ethics legislation (VIDEO)

The Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate an ethics law passed by the legislature in 2010 has prompted the Governor to push for passage of another measure.

Governor Nixon calls the decision a step backward, and says there should be contribution limits to candidates, and “a world in which unlimited checks can be written to candidates leads to a deepening public cynicism” about the important work of democracy.

The Supreme Court said this week that’s not allowed and invalidated the current law.

The previous law — which was overwhelmingly approved by legislators — stated that contributions more than $500 to candidates while legislators are in session were to be reported in 48 hours.

Nixon is calling on the General Assembly to pass legislation that restores the ethics provisions of Senate Bill 844, reinstates strict campaign contribution limits, and bans legislators from acting as paid “political consultants” for fellow legislators.

Nixon says getting the protections back on the books will help bring “greater openness, transparency and accountability to our government.”

He called the decision by the high court “a step backward” for Missourians.

Nixon said he can work within the confined of whatever contribution caps are put in place, but says, “Having unlimited contributions at any time to any elected official clearly thwarts the overwhelming will of the people … and puts a taint out there that shouldn’t exist.”

He adds that when there are dark dealings with money it creates a cynicism among the people about the important work of democracy.