November 23, 2014

Big campaign donations targeted (AUDIO)

A veteran state senator who has seen unlimited campaign contributions let special interests control the process of government hopes to clamp down on the money flow.

Senator Chuck Purgason of Caulfield recalls his astonishment when he first sought office that somebody would write him a check for $275, and then for $600 when he ran for the senate. He says the elimination of donation caps has taken the small businessman and the average citizen out of the mix—and has shifted the balance of political power in Missouri.

A senate committee is considering his plan to limit contributions to candidates for governor to 25-hundred dollars down to 400-dollars for candidates for the House of Representatives..

One of the committee members says the present law has allowed well-heeled donors and political consultants become the kingmakers in Missouri politics.

AUDIO: Committee hearing 15:33

From the senate summary of the bill:

SB 546 – The act imposes contribution limits for individuals and committees in support of candidates running for public office. Surcharges will be imposed upon committees that accept or give contributions exceeding the limits. The limits are as follows for contributions made by or accepted from any person other than the candidate and all committees: • $2,500 for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, or Attorney General. • $1,00 for Senators. • $500 for Representatives. • $500 for any other office, including judicial office if the population of the area is under 100,000. • $1,000 for any other office, including judicial office if the population of the area is between 100,000 and 250,000. • $2,500 for any other office, including judicial office if the population of the area is over 250,000.