Missouri Democrats and Republicans are going at it over the Missouri State Ethics Commission’s recommendation regarding a new campaign finance law that was struck down by the State Supreme Court.
The Ethics Commission suggests all contributions raised in excess of the previous limits be returned. And, Attorney General Jay Nixon agrees with that.
Paul Sloca with the Missouri Republican Party says the Attorney General – the likely Democrat candidate for Governor in 2008 – supports this idea because he stands to benefit.
Republican Governor Matt Blunt has outraised Nixon approximately three to one in contributions for next year’s race for the Governor’s office. Republicans use the words “collusion” and “conspiracy” in describing the effort to strike down the campaign finance law which allowed for unlimited contributions when the General Assembly was not in session.
Republicans also claim that as Attorney General, Nixon was defending the law, while the lead attorney challenging the law was Chuck Hatfield, Nixon’s former Chief of Staff. Republicans see this as a conflict of interest at the very least.
Democrats reject that. Missouri Democratic Party Communications Director Jack Cardetti insists it is appropriate to have campaign contribution limits in place to prevent wealthy contributors from “buying” influence in state government. He adds that by submitting the Ethics Commission’s recommendation to the Supreme Court, Nixon was doing what he should be doing as the state’s attorney – representing a state agency.
The sides in this case have until August 3rd to submit proposals to the Supreme Court offering suggesting as to how to proceed