Petition filed to impose financial restrictions on lawmakers

By Steven Anthony
Missouri School of Journalism
An initiative petition ballot issue has been filed that would impose restrictions on campaign contributions for Missouri legislative candidates.
The measure also would prohibit lawmakers and their staffs from accepting any gift valued at more than $5 from a lobbyist.
The proposal was submitted by St. Louis attorney Brad Ketcher, who was legal counsel for the late Gov. Mel Carnahan. Current Gov. Jay Nixon told legislators earlier this year that he would support a ballot issue to limit campaign contributions if the legislature failed to pass restrictions.
The proposed constitutional amendment would also bar legislators and their staffs from working as lobbyists for two year after leaving office.
The restrictions cover only the legislature, but not statewide office holders or candidates for statewide office.
Missouri voters approved campaign contribution limits by a wide margin in 1994. That provision was repealed by the Republican-led legislature more than 10 years later.
One of the state’s major campaign contributors, Rex Sinquefield, filed suit earlier this year seeking to block another petition that would restrict campaign contributions to candidates for statewide and legislative offices.