"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

New Media Exposes MO Ethics Commission’s Lax Enforcement

November 30th, 2009 by mopns · No Comments

The MPN blog has a great piece today on the “toothless” Missouri Ethics Commission and their lack of enforcement of Missouri’s basic campaign finance laws such as turning in 48 hour reports.

What caught our attention most in the post was their focus on Attorney General Chris Koster’s successful campaign last year. If you’ll remember, Koster and “Friend of Jay” Chuck Hatfield, literally got away with murder when the Commission decided not to look into their blatant money laundering scheme to fund Koster’s campaign. Here’s an excerpt from our 11/13/08 post:

“In a case ripe with red flags, bells, and whistles, even Ray Charles and Helen Keller could have determined that attorney general elect Chris Koster and Nixon crony Chuck Hatfield, were involved in a nefarious scheme to circumvent the law by laundering campaign money!”

MPN:

“The panel of three Democrats and three Republicans has often been called “toothless” by Missouri politicos due to lax enforcement and orders akin to slaps on the wrist. Take for instance the 2008 violations of now Attorney General Chris Koster (D), where Koster and his staffers knowingly circumvented Missouri campaign finance law by funneling thousands through political committees back to his campaign’s war chest (documented first by MPN, then the AP and the Kansas City Star).

After dragging the case out for eight months from the time of the violation, the Ethics Commission ultimately dismissed the case because only three of the six members voted in favor; four votes are required for action to be taken. Further complicating that case was that Koster’s former co-worker, Michael Kilgore, was chairing the Ethics Commission at the time the complaints were being ushered through.

Will the Ethics Commission have the teeth to pursue the most influential politicians in the state, and perhaps even the Governor, for violations of state law? Don’t hold your breath, but that still doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a shot.”

Related:

Koster Travels to D.C. to Talk About…(Snicker) Fraud?

Comments

comments

Tags: Media Bias

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 heshrugged // Dec 1, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    This kind of money laundering was rampant in the 2008 election cycle in Missouri. Nearly every candidate for statewide office both Republican and Democrat funneled money through county party committees, legislative district committees, and even some judicial and senatorial committees.

    And I’d bet that in the majority of those cases the committee members NEVER VOTED TO APPROVE THE CONTRIBUTIONS. In fact, I’d bet they never even knew it happened.

    I spent a good deal of time researching this and following the paper trail…some candidates funneled over 1/2 million dollars this way.

    These shenanigans are the reason why the state legislature eliminated contribution limits…because all anybody wanting to circumvent the limits had to do was form a PAC and then give their money to the PAC…the PAC would then give the money to a county committee who turned around and gave it to the candidate…if you wanted to make even bigger contributions, all you had to do is find more committees.

    I’ve seen documentation proving that some people gave as much as $40,000 to one candidate by funneling the money through committees.

    But lets not pretend like Koster was the only one doing this…EVERYBODY was doing it…to me that is the real story that needs to be exposed.

Leave a Comment