“We’ve become so good at this that Missouri politicians could give seminars to Colombian drug lords on how to launder money,” Missouri State Senator Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph)
So instead of enforcing the rules on campaign contributions, just chuck ’em? Is that really the message that the state lege is trying to send? That is the net effect of a piece of legislation ramrodded through the state Senate by the wingnut “money equals speech” majority on Wednesday. The legislation, sponsored by Shields, removes limits on political contributions in state and local races. Because, according to Shields, the limits had done little to stanch the flow of money and influence. Instead of operating within the rules, they instead encourage fundraisers and politicians to create ways to sidestep the rules. Never mind that they are sticking a thumb in the eye of the voters, who, in 1994 passed the rules into law by a ballot initiative.
Senator Jeff Smith, Democrat of St. Louis, said the entire Senate should be ashamed. “We are inviting powerful special interests to have even greater sway over the policy process than they already do,” Smith said.
An effort to submit the matter to a vote of the people was shot down on a party-line vote, with 20 Republicans overruling 11 Democrats. Republicans also defeated a proposal to delay the repeal until Jan. 1 to avoid changing the rules in the middle of this year’s campaigns.
Instead, the Senate adopted a clause that would make the repeal take effect as soon as the governor signs it, rather than on Aug. 28, shortly after the primary election and just before the start of the fall campaign.
Senators gave the repeal preliminary approval on a voice vote after nearly five hours of debate. It still must receive final Senate approval before going to the House, where it enjoys significant support.
The legislature previously repealed the limits effective Jan. 1, 2007, but the law was thrown out by the state Supreme Court. During six months of unlimited contributions, Gov. Matt Blunt received as much as $300,000 from one Texas couple. Several senators received as much as $40,000 from a single contributor.
C’mon Missouri! This isn’t what you had in mind when you elected these jackals to protect you from the non-existent threats of gay marriage, abortion and drivable roads, is it? Have you seen enough of these towering dumbasses yet? Can we get a Democratic majority in at least one chamber come November? These greedy Publican bastards simply can’t be trusted.