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Rep. El-Amin (D-St. Louis) pled guilty to charges that he accepted $2100 from a gas station owner to lobby the city of St. Louis on his behalf.

Here’s a few quick observations

1) Had the gas station owner donated $2100 to El-Amin’s campaign committee, would there be charges and a guilty plea today? I’d guess the answer to that question is “no”. The reality of the Missouri campaign contribution laws is that it’s essentially no-holds-barred for an individual. That won’t be addressed as much as it should be because someone stupidly violated the law. Missouri’s campaign finance system is a brown paper bag and the promises made are a bit more subtle than bribery.

2) The “communicate by paper, the place is bugged” strategy did not work whatsoever. I’m not entirely sure that there is enough space in-between the walls of the 16 office clusters to fit a quality bug anyways.

3) I’d hope that T. D. would officially resign by around 5 or so today. It would be far more ideal for the people in his district to have an election in February (although barring some mistake, the general election will be boring).

3b) If you plead guilty, you should be automatically out of your office anyways. Just to speed the process up a few hours.

4) Wow, this hasn’t been a good summer for the reputation of the Democrats in the capital. It hurts even more when the wounds are self-inflicted. Electorally, most MO voters probably haven’t heard of Smith, Brown, and El-Amin. But it’s not helpful to the goal of 82 to keep having these things happen. These things drag down good people running as Democrats who want to change the way things are done in politics.