Campaign Finance

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is keeping up his financial momentum for his acknowledged bid for governor in 2016. His latest campaign-finance report shows that he already has banked $781,410 – with two-thirds of it raised just since April 1.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri state Auditor Tom Schweich so far has amassed $293,825 in the bank for his expected 2014 re-election bid, thanks in part to a $100,000 donation from prominent St. Louis businessman Sam Fox.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Just months after his record-setting re-election, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay appears to have amassed another hefty campaign bank account that’s among the largest for top Missouri Democrats.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Recently, longtime St. Louis Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr. sent a letter to a number of friends and supporters asking for contributions for his daughter’s college education. The letter begins, “Hello dear friend and supporter: This is Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr. requesting your support once more.”

This fundraising letter was not illegal, but it was wrong. The alderman disagrees.

(via Flickr/yomanimus)

St. Louis aldermen have begun considering whether to limit the amount of money flowing into city politics.

The measure from Ald. Scott Ogilvie limits donations of all kinds to $3,000 for aldermanic races, and $10,00 to contests for board president, mayor and comptroller. The amounts are indexed to inflation, but they do not apply to candidates spending their own money.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is taking a wait-and-see approach on a recently introduced bill to cap campaign contributions for city offices.

But Slay said he supports “reasonable” contribution limits, which he noted were in place for years before the Missouri General Assembly removed them in 2008.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Just days before the election, the St. Louis region’s major energy and defense companies – Peabody Energy and Boeing Co. – are jumping into the 8th District congressional contest, with last-minute donations to Republican Jason Smith.

Peabody’s political action committee gave $5,000 to Smith, while senior vice president Fred Palmer donated $2,600, both within the last 10 days. Both sums were the maximum allowed under federal contribution limits.

Scott Ogilvie
Provided by Mr. Ogilvie | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If there’s one message that Alderman Scott Ogilvie wants to deliver with his bill restricting campaign contributions to city of St. Louis candidates, it’s that Missouri’s situation is not the norm.

From a practical standpoint, Ogilvie is correct. Missouri is one of only four states without contribution limits, a distinction that’s spurred much discussion  -- and, in some cases, derision – over the past few years.

Flickr/Rob Lee

The Missouri Senate declined to vote on an ethics bill, including a proposal to reinstate campaign contribution limits.

The Senate on Wednesday debated the measure that also would have imposed a 10-year period before lawmakers could become lobbyists. The bill also would've required lawmakers to electronically report contributions of more than $25 during legislative sessions.

_J_D_R_ / Flickr

Time is running short for any legislative efforts to tighten Missouri's campaign finance rules.

Campaign finance appears to have taken a secondary position at the state Capitol, where the focus has included economic development, taxes and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled. Lawmakers have about a month remaining until their mandatory adjournment.