Ethics

Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

One day after a Missouri House committee considered a slate of Republican-backed ethics reform bills, a Republican lawmaker wants Missouri voters to have the chance to restore campaign contribution limits.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, has banned all committee hearings and legislative meetings held at country clubs and restaurants, effective immediately.

Wikipedia

Political dysfunction has been bandied about for several years, but its meaning remains unclear. That’s the first order of business Friday at the Political Ethics Conference at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

“One of the reasons that we decided to do the conference was precisely because everyone complains about political dysfunction, but you ask five different people what it is and you’ll get five different answers,” Wally Siewert, director of UMSL’s Center for Ethics in Public Life, told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday.

Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine
Courtesy of Olympia Snowe

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe cited partisanship when she announced her retirement in 2012.

The ethics committee meeting on Oct. 15.
Willis ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The Zoo Museum District Ethics Committee remains stretched between two poles. Board member Charles Valier continues to call for an annual disclosure of board member assets while board member Tom Campbell says this disclosure would be an undue burden on ZMD leaders.

Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Free admission to St. Louis’ cultural institutions for non-residents could be a thing of the past if talk by the Zoo-Museum District board members turns to action.

On Wednesday night, the board discussed the possibility of charging admission to the Zoo, Art Museum, Science Center and other attractions in response to a report by St. Louis City Alderman Joe Roddy.

Admission would remain free for people who live in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander unveiled on Tuesday a wide-ranging ethics proposal he wants lawmakers to take up and pass this year.  It includes:

  • restoring campaign contribution limits,
  • banning gifts from lobbyists to all state elected officials,
  • requiring a three-year waiting period before ex-lawmakers can work as lobbyists. 

Kander, a Democrat, says if adopted, Missouri can go from having the worst ethics system in the country to the best.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

This week the Politically Speaking crew welcomes Secretary of State Jason Kander to the podcast. Kander, a Democrat from Kansas City, narrowly captured the statewide office in 2012 after a hard-fought contest with Republican Shane Schoeller.

Tim Bommel/Mo. House Communications

Updated 7:19 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is once again pressing for ethics reform in state government, and for the resurrection of campaign donation limits. But this time, Nixon may be hoping for stronger interest in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, where some GOP legislators now share some of his views.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Missouri state Rep. Steve Webb, D-Florissant, announced Monday that he was finally resigning, several weeks after House Democratic leaders had called on him to do so.

Webb, a former head of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, faces felony stealing charges as well as misdemeanor counts of campaign finance-related violations.

(Via Flickr/Richard O. Barry)

Should a journalist strive most to be fair and objective? Or should his or her primary goal be transparency? Can a content-producer be both an advocate and a journalist? What is the role of the press in the future of democracy and what should its journalistic ethics be?

These are questions news outlets and individual journalists alike must answer as they navigate the future of journalism in the United States, and the topic of discussion during the Second Annual Public Ethics Conference at the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday, November 14.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When state Sen. Brad Lager spoke on the last day of this year's Missouri General Assembly session, he grabbed attention for calling members of the Missouri House “corrupt.”

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.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Updated 12:02 p.m. Edited formatting 12:44 p.m.

Health care workers could refuse to participate in procedures or research that violates their religious, moral or ethical principles under a measure passed by the Missouri House.

The House sent the measure to the Senate Tuesday with a 116-41 vote.

Earlier story:

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would allow medical workers to refuse to take part in procedures that violate their religious or ethical beliefs.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has taken a small step toward expanding then number of minorities and women working construction in the city.

Report: Campaign Finance Laws Worrisome

Jan 17, 2013
Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio.

 

All of the money given by small donors in the 2012 presidential race was matched by only 32 billionaires and corporations, according to a report released Thursday by MoPIRG, the Missouri Public Interest and Research Group.

It was the first major election since the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision that allowed an unlimited amount of money to be spent by so-called Super PACs, often without disclosing where the money is coming from.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Today is the first full day that Missouri lawmakers in both chambers can prefile bills for next year’s regular session.

One bill in particular comes in the wake of the annual holiday shopping surge that surrounds the Thanksgiving holiday weekend:  HB 37 would make it illegal for retail stores to open for business on Thanksgiving Day.  The proposal is sponsored by State Representative-Elect Jeff Roorda (D, Barnhart).  He says it’s in response to the ongoing push by retailers to open for business on nationally-recognized holidays.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Members of the Missouri Senate have begun pre-filing bills for the 2013 regular session.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Non-profits who want to influence political races in the city of St. Louis may soon have to disclose their donors.

A bill that would force those organizations who put more than $500 into a contest for mayor, comptroller, Board of Aldermen president or a ballot issue sailed out of committee today with a 6-0 vote. Five of the 11 committee members were absent, and a quorum wasn't reached until just before the vote.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

House Democrats say they’ll again try to get campaign contribution limits restored in Missouri when next year’s regular legislative session begins.

The Missouri Supreme Court reinstated caps on campaign contributions in 2007, but a 2008 law removed them again.  Jake Hummel of St. Louis takes over next year as the top Democrat in the Missouri House.  He says they’ll push for an ethics bill similar to one in 2010 that had support in both parties.

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

The Missouri House has approved legislation allowing health care providers to refuse to participate in some tasks that violate their religious or ethical beliefs.

Wednesday's 117-37 vote sends the bill back to the Senate to consider changes made by the House.

The measure prohibits punishment of doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to participate in contraception, abortions, embryonic stem cell research and certain other procedures or research.

(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

The Missouri Republican Party filed an ethics complaint Thursday against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

The complaint, which was submitted to the US Senate Select Committee on Ethics, alleges McCaskill solicited for campaign donations while on federal property.

The allegation stems from an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball this week, when McCaskill responded to a question about Super PACS targeting her campaign. Here's the video of that appearance:

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

House Democrats are backing legislation they say would toughen Missouri’s ethics standards.

The bill would restore many provisions recently struck down by the State Supreme Court:  They include banning committee-to-committee money transfers and giving the Missouri Ethics Commission the authority to launch its own investigations.  The High Court struck them down because they were tacked onto another bill that had nothing to do with ethics.  State Rep. Tishaura Jones (D, St. Louis) says she’s filing a new bill because GOP leaders have so far done nothing following the Supreme Court ruling.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Jay Nixon is asking Missouri lawmakers to move quickly to restore a government ethics bill the state Supreme Court struck down on Tuesday.

The legislation - which was struck down on procedural grounds - required campaigns to report contributions of more than $500 within 48 hours, banned certain committee-to-committee transfers, and allowed the state's Ethics Commission to investigate without first receiving complaints.

papalars | flickr

Missouri Senate votes to allow cell phones on no-call list

The Missouri Senate has passed a measure that would let people put cell phone numbers on the state's no-call list for telemarketers. The Senate voted 34-0 Thursday, to expand the list which is currently limited to land lines.

The measure would also forbid telemarketers from sending unwanted images or text messages to cell phones on the no-call list. 

The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down a 2010 ethics law that took a long and twisted path to its final form.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court is trying to decide what portions - if any - of a wide-ranging 2010 ethics law should be allowed to stand.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Updated 2:43 p.m. March 31, 2011 with information that state attorney general's office will appeal the ruling.

A state judge has struck down a Missouri law that imposed new ethics and campaign finance requirements.

But the state attorney general's office said it will appeal Thursday's decision by Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green and urged people to continue following the ethics law in the meantime.

A Missouri agency that finances low-income housing will redo a vote on ethics policy changes that occurred in a closed session.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that it raised concerns the closed meeting by a subcommittee of the Missouri Housing Development Commission may have violated the state's open-meetings law.

Pages