Lobbying | St. Louis Public Radio

Lobbying

(JUly 16, 2019) Anita Manion (at left) and David Jackson joined Tuesday's talk show to discuss lobbying in Missouri and how it's evolved overtime.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio & David Jackson

Last November, Missouri voters approved a $5 limit on gifts to lawmakers to prevent lobbyists from spending a lot of money on politicians they’re looking to influence. A KCUR analysis of data released this month by the Missouri Ethics Commission shows there’s been a 94% decrease in spending from the 2019 to 2018 legislative session. 

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Jim Kirchherr of the Nine Network delved into how the new legislation has affected lobbyist spending, other ways lobbyists can still influence politicians and common misconceptions people have about the practice, which does fall under the First Amendment. 

Joining the discussion were University of Missouri-St. Louis political scientist Anita Manion and David Jackson, a principal with Gamble & Schlemeier, Missouri’s largest lobbying firm.

Beyoncé tickets. Pricey steak dinners. Royals games. 

Lobbyists used to be able to spend thousands in an effort to influence Missouri lawmakers. Voters approved a $5 dollar limit on gifts for lawmakers in November. A KCUR analysis of data released this month by the Missouri Ethics Commission shows there’s been a 94% decrease in spending from the 2019 to 2018 legislative session. 

In this year’s session, lobbyists spent less than $17,000 on lawmakers. That’s a significant drop from the about $300,000 spent in the 2018 session. 

Opponents of a new transmission line across northern Missouri sit in the rotunda of the Missouri Capitol on April 16, 2019.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

A federal appeals court will hear arguments in St. Louis on Friday in a case that challenges the idea that unpaid lobbyists have to register with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

A divided panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in November that Ron Calzone, a conservative activist, had to fill out the required forms and pay a fine for failing to do so. In a rare move, all 12 judges of the court will reconsider the case.

After many delays, the city's contract with consultants to explore the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport may be official soon.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Francis Slay, just weeks before leaving office as mayor in April of last year, initiated the process that could lead to the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

In June of this year, Slay was hired by Ferrovial Airports, a Madrid-based company with extensive experience in managing airports in Europe, and considered one of three top contenders in the bidding process for Lambert.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Since a high-profile sex scandal was partly responsible for torpedoing the end of the 2015 session, some lawmakers have made improving the ethical climate of Jefferson City a priority.

But even though the Missouri House passed a flurry of bills early this session, some Missouri senators think the ethics push so far is missing the mark.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 16, 2013 - On Oct. 26, 2011, the Illinois legislature passed a bill that authorized construction of a multi-billion-dollar smart grid and reshaped how utility companies seek approval for raising electricity rates. Consumer groups opposed the measure, saying it was a handout to utilities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 30, 2009 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has joined in the parade in state officials who are calling for various types of "ethics reform'' in the wake of recent controversies, arrests and convictions involving the public or personal antics of some of their own.

In a letter sent to legislators, and underscored in a press conference call Wednesday morning, Nixon laid out four proposed actions that he said were key, if the Legislature was to regain the public trust:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 1, 2009 - State Senate Pro Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, today announced that he plans to sponsor a bill that would create a new legislative post: An independent investigator serving under the Legislature's Ethics Commission.

Shields, who is well-respected in the Capitol and is close to Gov. Jay Nixon, said he wants to "help improve Missouri’s ethical climate among elected officials."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 11, 2009 - Politicians rarely pass up a chance to call on young people during hearings or make them the centerpiece of an anecdote in a speech. But events in which the young people are the center of attention and the politicians are called upon? Those are rare.