Pay-to-Play an Unspoken Norm in Jeff City?

Last Thursday on the floor of the Senate, Senator Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff) and Senator Gary Romine (R-Farmington) discussed what was to come in the last three weeks of legislative session. What ensued was a conversation that turned to under the table pay-to-play.

Once again, a lobbyist gift ban seems doomed in the Missouri Legislature, but that is neither the beginning nor end of ethics reform that is needed in Jefferson City. Just this past weekend, the editorial board of the Kansas City Star called for an investigation into Missouri Senate President Ron Richard over pay-to-play allegations that seem echoed in this audio clip.

Listen here:

Sen. Libla: There’s gonna be something else on my desk later on, somewhere in the next few days, it’s gonna be a red folder.

Sen. Romine: I know you’ve got a blue folder, a yellow folder, and a red folder. And when the red folder comes out...

Libla: And a green folder

Romine: What’s that?

Libla: I have a green folder

Romine: A green folder.

Libla: I’m kinda okay with stuff that’s in the green folder… When you see my red folder on my desk, and it’s easy to see my red folder on my desk cause there’s generally nothing on my desk except the little placemat here and I’ve got a couple little things over here on the side over. You know if I’m gone for a bit you know listening from my office, all the hours and hours of time, I get piles of stuff on my desk, and I come in look it all over, and it heads for the recycling bin. Obviously, we are going to talk about the issues and then why they are right or why they are wrong, but I think we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about undue influence, pay-to-play on some of these issues.

Romine: Oh pay-to-play?

Libla: Well, we’re gonna be talking about it, that’s in my red folder.

We're really curious what's in that red folder.

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