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Today, Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) gave us his best Eddie Haskell impersonation as he testified before a committee on ethics reform. Rowden spoke on behalf of two of his ethics reform bills, trying hard to give the appearance of a champion for fairness and transparency.
It was classic Rowden: talk as if he were a bipartisan reformer, while still accepting meals and sports tickets. (He took home the award for most gifts in the Boone County delegation in 2013, and enjoyed lobbyist-paid trips to see the Cardinals and Mizzou Tigers in action.)
Rowden just happens to be running for state senate in a year where ethics reform is trending, so he’s attempting to clean up his act and increase his efforts for piecemeal changes. In 2014, Rowden sponsored one ethics reform bill, then two in 2015. And today? Rowden has filed five.
Less than two months ago, Rowden accepted lobbyist gifts. Now he’s calling for an outright ban on these very same perks. Nice try, but we’re not buying it.