Rowden Wants to Have His Ethics Reform Cake and Eat It Too

A well-documented lobbyist gift-taker, Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia), sponsored half-baked ethics legislation that was passed by the Missouri House today

He bragged about it on twitter...

Let's set a few things straight

When Rowden says: "1 year ban on legislators becoming lobbyists," it's important to note legislative staffers are not included.

Additionally, a one year ban on jumping from public office to lobbyist is a disappointingly small step for a legislature with so far to go in the ethics arena.

And when Rowden says: "No more legislators resigning to lobby," he means, except anyone that is currently in the legislature.

Finally, when Rowden says: "Applies to everyone elected in 2016" ... again, that means no one that is currently in the legislature unless they run for re-election AND win. Legislators who are terming out this year are free to take any job they like.

Rowden is Attempting to Pass as a Champion of Ethics Reform for his 2016 Senate Race

In Missouri, ethics reform has picked up steam. For good reason, Missouri has some of the most lax laws in the country with no limits on lobbyist gifts or campaign donations.

Facing a competitive Missouri Senate race, jumping on the ethics reform bandwagon is a good strategy.

So while he and his staff are still taking lobbyist gifts, Rowden would like his constituents to believe that he is a strong proponent of ethics reform. Unfortunately, you don't get to have your cake and eat it too.

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