Rowden's Ethics Reform Claims Meaningless

At the beginning of the last legislative session, ethics reform was hot--legislators were nearly tripping over each other to tell any reporter with a pen or microphone how much they believed in bringing robust ethics reform back to the Capitol.

So what did we end up with? A meaningless measure barring lawmakers and other statewide elected officials from becoming lobbyists until six months after the end of their terms.

Here's the best part: There are seven months between legislative sessions.

Oh, and candidates registering as lobbyists will now have to dissolve their campaign committees, with any remaining money to be returned to donors, donated to a political party organization or given to charity.

Cue the touchdown dance by state senate candidate Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia)

We'll let Rowden's colleague, Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), take it from here.

What we’ve passed with ethics reform is meaningless. It’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. I mean, we’re more concerned about if a lobbyist buys me a $40 lunch, but that same lobbyist can give me a $1 million to my campaign. So that shows how out of balance our discussion is.

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