Tim Jones Wants To Preserve His Ability To Cash In As A Lobbyist

Birther House Speaker Tim Jones is again outside of the mainstream as he opposes the most basic of ethics rules going in to his final year as a member of the Missouri House. Appearing on KFRU's Morning Meeting last week with Renee Hulshof and Eli Yokley, Jones said that he opposed a mandatory "cooling-off" period for state legislators that prevent them from lobbying former colleagues immediately upon leaving office. 

ELI YOKLEY: What do you make of the idea of putting sort of a cooling-off period between when a lawmaker can leave the General Assembly and start lobbying the General Assembly? Your predecessor Steve Tilley made that transition pretty quick when he left the speakership.

TIM JONES: I think that's an issue that will be debated. However, I do have to wonder why if someone is term-limited out and they cannot serve any longer in the House or the Senate I'm wondering why we would want to prevent any specific individual from having their own freedom to pursue their next career. So, maybe we're going to have to look at the devil in the details on this. If someone is termed out and they can't serve any longer in the legislature, why would we want to prevent that person from obtaining future employment? I think it's an issue that we can look at but again I wouldn't want to unfairly harm someone from trying to make a living.

Requiring elected officials to have a "cooling-off" period before becoming a lobbyist is common-sense ethics reform supported by Republicans and Democrats and is found in most state legislatures around the country. Secretary of State Jason Kander has proposed a three-year restriction for former lawmakers, a proposal also championed by Republican State Senator John Lamping. Republican Representative Caleb Rowden has proposed a two-year ban on lobbying, a proposal supported by Jones' successor as Speaker, Representative John Diehl. Such restrictions protect the integrity of the legislature by preventing promises of high-paying jobs as lobbyists from influencing the decisions of officials while serving. It's disappointing that Jones refuses to stand with his colleagues and protect the integrity of the Missouri legislature.

Listen to the full segment on ethics reform here:

 

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