The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


January 17, 2014

Our View: Time for real reform

— No more free lunches — literally. And no more trips, tickets to sporting events or nights out on the town.

That’s how things will be if a bill, presented on Tuesday in the Missouri House of Representatives by Rep. Kevin McManus, D-Kansas City, and Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, is passed.

Other bills have been filed by Republican Sens. John Lamping, of Ladue, and Scott Rupp, of Wentzville, as well as Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis. They too would effectively reform ethics and campaign-finance laws. We applaud the bipartisan efforts to set some standards in our state.

McManus’ bill bans lobbyists from giving legislators meals, trips and gifts. It also requires lawmakers to wait three years after leaving office before they can work as lobbyists.

Under the bill, donors would be allowed to give $2,600 to candidates for statewide office, $1,000 to candidates for state Senate and $500 to House candidates. The bill also carries fines for those who try to circumvent the law.

Missouri currently has no limit on the price of gifts that politicians can receive from lobbyists, nor does the state have limits on the number of dollars candidates can receive in the form of campaign contributions. And there is currently no waiting period for lawmakers who leave office to become lobbyists.

We’re not saying all of Missouri’s state leaders take advantage of this arrangement, but under the current set of laws — or lack of laws — it’s pay to play in our state.

If we are going to reform ethics and campaign-finance laws, then let’s make the reform real.

No more free lunches, and no more government that’s bought and paid for by special-interest groups.

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  • Other Views Other Views: Eroding court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance this past week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Travesty

    What a travesty that a terrific young man from Spain is on the verge of deportation even though he has proven his worth in America (Globe, April 13).

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: Astonishing transformation

    The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing.

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: The changing view

    It is heartbreaking to hear the decades old trees (which border on South Pennsylvania in Webb City) cracking and being bulldozed down.

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

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A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

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