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Kander Calls for Ethics Reform - KOAM TV 7

Kander Calls for Ethics Reform

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NEVADA, MISSOURI - "We have the worst campaign finance and ethics laws in the whole country."


The Vernon County Democrats host Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. Where he shared his ideas for reforming ethics in government. A concern shared by constituents.

"Campaign financing has gotten out of control," one audience member said. "Not only at the state level, but the federal level."

"We're the only state in the whole nation that has the combination of allowing unlimited lobbyist gifts to legislators, and then unlimited campaign contributions to people running for office," Kander said.

Kander, through five missouri legislators, is proposing campaign contribution limits, bans on lobbyist gifts, and strict criminal penalties for breaking rules.

"If you violate an ethics rule, or you're suspected of violating an ethics rule, and you're investigated and you lie to the investigators. There's no law against that in Missouri," Kander said. "Now at the federal level, if you do that, you can go to jail."governor jay nixon called for ethics reform in his state of the state address. And many of Kander's ideas are supported by local republicans Charlie Davis of Webb City and Ron Richards, of Joplin

"I think there's a bi-partisan push in Jefferson City. We put together some big, comprehensive bills but they included a lot of ideas that had come from bills filed by republicans," Kander said.

Though Davis and Richards don't agree on limiting campaign contributions.  

"You gotta imagine that when someone can get a million-dollar check or a two-million dollar check then there's a good chance the average Missourian, the regular people in that district -- their voices may not be heard  as much as they should be by that person," Kander said.

It's an argument that, while simple on paper, will play out in the state house and senate.

"It's just a question of whether people are willing to deal with the problem," Kander said. "And we just need to get to the point that everybody understands that it's their job."

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