Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Harris Pushes For A Ban on Laundering

State Rep. and Attorney General candidate Jeff Harris is expected to introduce a bill today to make laundering campaign contributions a crime.

The bill seeks to stop the common practice of donors funneling money through multiple campaign committees, which in turn pass the donations on to candidates who have already received the maximum contribution from the original donor, according to a Democratic press release.

“Since Missouri voters first imposed campaign contribution limits in 1994, creative donors have found ways around the law,” said Harris. “My bill would slam shut and lock the doors to campaign money Laundromat.”

The bill would hold both donors and candidates criminally liable for making or receiving laundered donations with the intent of avoiding campaign contribution limits. A first offense would be class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Subsequent offenses could carry a four-year prison sentence and a $5,0000 fine.

Harris said the move is meant to halt the actions of wealthy campaign contributor Rex Sinquefield, who he calls "one of the most blatant campaign money launderers during the 2008 election cycle."


matineeidol said...

So, Harris want to make the current law illegal?

It seems that if anyone, Sinquefield on down to your run of the mill donor, is not following the laws put in place, there are already checks in place. The fact is, multiple PACs are accepted through the current law. The best thing to do would be to come up with a better system of campaign finance that allows free speech and limits influence at the same time. You'd think we could come up with something better than trying to criminalize people who have adhered to whatever law is in place surrounding campaign finance. This seems like an egregious overreaction to a bad case of sour grapes. The issue is transparency of funding, not the funding itself as that is a necessary evil we have imposed on campaigners. Harris should really go after those who create PACs and DON'T disclose who is funding them...I'm sure there are a few of those out there.

Tony said...

Rex Sinquefield made a mockery of the campaign finance laws. What a sad state of affairs that someone can set up a 100 committees with the same treasurer. The people decided overwhelmingly for limits. If we have we should enforce them. Harris has a great bill.

RudyT said...

Hey tony,

Too bad that the people who put the "people's ballot language" together did so in such a way as to be in violation of the US Constitution. There is no law on the books put there by the people of Missouri.

Harris has a bill that attempts to bring him much needed attention. He is going nowhere fast. Donnelly is kicking his posterier and Koster can't even see him in his rear view mirror anymore.

Typical Harris proposal. Lot's of smoke and mirrors intended to create a false perception. He is good at that and should be elected as AG if you want a smoke and mirror AG to replace the current one.

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