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."