Sen. Rob Schaaf Introduces Second Disclosure Bill, Relating to Independent Political Expenditures

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JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, is introducing Senate Bill 1052, a second bill aiming to address secrecy in political spending in the state of Missouri.

The senator made the following remarks about the bill:

“Yesterday I introduced a disclosure bill relating to organizations affiliated with elected officials. Today I am introducing a second disclosure bill, this one relating to organizations that make independent political expenditures.

“Together, these two bills address the two major types of dark money corrupting Missouri politics today. They are the last two bills I will ever introduce, and they are also the most important.

“Much of what I said about the bill I introduced yesterday also applies to the one I am introducing today:

  • “Missourians’ faith in this government has been shaken, and, if we are to regain their trust, we must allow them to see transparently who is pulling the levers of power in Jefferson City.
  • “Recent events illustrate clearly that secrecy can breed corruption. It can embolden one to cheat on their wife, or commit an assault, or sell out the people of Missouri to high-paying special interests and expect to get away with it.
  • “The bill I am introducing today would address the problem of secrecy in campaign finance. This is the Show-Me State, and the people are demanding to be shown who is funding the careers of their politicians. For how else can they know what to expect of us, and how else can they find out if we’re taking kickbacks? They need to know.
  • “I had this bill drafted by some of the best legal minds in the country — experts at the Campaign Legal Center, a fiercely nonpartisan organization run by Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. Mr. Potter was appointed to the FEC by President George H.W. Bush and has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as ‘hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law and money.’ The Campaign Legal Center is recognized for its expertise in campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws. So you can rest assured that this bill is carefully drafted and ready for passage.



“To ensure accountability in state government, Missouri voters need information to evaluate candidates for public office and to keep these candidates responsive to the public once they’re elected. Additionally, voters require more information about the sources behind advertisements urging them to support or oppose ballot measures.

“Since the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door in Citizens United to unlimited corporate campaign spending, the use of ‘dark money’ to pay for campaign advertisements has increased dramatically without a corresponding increase in information available to the public about the real sources of this influx of money.

“Currently, Missouri’s campaign finance law allows special interests and billionaires to ‘game’ the system by funneling their money through non-committee groups that fund campaign advertisements but are not required to disclose who is funding those ads.



“This bill would put an end to this kind of public deception by amending Missouri’s law to give voters more information about the sources behind independent political expenditures; this information in turn would help our state’s voters make well-informed choices on Election Day.

“Simply put, the bill would empower Missouri voters by giving them information about who is funding campaign advertising that is made independently of candidates, PACs, and political parties.

“Specifically, the bill introduces a new requirement for non-committee groups making independent campaign expenditure to disclose big donors — those contributing at least $1,000 — to the public.

“In recognition of the fact that many non-committee groups raise money for a variety of purposes, the bill permits non-committee groups wishing to engage in campaign spending to create special ‘campaign-related accounts’ for making their campaign expenditures. Groups with ‘campaign-related accounts’ would only have to disclose donors who directly gave to the special account.

“The bill also expands the types of election-related communications that must be reported during the immediate days before an election. This expansion will help to ensure that non-committee groups cannot continue to ‘game’ disclosure requirements by running candidate-oriented advertisements that masquerade as issue advertising but are, in fact, intended to affect voters’ decisions at the polls.

“In sum, this bill gives the people of Missouri increased information to help them make important decisions on Election Day and helps shine a light on the dark money being spent in our elections.”