Alarmed by the attention being paid to lobbyists' actions, the Missouri Senate Elections Committee Monday voted to recommend passage of a bill from Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph. In addition to lobbying issues, Shields' bill addresses campaign contributions.
A St. Louis Post-Dispatch article examines the bill and features some revealing comments from senators.
The article concludes:
"Some senators said a better way to clean up the system would be to remove the contribution limits and beef up reporting requirements so the public can track the money. As long as donations are capped, 'people are going to launder it someplace,"'said Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington."
I get tired of hearing elected officials recommend removing campaign contribution limits and curing all ills by increasing reporting requirements. That would be ideal if all communities had media willing to examine those records or if voters had the time or the inclination to do so themselves, but that is not the way it works.
At least let us keep the pretense of trying to curtail the influence of the rich and powerful in politics.