Even if Koster is right, and his opponents, Margaret Donnelly and Jeff Harris, say he is not, what have we come up to when a candidate for the top legal position in Missouri is extolling the virtues of exploiting loopholes for personal gain?
The candidates debated the point in a post on the Kansas City Star's Prime Buzz:
In a forum for the editorial board of The Kansas City Star, Koster said the Missouri law limiting contributions from individuals to a maximum of $1,350 also specifically allows the creation of fundraising committees that accept contributions in excess of that limit.
He repeated his assertion that the Missouri Ethics Commission staff had assured his campaign that his fundraising methods complied with the law.
“Everyone at this table has accepted contributions from legislative district committees,” Koster said. “To suggest that candidates should be restricted only to the individual contribution limit is not in compliance with the law.”
Koster’s opponents in the Democratic primary, Reps. Margaret Donnelly and Jeff Harris, acknowledged that they accepted limited contributions from political party committees. But they bristled at the suggestion that their fundraising methods matched Koster’s.
The difference, they said, was that a Koster supporter set up a special committee known as the Economic Growth Council to receive individual contributions worth tens of thousands of dollars and funnel them to Koster’s campaign.
“I won’t sit here and let him say that what he’s done is what I’m doing, what Jay Nixon is doing or what any other Democrat is doing,” Donnelly said. “The Economic Growth Council was formed for one reason – that is to circumvent the law. The level of coordination (with Koster’s campaign) is unheard of.”