August 27, 2013 •
James Klahr to start September 13, 2013
The Missouri Ethics Commission has announced James Klahr as the new executive director for a six-year term beginning September 13, 2013. Klahr has worked for now-Governor Jay Nixon since 1997, most recently as the administration’s legislative liaison in the Department of Public Safety.
Klahr replaces Julie Allen, who became the elections director for Secretary of State Jason Kander in January. Stacey Heislen will remain on the commission’s staff after serving as acting director.
March 1, 2013 •
Georgia and Missouri
This year’s push for ethics reform in several state legislatures could not happen fast enough for some elected officials. Georgia’s Senate and Missouri’s Secretary of State, Jason Kander, decided on day one to take matters into their own hands by adopting new gift rules for their respective offices.
The Georgia Senate imposed a $100 limit on gifts from lobbyists. Senators approved the gift cap on the opening day of the 2013 General Assembly session as part of new rules governing the chamber’s operations for the current two-year term. The new rule does not apply to travel costs or to gifts provided to groups of senators, including committees. The rule does allow lobbyists to give $100 gifts on multiple occasions. Meanwhile, House Speaker David Ralston has unveiled an ethics reform bill aimed at expanding the definition of a lobbyist and restricting lobbyist gifts. House Bill 142 would ban even the smallest expenditure of a lobbyist if for the benefit of a single member of the General Assembly. Lobbyists would still be permitted to spend on committees, caucuses, and expenses to public officers for trips to conferences and meetings.
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, sworn in on January 14, 2013, announced a new ethics policy as part of his “Day 1 Achievements.” The new policy prohibits the staff in his office from accepting gifts from lobbyists. State administrative policy already curtails what state employees may accept from lobbyists, but agencies are free to adopt stricter guidelines. Additionally, Missouri’s House and Senate are both considering bills to curb lobbyist spending. House Bill 139 would prohibit General Assembly members, family, and staff from accepting more than $1,000 per calendar year from lobbyists. Senate Bill 181 would prohibit statewide elected officials, legislators, staff, employees, and family from accepting gifts over $50 from a lobbyist.
January 16, 2013 •
Office now has more limited policy than state law requires
Secretary of State Jason Kander, sworn in on January 14, 2013, has adopted a new ethics policy barring the staff in his office from accepting gifts from lobbyists.
Kander’s stated purpose was to give the public confidence that the office is being run in a nonpartisan and fair way.
State administrative policy already curtails what state employees may accept from lobbyists, but agencies are free to adopt stricter guidelines.
December 28, 2012 •
Julie Allen will be working for Secretary of State’s office
Julie Allen, the executive director of the Missouri Ethics Commission, will be leaving to work at the Secretary of State’s office as the director of elections and information technology.
For full news coverage, be sure to read:
“Missouri ethics chief headed to Kander’s office” by The Associated Press in Connectmidmissouri.com.
“Kander hires executive director of Missouri Ethics Commission to oversee state elections” by Jo Mannies in the St. Louis Beacon.
December 14, 2011 •
State Representative Jason Kander introduced a sweeping ethics bill today that would ban all lobbyist gifts.
The bill, HB1080, also includes strict limits on campaign contributions and a ban on legislators working as political consultants.
Kander believes the gifts, along with six-figure campaign donations, allow special interests to gain improper influence.
The bill would limit campaign contributions to $500 for House races, $1,000 for the Senate and $2,000 for statewide elections.