Rep. Daus is not responsible for any of the comments posted on this blog. Let's keep the comments clean and refrain from bashing. Thanks!

Monday, September 3, 2007


The Missouri Supreme Court on Aug. 27 sidestepped a definitive ruling on whether political candidates must return large donations many accepted earlier this years and directed the state Ethics Commission to decide the matter on a case-by-case basis.

In 2006 the General Assembly repealed limits on the size of campaign contributions candidates may accept from individual donors. The limits, which Missouri voters had first imposed in 1994, were lifted effective Jan. 1, and many candidates accepted contributions well in excess of the old per-donor caps of $325 for a state representative candidate, $650 for state senatorial contest and $1,275 for a statewide race.

In a unanimous July 19 ruling, however, the Supreme Court reinstated the limits based on technical problems in how the measure was passed. At that time, however, the court left open the question of whether candidates would have to return contributions in excess of the caps.

In its supplemental opinion, the court unanimously ruled that candidates whose elections were decided prior to its initial ruling do not have to return the money since most cases it has already been spent. That portion of the ruling primarily applies to candidates who ran for local office in the spring elections.

The court ruled 4-2 to let the Ethics Commission decide the fate of contributions to candidates raising money for the 2008 elections. However, the majority directed the commission to order candidates to return excess donations unless they or one of their of opponents can prove doing so would cause an undue hardship.

No comments: