Guest Article by Chris Schultheis:
Two weeks ago, in a flurry to pass as many bills as possible before the session ended, Senate Bill 1038 was passed, repealing the limit on campaign contributions. This seems to be a move that goes completely against the will of the people. The Springfield News-Leader explains
As we’ve said in this space before, opening up the floodgates to high-powered donors takes the power to influence debate out of the hands of the average voter.
Missourians showed in a referendum in 1994 that they overwhelmingly supported controls on campaign contributions. A total of 73.9 percent voted to establish limits
With more and more contributions from powerful donors, the average voter stands to lose more and more influence over legislators. This legislative manuver opens up opportunities for big companies such as casinos to wield greater influence over legislators than the general population.
According to CasinoWatch.org, since 2004, casinos have used more than $1.5 million dollars to influence legislation with the limitations in place. Now that those limitations have been repealed, it is likely that we will see this number build exponentially in an attempt to influence the legislature in removing the loss limit and expand gambling in order to fatten casino’s wallets.