Mo. Democrats outline campaign finance plan

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri's secretary of state unveiled a plan to cap campaign contributions, ban lawmakers from accepting gifts and institute a three-year period before legislators can become lobbyists.

Jason Kander and Rep. Kevin McManus, both Kansas City Democrats, said Tuesday that Missouri's ethics laws are the weakest in the country and they need to be changed.

Missouri is currently the only state with no limits on campaign donations or lobbyist gifts, and no ban on lawmakers becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving office.

The measure is unlikely to gain traction in Missouri's Republican-led Legislature, where Democrats have pushed such bills in the past. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has also previously urged that campaign contribution caps to be reinstated.

Kander's proposal would also award whistleblowers 10 percent of an ethics fine for reporting violations.

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