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In new challenge to campaign finance law, Missouri Chamber sues over PAC contributions



It has been less than a year since Missouri voters passed Amendment 2, a measure seeking to reform campaign finance in the state by placing certain restrictions on political contributions, but the amendment has already led to a number of legal challenges in the state.

One more can be added to the list, as the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday filed a lawsuit arguing that businesses should be able to put money into their own political action committees (PACs).

The current law, which took effect following the November 2016 election, allows businesses to set up PACs. It also allows them to send money to other PACs set up by other companies. But, according to a recent decision from the Missouri Ethics Commission, the law does not allow a business to invest in their own PAC. In fact, that business would be subject to fines and penalties from the ethics commission, ranging from at least double and up to five times the amount of any contribution.

In both March and July, the MEC affirmed the conclusion that “a corporation or labor organization may not contribute its own funds to its connected PAC, but that it may contribute direct corporate or union funds to an “unconnected” PAC.”

The Chamber contends the language in Amendment 2 did not forbid businesses from funding their own PACs and says the MEC decision is an error and must now be fixed by the courts.

Read more: The Missouri Times

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