New limits on campaign contributions may mean the end of an era of mega-donors writing huge checks to individual candidates, but the caps haven’t stopped the flow of money into Missouri politics.
There has been a surge in the number of political action committees being formed that can bundle money far above the $2,600 individual contribution limits that were approved by voters last November.
Through the entire 2016 calendar year, 86 political action committees were formed, according to the ethics commission, which oversees campaign finance regulations in Missouri. So far this year, 99 PACs have been registered, with some of them clearly designed to benefit individual lawmakers.
Election law attorney Chuck Hatfield, who served as chief of staff to former Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, said the increase in PACs is linked to the new caps.
James C. Thomas, a Kansas City attorney who serves as treasurer for multiple Republican-linked PACs, says the change will make it more difficult for the public to track spending.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch