On Eve of Primary, Mike Parson and Political Allies Hit for State Ethics Violation
On the eve of his own primary, GOP Gov. Mike Parson has been hit with campaign finance violations and his political allies fined thousands of dollars. The incumbent governor and his PAC have been under investigation since February for violating Missouri’s campaign finance laws.
This breaking news is just the latest development in a string of allegations of corruption and unethical practices lobbed at Parson and his Jefferson City insider-allies. Parson’s woes were highlighted in a national story over the weekend.
Read more about Parson and his buddies latest law-breaking activities below:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Parson PAC fined for reporting lapses connected to Super Bowl, D.C. trips
The Missouri Ethics Commission fined a political action committee supporting Gov. Mike Parson $2,000 Monday for reporting lapses connected to a pair of flights for the governor that the group chartered.
The commission, in a consent order posted online Monday, said there was probable cause to believe the Uniting Missouri PAC violated state ethics laws by “failing to report the fair market value of two flights within forty-eight hours of receiving the contributions.”
The decision by regulators was issued just a day before voters go to the polls to determine whether Parson will be the Republican nominee for governor in the November election.
Democrats in February asked state ethics officials to investigate whether Parson’s trip to the Super Bowl, paid for by the Uniting Missouri PAC, violated state campaign laws.
Missouri campaign finance laws prohibit certain kinds of coordination between candidates and PACs. The complaint said Parson’s $15,497 flight on a private plane to see the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers clearly required coordination with the Uniting Missouri PAC.
The second flight drawing attention was in December, when the Kansas City Star reported the governor traveled to Washington on a plane belonging to Rick DeStefane, the owner of a nursing home company that has been investigated for Medicaid fraud.
The commission, in its decision, said Uniting Missouri didn’t determine the fair market value of either flight, instead reporting the plane owner/operator’s actual costs as the value of the contribution.
The PAC also didn’t report the flights within 48 hours; Missouri law requires contributions over $5,000 to be reported within two days.
The ethics commission also dismissed a complaint against the Liberty Alliance USA, which opposes Parson’s likely Democratic opponent, Auditor Nicole Galloway.
The complaint said the Liberty Alliance needed to file campaign finance reports, but the commission disagreed, saying the group didn’t “meet the legal standards” that would require more disclosures.
The group is connected to former state GOP chairman Todd Graves.