Missouri capitol staff also work on campaigns

1 year 2 months 2 days ago December 21, 2015 Dec 21, 2015 Monday, December 21 2015 Monday, December 21, 2015 2:39:19 PM CST in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some legislative staffers at the Missouri state capital have been earning money moonlighting as political consultants for candidates and campaigns.

Statehouse staffers doing campaign work has been a longstanding practice in Jefferson City and is legal as long as political work isn't done on taxpayer time.

The Kansas City Star reports the practice is seen by many as harmless because it typically involves low-level legislative aides working on their bosses' re-election campaigns.

But critics say it represents a potential conflict of interest, with the integrity of the legislative process compromised when staff who earn taxpayer-funded salaries also get paid by outside interests with a stake in policy.

The Missouri Ethics Commission says state law forbids legislative staff from using information obtained in their official capacity for personal financial benefit.

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