One Missouri Bank Sues for Political Clout

7 years 7 months 5 days ago Tuesday, December 14 2010 Dec 14, 2010 Tuesday, December 14, 2010 9:21:57 AM CST December 14, 2010 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Legends Bank wants more freedom to make political contributions. State law last year is now being challenged in court because it restricted some banks making political contributions. Now Legends wants that law upended so it can feed the political action committees that finance campaigns.

In his lawsuit, Legends Bank president John Klebba calls the new ethics law unconstitutional because it infringes on his business' right to free speech. Under the law, his business cannot donate to any political action committees. However, before the law was passed his business was able to donate.

Speaking by phone, Klebba said he was optimistic about his chances.

"What we hope is that it will be fixed in this legislative session. I think most legislators will be amenable to fixing the language."

His feelings have been echoed by the bill's sponsor, Senator Charlie Shields. In a statement to KOMU, Shields said he was open to changing the language of the law to prevent exclusion from the political process. He also said the intention of the bill was to crack down on money transfers between political action committees, which he called "political money laundering."

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