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In the News

Sifton Calls for Ban on All Gifts for Missouri Legislators

Lembke Leads in Lobbyists Gifts

ST. LOUIS – Today, the Missouri Ethics Commission released its monthly report detailing lobbyist gifts to legislators and staff. According to an analysis of Missouri Ethics Commission records, State Senator Jim Lembke (R-1) received 560 meals and gifts over the past ten years. That is more than any other lawmaker, even those in leadership.

The gifts included trips, several golf outings, $158 worth of cigars for his birthday and even $120 worth of wine.

Missouri State Representative and State Senate Candidate Scott Sifton (D-96), is calling for the Missouri legislature to pass a strong ethics reform bill which would include the ban of all lobbyist gifts.

According to this month’s report which lists gifts from January through August 2012, lobbyists have given Missouri lawmakers and staff 2,301 gifts at a value of over
$125,000.00.

“Lobbyists shower gifts, meals and trips on elected officials for one reason – it works,” said Scott Sifton. “There aren’t lobbyists for ordinary citizens in Jefferson City. We need to take the gifts-for-access model off the table.”

Sifton has never accepted a meal, trip or gift from a lobbyist – and he never will.

Sifton continued, “I agree with Republican State Senator John Lamping (R-24), who was quoted, ‘We, as elected officials, need to hold ourselves to the highest standards.’" Lamping, like Sifton, accepts no gifts, no trips, and no free meals.

“My first piece of legislation I file will be a total ban on lobbyist gifts to legislators, their staffs and their families. It has to stop.” Sifton concluded.

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