Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Missourians for Fiscal Accountability v. Klahr

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

June 12, 2018

Missourians for Fiscal Accountability Plaintiff- Appellee
v.
James Klahr, in his official capacity as Executive Director of the Missouri Ethics Commission Defendant-Appellant

          Submitted: February 13, 2018

          Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Jefferson City

          Before LOKEN, BENTON, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.

          BENTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         James Klahr, in his official capacity as Executive Director of the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC), appeals the order of the district court[1] declaring unconstitutional and enjoining enforcement of Missouri's 30-day formation deadline for campaign committees, Missouri law section 130.011(8).[2] See Missourians for Fiscal Accountability v. Klahr, No. 14-4287-CV-ODS, 2017 WL 58588 (W.D. Mo. Jan. 5, 2017). Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.

         I.

         Under Missouri campaign finance law, chapter 130, a "committee" is "a person or any combination of persons, who accepts contributions or makes expenditures for the primary or incidental purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against" candidates or ballot measures. § 130.011(7). Exempt are those not crossing thresholds, such as: (1) any non-candidate individual "who accepts no contributions and . . . deals only with the individual's own funds or property;" and (2) any "person or combination of persons, if neither the aggregate of expenditures made nor the aggregate of contributions received during a calendar year exceeds five hundred dollars and if no single contributor has contributed two hundred fifty dollars of such aggregate contributions." § 130.011(7)(a).

         Chapter 130 distinguishes committees by the political activity they engage in. At issue here are "campaign committees":

a committee, other than a candidate committee, which shall be formed by an individual or group of individuals to receive contributions or make expenditures and whose sole purpose is to support or oppose the qualification and passage of one or more particular ballot measures in an election . . ., such committee shall be formed no later than thirty days prior to the election for which the committee receives contributions or makes expenditures, and which shall terminate the later of either thirty days after the general election or upon the satisfaction of all committee debt after the general election . . . .

§ 130.011(8).

         Committees must have a treasurer, maintain an "official depository account, " and keep accurate recor d s. §§ 130.021.1, 130.021.4(1), 130.036.1. Committees "shall file a statement of organization . . . within twenty days after the person or organization becomes a committee but no later than the date for filing the first [disclosure] report . . . ." § 130.021.5. The statement includes, among other things, the committee's name and address, the kind of committee, and the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed. Id.

         Committees must file "disclosure report[s] of receipts and expenditures." § 130.041.1. Disclosure reports are due: (1) "Not later than the eighth day before an election for the period closing on the twelfth day before the election if the committee has made any contribution or expenditure either in support or opposition to any candidate or ballot measure;" (2) "Not later than the thirtieth day after an election for a period closing on the twenty-fifth day after the election, if the committee has made any contribution or expenditure either in support of or opposition to any candidate or ballot measure . . .;" and (3) "Not later than the fifteenth day following the close of each calendar quarter." § 130.046.1. The Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) makes statements of organization and disclosure reports available to the public on its website in accordance with section 130.057.

         "Any person who purposely violates the provisions of [chapter 130] is guilty of a class A misdemeanor." § 130.081.1. However, failure "to file any report or statement . . . within the time periods specified in [chapter 130]" is "an infraction." § 130.081.2. See § 556.021.2 ("An infraction does not constitute a crime . . . ."). "Any person who knowingly accepts or makes a contribution or makes an expenditure in violation of any provision of this chapter . . . shall be held liable to the state in civil penalties in an amount equal to any such contribution or expenditure." § 130.072.

         Individuals may file complaints with the MEC alleging chapter 130 violations. § 105.957.1(3). "When the commission concludes . . . that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of any criminal law has occurred, and if the commission believes that criminal prosecution would be appropriate . . . the commission shall refer the report" for criminal prosecution. § 105.961.2. The MEC may also "initiate formal judicial proceedings seeking to obtain" an order to "[c]ease and desist violation of . . . chapter 130" or "[p]ay any civil penalties required by . . . chapter 130." § 105.961.5. Finally, the MEC has, "[t]hrough reconciliation agreements or civil action, the power to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.