The owners of a multi-state tobacco store chain have contributed thousands of dollars to Missouri officials and even hired their own lobbyists. But their cause this year is not focused on cigarettes.
Jon Rand and Sharie Keil are backing Missouri legislation that would remove hundreds of people convicted of sex crimes as juveniles from the state's online listing of registered sex offenders. Their cause is intensely personal, because their son is among those whose name, photo and address would come down from law enforcement websites.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill earlier this summer. He said it could endanger the public by hiding the whereabouts of violent sex offenders. But the political battle is not over. Missouri lawmakers are to convene next Wednesday to consider overriding the veto.