Small number of donors, big influence in Missouri

Mar 4, 2014

Missouri Capitol
Missouri Capitol
Credit Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A small handful of donors account for the bulk of money raised for statewide candidates and ballot measures in Missouri.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch analyzed money raised by Missouri campaign committees from 2011 through 2013. The analysis found that more than half — about $67 million — came from donations of $5,000 or more.

In fact, donations of $10,000 or more accounted for $53 million. That means that 1.1 percent of contributions accounted for 42 percent of what the campaigns raised.

Missouri State University professor George Connor says the absence of contribution limits in Missouri exacerbates the reliance on big donors. Missouri is one of four states with no contribution cap, and it is the only state allowing unlimited donations and unlimited gifts from lobbyists to public officials.