Campaign finance disclosure is required when individuals, groups, and entities receive contributions (monetary or in-kind) and/or make expenditures (paid or incurred) to support or oppose candidates or ballot measures. The law requires record-keeping and reporting of these activities. These disclosure requirements provide accountability, transparency, and enforceability.
A Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD) is a statement, completed and filed, by a public official, an employee or a candidate, to provide to the public information about their financial interests. The PFD statement is used to disclose any potential conflicts of interest by a public official or employee. For political subdivisions with a conflict of interest policy, ordinance, or resolution, the PFD is also known as a Financial Interest Statement.
A state lobbyist is an individual who attempts to influence state executive, state legislative, or state judicial actions; and meets one or more of the following: a) acting in the ordinary course of business; or b) engaged in pay as a lobbyist; or c) designated to act as a lobbyist by a person, business entity, governmental entity, religious organization, nonprofit corporation, association or other entity; or d) spends $50 or more on behalf of public officials, annually. An elected local government official lobbyist is an individual who is employed for the purpose of attempting to influence any action by a local government official elected in a county, city, town, or village with an annual operating budget of over $10 million.
A conflict of interest is generally defined as a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust (Merriam-Webster). The Commission enforces specific laws that define conflict of interests for public officials and employees.
Any individual may file a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission if that individual believes any candidate or other individual has violated campaign finance disclosure laws, personal financial disclosure laws, lobbying laws, conflict of interest laws, or any violation of law, order, ordinance, or resolution dealing with the official conduct of officials or employees. The Commission may also initiate an investigation upon the review of reports and related records that are required to be filed by law.