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Missouri Amendment Would Fine Lawmakers for Lying

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Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KMOX) - The sponsor of a proposal that would have outlawed lies in campaign ads withdrew the measure Tuesday before it could come to a vote on the Missouri House floor.

Representative Joe Don McGaugh, R-Carrollton, tacked the proposal onto a bill that would make voting access easier for troops overseas.

The measure would have fined candidates as much as $20,000 per violation when the candidate knowingly runs a false statement about their opponent in a political ad. McGaugh says the measure is the first step in reigning in campaign mudslinging.

“We’re talking about trying to skew election results by out and out lies,” he said.

McGaugh withdrew the amendment before the House could vote on it because he didn’t want to hurt the chances of passing the underlying bill but contends the amendment was important.

“When I talk to people across my district they don’t have a problem with campaign contributions, they have a problem with politicians using that to sling mud on each other,” he said.

Earlier in the session, McGaugh filed a bill that is identical to the amendment he offered but it has yet to reach a House committee.

“Us as politicians have the courage to say enough is enough. The way we run elections is an embarrassment to our profession,” he added.

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