February 24, 2016

Serial Ethics Offender Chris Koster Dodges Fundraising Questions

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has officially declared his candidacy for governor, after more than three years of “making preparations” for a run. Koster’s blatant career calculations naturally raised questions about how effectively he was focusing on his day job as the state’s top law enforcement officer.

Reporters finally got a chance to ask some of these questions outside of the Secretary of State’s office after filing, and Koster had few answers. For example, a reporter asked how he had time to raise over $1.3 million for his non-existent campaign in the last quarter of 2015 alone, while still serving as Attorney General. Koster brusquely brushed off the question:

Koster is uniquely vulnerable when it comes to fundraising and ethics. A bombshell 2014 New York Times report raised serious questions about whether Koster was selling his influence in exchange for campaign cash, prompting calls for an investigation and forcing Koster to adopt a new ethics policy. Questions continue to be raised about the effectiveness of Koster’s ethics reforms.

Given Koster’s shady campaign finance history, his continued refusal to be fully transparent on his fundraising operation raises major red flags.