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Anti-corporate ag group leader garners ethics complaint for not registering as lobbyist


House ag chairman says group’s rural director is lobbying, but has not registered

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Ethics Commission may not have a quorum, but that is not stopping anyone from filing complaints with the commission.

Rep. Jay Houghton

One of the latest complaints filed over the last week is that of a state representative calling for an investigation into a member of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC), a statewide farm and rural organization, alleging that the member has been acting as a lobbyist without properly registering as such.

In a complaint filed by Rep. Jay Houghton stated that Brian Smith, who is listed as the rural organizer for the MRCC, lobbied on their behalf at least four times since 2016.

Houghton listed out the four occasions in which Smith testified on legislation, and then went on to say that Smith had participated and led the organization’s lobby day, where he “spoke to legislators and attempted to influence policy.” Houghton also said Smith distributed handouts, which he attached to the complaint for the MEC to review, along with the witness forms from the hearings.

After listing the criteria for his complaint, Houghton asked that the MEC open an investigation.

Smith did not return request for comment.

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