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Medicaid expansion group violated ethics laws, complaint alleges


Missourians for Healthcare, the group supporting the Medicaid expansion initiative, is the subject of a new complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC).

The complaint was filed by Carl Bearden, CEO of United for Missouri, Friday. His complaint alleges the group violated Missouri’s ethics law by failing to file a regular campaign financial disclosure report in time. 

“Missouri law is very clear on this. In RSMo Section 130.046.2(1) a committee supporting a petition effort to qualify a measure to appear on the ballot must file a report no later than the fifteenth day after the deadline date for submitting the petition,” Bearden said in a statement. “Transparency and ethics are the bedrock of the American political system. These values allow citizens to have trust in their government. At best, this special interest group demonstrates a cavalier approach to even the most basics in corporate governance or worse has deliberately chosen to ignore the deadline. This keeps the public in the dark about the committee’s activities and who is paying for it all. This is why I have filed a complaint with [the] Missouri Ethics Commission in hopes of quickly getting to the bottom of this and forcing them to comply with the law and be transparent with Missouri taxpayers.” 

The disclosure reported needed to be filed by May 19, Bearden alleged.

This complaint follows a set of lawsuits filed against the expansion effort this week by conservative groups, including one from United for Missouri. These suits alleged the constitutional violation of a petition not declaring a source of revenue. They also pointed to what they said was difficulty in drawing from general revenue against other state initiatives such as education.

Gov. Mike Parson announced the initiative’s move to August from the November ballot on Tuesday. 

A representative for Missourians for Healthcare could not immediately be reached for comment.