Affton senator continues to hold true to his vows

By Mike Anthony

Some of our legislators appear more interested in serving themselves than in serving their constituents.

During their campaigns, we’re inundated with pledges, promises and vows — most of which amount to nothing more than stale air.

No matter what platform they run on or what promises they make, within a very short period of time, their motto becomes: “What’s in it for me?”

To learn about local legislators, visit

, a website that details lobbyists’ spending.

Type in your address and you’ll be able to see the gifts your legislator received, including baseball tickets, dinners, lunches, airfare, lodging, entertainment and more, and how much those gifts are worth.

Ask them about it, and they’ll be quick to say: “My vote can’t be bought for (fill in the blank).”

Fortunately, not all of our elected officials are like that. Take Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, who was elected to the state’s District 1 Senate seat in November 2012.

During his election campaign, Sifton called for a complete ban on lobbyists’ gifts to legislators, citing the hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts state elected officials receive each year from lobbyists. He pledged that the first piece of legislation he would file would be a total ban on lobbyist gifts to legislators, their staffs and their families. And he did just that.

Of course, his 2013 legislation, which also contained new language intended to address the growing practice of using campaign committees to avoid disclosure, was referred to the Senate’s Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee — never to be heard again.

Undeterred, Sifton filed identical legislation this year. Once again, the measure was read twice and referred to the Senate’s Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee — never to be heard again.

As we’ve noted before, some of our legislators enjoy riding the gravy train of lobbyists’ gifts. So we weren’t surprised that Sifton’s bills didn’t go very far.

Our legislators are paid nearly $36,000 per year and receive $104 for meals and lodging each day the Legislature is in session. We find it hard to believe they can’t live without all the freebies from lobbyists.

During his time in office, Sifton has never accepted a meal, trip or gift from a lobbyist.

We believe Missouri needs more legislators like Sifton, and fewer who are only in it for the freebies.