Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob


Missouri Ethics Commission, lobbyist, lobbying, Ron Calzone, Missouri First

It’s over . . . but it’s not.

A conscientious Show-Me state activist has won his case, but . . .

A year ago, the unethical Missouri Ethics Commission fined Ron Calzone $1,000 for not paying a silly $10 fee. To register as a lobbyist. They also ordered him to stop talking to legislators until he complied.

Citizen Calzone didn’t register.

He didn’t pay.

And he didn’t shut up.

On principle.

Instead, he contacted the Freedom Center of Missouri and the Center for Competitive Politics, a national outfit that defends our rights to participate in our supposedly participatory and representative democratic republic.

On Monday, a judge ruled in Ron’s favor, tossing out the “ethics complaint” against him. On a technicality, actually.

Winning is better than losing. But even if someone bothers to try again against Calzone, filing the suit properly*, Calzone would win.

You see, we have rights . . . including the freedom to talk to those pretending to represent us. It is not at all certain that government has any constitutional authority to regulate paid lobbyists.

But Ron is not a paid lobbyist. He volunteers for Missouri First, a citizen group.

So why did the speech police’s long arm reach out to grab him?

He’s effective.

More than a forthright advocate for what he believes, he has proven smart enough to find ways to allow fellow freedom-lovers to weigh in on bills they favor or oppose.

This has endeared him neither to legislators nor the lobbying “community” — professionals paid handsomely to lose to Calzone’s grassroots network. They will strike back. You can count on it.

But as long as there are citizens like him, the people will not be defeated.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* The charges weren’t filed by a “natural person,” as the law requires, but by the attorney for the Missouri Society of Governmental Consultants, the state lobbyist guild.

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Missouri Ethics Commission, lobbyist, lobbying, Ron Calzone, Missouri First


By: CS Admin


  1. Brian wright says:

    Excellent, Paul, and timely. But corruption has become so rampant and terminal that the people’s only hope is ubiquitous independent people’s First Principles grand juries to directly remedy the lawlessness of public officials. Any other remedy is too slow to be a cure.

  2. Paul Jacob says:

    Brian — I love the citizen-initiated grand juries process, which can indeed be a great path to restoring more honest government. But I don;t believe there is only one way, unless that one way is by getting people together and organized.

    What I mean is that without people connecting with each other directly in a broad-based way, the powers that be will block any path, no matter how legitimate or lawful. They’ll cheat us, because they are lawless thugs at heart. That includes the citizen grand jury process.

    We need the right paths, the right tools, processes, you-name-it, but unless people are connected and committed to battling for better, those committed to taking whatever they can get away with and giving us worse will win.

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