An appeals court says a conservative Missouri activist must follow the state's lobbying rules, even though he isn't paid, in a ruling that could have wide-reaching implications.
The Kansas City Star reports that the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cited the interest of transparency in ruling last week that Ron Calzone must register as a lobbyist with the Missouri Ethics Commission and file lobbying reports.
For years, Calzone has met with lawmakers and testified before legislative committees. He is the founder of the nonprofit group Missouri First. But he didn't think he needed to register as a lobbyist because he isn't paid and never gives legislators gifts.
Calzone's attorneys say the decision is a significant strike against the constitutional right to petition the government and have vowed to appeal.