Event Details

March 24, 2017

Location: The Millenium Student Center Century Rooms on UMSL   Campus

Registration : $65

Students and Seniors : $25 (get promo code, contact pottst@missouri.edu)

Registration begins at 8:30

Conference 9 a.m.-5 p.m

Includes lunch                                                         



      Register Here


                Charge card information must be provided


         Call (314) 516-5961

          Fax (314) 516-6414

          Make checks payable to the University of Missouri-St. Louis.


         For questions please contact:

         Dr. Wally Siewert


Cancellation Policy

The University reserves the right to cancel any program. In the event of cancellation, you will be notified immediately, and all program fees will be refunded or applied to a future program at your request. If you must cancel a registration, you are entitled to a full refund only if you cancel prior to the conference.

 This conference will bring together those who study political money, those who raise and spend it, and the press who cover it, for an honest conversation driven by experience and data, not partisan point-scoring. Two core questions will drive the discussion:

If the current system is not perfect, then:

1. Is change possible and what should it look like?

2. How do elected officials, political operatives, political donors and citizens maintain ethical standards despite these imperfections? 



Hear Director Siewert, Richard Hasen & Patrick Ishmael preview the Conference on St Louis On the Air here

Schedule and Speakers:

9:00-9:20 AM
Session 1: Introductory Address
Wally Siewert:
Director of the Center for Ethics in Public Life at the University of Missouri St. Louis.
9:20-11:10 AM
Session 2: On Campaign Finance Reform: “Laws and Economic Realities”
Richard Hasen: Professor (UC Irvine), nationally recognized lawyer, blogger, media commentator & campaign finance reform advocate
Jeffrey Milyo: Professor of economics at the University of Missouri & campaign finance reform skeptic
11:20 AM-12:35 PM
Session 3: Panel on Campaign Finance Reform: “Missouri, Past, Present & Future”
Wayne Goode: Five term State Senator (D., 13), UM System Curator & campaign finance reform advocate
John Hancock: Two term State Rep. (R., 82), former Exec. Dir. and Chair of the Missouri GOP & campaign finance reform skeptic
Patrick Ishmael: Director of Government Accountability at the Show Me Institute & campaign finance reform skeptic
Sean Nicholson: Former founding Director of Progress
Missouri, now Senior Content Strategist at GPS Impact & campaign finance reform advocate
1:15-2:05 PM
Session 4: “Hyper-Partisanship and Campaign Finance”
Ray La Raja: Professor (UMASS Amherst) & author of: Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail
2:15-3:30 PM
Session 5: Panel on: “Operating Ethically in Today’s
Political Finance Climate: Electeds and Lobbyists”
Franc Flotron: Two term State Senator (R., 7), & Minority Floor Leader, now a Principal at Flotron & McIntosh
Barbara Fraser: Four term State Rep. (D., 83), former St.Louis County Councilwoman & Educator
Jo Mannies: Award winning St. Louis Public Radio Political Reporter
Anne Zerr: Four term State Representative (R., 65) & former Exec. Director at Partners for
3:40-4:50 PM

Session 6: Panel on: “Operating Ethically in Today’s Political Finance Climate: Fundraisers & Operatives”
Mark Dalton:Assistant Political Director at United Brotherhood of Carpenters, St. Louis
Angela Bingaman: Finance Director for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay & Democratic political fundraiser
Rosetta Okohson-Reb: St. Louis Political Fundraiser & Board Member of the African Diaspora Conference
Greg Keller:Founder, Atlas Strategy Group, nationally recognized Republican political operative with presidential and senate campaign experience



Speakers and Panelists include:

On Campaign Finance Reform Pro and Con:

    Wayne Goode

Former Senator and UM Curator Wayne Goode was elected to House of Representatives in 1962 and the Missouri Senate in 1984. He represented the 13th Senatorial District in St.Louis County until his retirement in 2005. He served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee from 1995 to 2000, and served on many other panels including the Governor’s Advisory Council on Local Government Law. Further service includes as Vice Chairman of University of Missouri Board of Curators, as Director of Missouri Foundation for Health and as a member of numerous boards, including the Missouri Historical Society, Ozark Natural Resources Foundation and the Consumers Council of Missouri. Mr. Goode was honored by the University of Missouri-St. Louis for his work in sponsoring legislation that established the university.

    John Hancock

John Hancock’s political experience spans three decades in grassroots and electoral politics. He is a former state legislator, was the GOP nominee for Missouri Secretary of State in 1992 and 1996, and served as executive director of the Missouri Republican Party from 1997 to 2003, and again in 2015. In 2003, he established John Hancock and Associates, and soon after, Public Pulse Research, he is a co-host of Hancock & Kelley on KMOX Radio in St. Louis and has a Political Science degree from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Rutgers University.

    Richard L. Hasen

Professor Richard L. Hasen is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. Hasen is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, and is co-author of a leading casebook on election law. Professor Hasen was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by The National Law Journal in 2013 and has appeared in print and broadcast media from the PBS News Hour to Rachel Maddow, from the Nation to the New York Times. Hasen also writes the often-quoted Election Law Blog, which the ABA Journal named to its “Blawg 100 Hall of Fame” in 2015. His newest book, Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections, was published in 2016 by Yale University Press.


    Patrick Ishmael

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute. He is a native of Kansas City and graduate of Saint Louis University, where he earned honors degrees in finance and political science and a law degree with a business concentration. His writing has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Weekly Standard, and dozens of publications across the state and country. Ishmael is a regular contributor to Forbes and HotAir.com. His policy work predominantly focuses on tax, health care, and constitutional law issues. He is a member of the Missouri Bar.

    Ray La Raja

As Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Ray La Raja has published widely on the subject of money in politics. He is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Campaign Finance Institute, and a co-founder of The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics. His most recent book Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail explores some surprising conclusions about how campaign finance reform should be structured in order to address concerns about hyper-partisanship.

    Jeffrey Milyo

Professor of economics at the University of Missouri Jeffrey Milyo has developed economic models to evaluate the impact of financial contributions to political causes in a variety of ways, as well as wide publications on questions of public corruption. He is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, was part of the research staff for the Presidential Commission on Election Administration in 2013, and was a Research Fellow at the Safra Center For Ethics, Harvard University in 2014-14.

    Sean Nicholson

Sean Soendker Nicholson is the Senior Content Strategist and Research Director at GPS Impact. Previously, he served as Executive Director of Progress Missouri, helping to found the communications and research organization in 2011. Before Progress Missouri, Sean was the Executive Director of Fired Up! Missouri and a Vice President at Kennedy Communications, a Democratic communications and research shop in Washington, DC. A proud Mizzou Tiger and Georgetown Hoya, he lives in Kansas City, MO, with his wife, Trista, and two sons, Judah and Abram.

On Working Ethically in the Current System:


    Angela Bingaman

Angela Bingaman is a professional political fundraiser who has worked on various Missouri political campaigns for the past 10 years. For the past 7 years, Angela has served as Mayor Francis Slay’s finance director. She has raised money for State Senators Scott Sifton and Jamilah Nasheed, Former County Executive Charlie Dooley, Former State Treasurer Clint Zweifel as well as State Representative Cora Faith Walker of Ferguson and Former State Representative John Wright of Columbia. Most recently, she has worked on Tishaura Jones’ 2017 mayoral bid. Angela also works for Public Eye, Inc. a public relations firm in downtown St. Louis. Angela is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in English Literature, Political Science and Art History.


    Mark Dalton

Mark Dalton grew up in St. Charles and Warren County, Missouri. After graduating high school, he joined the St. Louis council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, which represents a half million tradesmen and women across North America. Mark worked as a residential & commercial carpenter for John Gittemeier Construction, Higginbotham Brothers, and Bingman Construction before being asked to join the union’s political operation. As assistant political director for the Carpenters, Mark tracks legislation important to the state’s organized labor movement, discusses workers issues with lawmakers, and interviews political candidates seeking the Carpenters’ support and endorsement.


    Franc Flotron

After serving as Assistant Minority Floor Leader in the House from 1986 to 1988 Flotron was elected to the Senate representing the 7th District. Senator Flotron became the youngest Republican Minority Floor Leader ever in 1992 and was re-elected to that position in 1994. Now a principal at Flotron & McIntosh Governmental Consultants Senator Flotron brings the perspective of both a former legislator and a lobbyist to the issue of money and politics.

    Barbara Fraser

An award winning educator Barbara Fraser has served in public capacities at many levels over several decades. Elected to the University City School Board in 1983, she moved on to the State House from district 83 in 1998 where she served through 2006, when she was elected to the St. Louis County Council. Losing a senate bid in 2010 by less than one quarter of one percent of the vote, she now sits on a number of boards including the Advisory Board for the University of Missouri St. Louis School of Social Work and the Thomas Jefferson School.

    Greg Keller

Gregg Keller is widely regarded as one of the preeminent public affairs professionals in the country. Before founding Atlas Strategy Group, Keller was the Executive Director of the American Conservative Union (ACU, the organization that hosts CPAC every year) and National Executive Director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC). He served as National Coalitions Director for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and campaign manager for Jim Talent’s Senate campaign in addition to many other campaign roles. Gregg is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Show-Me Institute


     Jo Mannies

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St.Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter.


Rosetta Okohson- Reb graduated from Washington University, Texas A&M and Southeast Missouri State University. Since finishing her law degree at Wash U she has worked on several political campaigns (Jill Schupp, Jake Zimmerman, Judy Baker, Tishaura Jones, Darlene Green and Megan Green) in a variety of roles including voter contact and fund raising. She is a co-founder of Maxwell Okohson Political Consulting and works to help elect candidates that have a progressive platform here in Missouri. In addition she is a member of the Missouri Democratic Party, Secretary of the St. Louis Young Dems, Saint Louis Women’s Political caucus and sits on the board of the African Diaspora Council.


    Anne Zerr

Elected to the House of Representatives from the 65th district in 2009, Anne Zerr served until term limited in 2017, and was defeated in the Republican primary for a senate seat in a race heavily influenced by six digit contributions. With an MBA and a Masters in Human Service Agency Management, Zerr has also furthered her education at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Delinquency Control Institute at USC. Prior to holding public office she worked as Executive Director for Partners for Progress, as Director of Community Affairs for SSM St. Joseph Hospital West, and as Adult Admissions Director for Lindenwood University.






ANGELA BINGAMANFinance Director for Mayor Slay & political fundraiser








MARK DALTON: Assistant Political Director, United Brotherhood of Carpenters, St. Louis Council









FRANC FLOTRON: Former Senator & Minority Floor Leader, now a Principal at Flotron & McIntosh









BARBARA FRASER: Former Legislator and Educator








WAYNE GOODE : 5-term State Senator, (Dem. 13th District) UM System Curator and campaign finance reform advocate










JOHN HANCOCK : Outgoing chair of the Missouri GOP and campaign finance reform skeptic









RICHARD L. HASEN : Professor (UC Irvine), lawyer, blogger, national media commentator and campaign finance reform advocate










PATRICK ISHMAEL: Director of Government Accountability, Show Me Institute








GREG KELLER : Nationally recognized Republican Political Operative and founder of Atlas Strategy Group









JO MANNIES : Award winning St. Louis Public Radio Political Reporter








JEFFREY MILYO: Professor of Economics at University of Missouri and senior fellow at the Cato Institute

SEAN NICHOLSON: Former founding Director of Progress Missouri & Senior Content Strategist, GPS Impact









ROSETTA OKOHSON REB: St. Louis Political Fundraiser and board member of the African Diaspora Conference









RAY LA RAJA: Professor, UMASS Amherst & author: Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail”










ANNE ZERR : Four term Missouri State Representative (Rep. 65th District)