As expected, money from anti-union, right-wing extremists just keeps rolling in for Missouri political candidates who pledge to make the state more “job friendly” through the passage of right-to-work legislation.
According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, 21 candidates have received $2.75 million in personal campaign donations this year from the Humphreys family, Rex Sinquefield and the Koch brothers – all right-wing extremists known for attacking unions. The data was compiled through June 8 and includes contributions over $5,000.
The Humphreys family – namely David and his sister Sarah Atkins – have poured the most into the pockets of anti-worker candidates with $2.23 million in personal campaign donations. The family, which owns TAMKO Building Products and several subsidiaries, has dumped an additional $1.25 million into the so-called Committee for Accountable Government in Missouri (CAGM), which has been airing a series of anti-union broadcast ads.
Meanwhile, Rex Sinquefield has made only one personal candidate contribution this year – $500,000 to Eric Schmitt, a Republican candidate running for state treasurer. However, the Missouri billionaire donated more than $7 million into conservative political action committees last month including more than $2.8 million to Great St. Louis, over $2.5 million to Missourians for Excellence in Government and $1.75 million to the Missouri Club for Growth.
The Koch brothers on the other hand have remained nearly silent in the 2016 Missouri election cycle thus far with a single $20,000 contribution to Josh Hawley, a Republican candidate running for Missouri attorney general. That’s likely to change as the primary and general election draws nearer.
The top five candidates in terms of money received from the right-wing extremists are all running for state executive seats. They include:
- Josh Hawley – $770,000: Hawley is a Republican candidate running for attorney general. Hawley, an attorney and associate law professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has never held public office.
- Peter Kinder – $500,000: Kinder has served as Lt. governor since 2005. He is one of four Republican candidates running for governor.
- Eric Schmitt – $500,000: Schmitt, of Glendale, is a Republican candidate running for state treasurer. Schmitt currently serves as a senator representing District 15 in St. Louis County.
- Bev Randles – $300,000: Randles, of Kansas City, is running for the Republican nomination for Lt. governor. Randles is an attorney and the former chairwomen of Missouri Club for Growth, a Sinquefield-funded lobbying group.
- John “Jay” Ashcroft – $150,000: Jay Ashcroft, a St. Louis attorney and son of John Ashcroft, a former Missouri politician and U.S. attorney general, is running as a Republican candidate for secretary of state.
TWO DEMOCRATS RECEIVING
All of the candidates receiving personal handouts from the Humphreys are Republicans except for Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis (D-Ferguson), who is seeking re-election to his District 73 seat, and Josiah Bechthold, who is challenging Sen. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) in District 17.
Curtis, who has received a $50,000 contribution from the Humphreys, sponsored a right-to-work bill in 2015. This year, he voted in favor of the paycheck deception bill when it was originally passed and voted yes on its veto override.
Little is known about Bechthold, other than what is on his Facebook page, which interestingly enough states that he supports “making unions stronger and that he will stand up for worker's rights.” He has received a $25,000 contribution from the Humphreys. Silvey was one of two Republicans who voted to sustain Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the paycheck deception bill.
OTHERS BEING BANKROLLED
BY THE HUMPHREYS
The following is a list of other local candidates who have received contributions from the Humphreys.
- Shamed Dogan, $75,000, House District 98
- Bill Eigel, $50,000, Senate District 23
- Justin Hill, $25,000, House District 108
- Andrew Koenig, $50,000, Senate District 15
- Bryan Spencer, $25,000, House District 63
- Rob Vescovo, $50,000, House District 112
- Mary West, $25,000, House District 106