To repair his reputation, Missouri Attorney Chris Koster has announced self-imposed guidelines on what campaign donations he will accept as he runs his office while also running for governor in 2016.
In a statement, Koster said he was advancing “sweeping new transparency measures’’ that he acknowledged were intended to address some conflict-of-interest accusations that have been leveled against him.
But he also suggested that the General Assembly consider imposing similar campaign limits on other public officials.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is proposing that the state’s voters be asked once again to increase the state’s tobacco tax, now among the nation’s lowest.
But instead of previous failed proposals that would have directed the bulk of the money raised for health care programs, Koster would use the estimated $400 million a year primarily to pay for state incentives to improve the business climate and attract more jobs.
Steve Stenger, the Democratic candidate for St. Louis County executive, is entering the final weeks of the contest with more than twice the money in the bank as Republican rival Rick Stream.
In reports filed Wednesday, Stenger reported that he had raised $447,244 since the Aug. 5 primary and had $400,902 in the bank. That compares to only $173,081 raised by Stream, who reported $155,068 on hand.
Stenger also has outspent Stream: $322,562 compared to Stream’s $246,512.
Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway got $750,000 this week from wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield for her 2016 campaign for governor. That’s more than 10 times what she raised during the past three months.
That huge donation was condemned late Wednesday by her potential rival, state Auditor Tom Schweich, a fellow Republican. His campaign accused Hanaway of being “dependent on one man and his self-proclaimed ‘political army.’ “
State Sen. Eric Schmitt, R- Glendale, has amassed more than $1.5 million in the bank in his bid to become Missouri’s next state treasurer – a notably hefty campaign war chest aimed in part in unsettling any potential 2016 rivals.
Schmitt provided St. Louis Public Radio with an advanced copy of his latest campaign-finance report, due today with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
His latest report, coupled with one he filed in late July right before the Aug. 5 primary, shows that Schmitt has raised $726, 700 since July 1.
A fundraising quarter before an election is when Missouri politics starts getting real.
And by “getting real,” I mean getting "realexpensive.”
Tuesday is the deadline for campaign committees to turn in their fund-raising reports. These are the documents showing how much money political candidates and ballot initiatives have for the final push to the Aug. 5 primary. They can also reveal how much cash is being shelled out in competitive primaries.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., contends that Missouri’s “Wild West” approach to politics — which imposes no restrictions on campaign donations or lobbyists — is partly to blame for her party’s lack of a candidate for state auditor this fall.
But the senator also asserts that the current state of affairs for Missouri campaigns isn’t good for anyone or any political party, calling it “bizarre and, frankly, not good for our government.”