Rex Sinquefield

Updated with more money: Since June 10, Republican gubernatorial candidate Catherine Hanaway has received roughly $2.4 million from three groups: Grow Missouri, Great St. Louis and Missourians for Excellence in Government.

And all three groups got their money from one man: wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield, who is – by far – the state’s top political donor.

St. Louis businessman and financier Rex Sinquefield says he’s disappointed that state lawmakers did not prioritize eliminating Missouri’s state income tax before adjourning the legislative session on Friday.

Sinquefield, who has funded numerous efforts to cut the tax, discussed Missouri’s economy Tuesday in Columbia with members of Show-Me Institute, a conservative think-tank.

Updated 10:45 a.m. March 4 with second Sinquefield donation - A new campaign committee is targeting St. Louis’ earning tax, the continuation of which will go before city voters next month. And like the last time, wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield is financing the opposition.

The group is called Vote NO on the E-Tax. A spokesman confirmed that Sinquefield will be underwriting the group’s campaign operations. The Missouri Ethics Commission has reported that Sinquefield donated $618,360 to the group on March 1.

A spokesman for Vote NO said the donation amount reflected the city's population in 1970, one of its peak years. However, the U.S. Census Bureau recorded the city's 1970 population at 622,236.

On Friday, Sinquefield gave the group another $452,804 -- for a total of $1.07 million in less than a week. The city's population never reached 1 million.

Clockwise from upper left, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker

Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield, the wealthy duo who are among the state’s most prominent political donors, have apparently made a choice for president: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

The couple is hosting a fundraising event for Walker on July 26 at their St. Louis home in the Central West End. (They also have an estate near Lake of the Ozarks.) Depending on the category of ticket, prices range from $500 a person to $10,800 a couple.

Rex Sinquefield, Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

A new multi-national chess competition aims to draw attention to the sport.

“Hopefully we are witnessing now the creation of the network that will greatly donate to the promotion of the game of chess,” said chess legend Garry Kasparov at the announcement.

Rex Sinquefield
From Sinquefield website

During 2014, wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield cemented his place as Missouri’s top political donor — by far — by distributing close to $10 million to candidates and political groups.

Economist Art Laffer talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 13, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

What would happen if you no longer had to pay income taxes?

Retired financial executive Rex Sinquefield and economist Art Laffer believe it would lead to economic growth and wealth.

“Sometimes when you lower taxes, you get less money. But sometimes you create enough economic activity to actually get more revenues,” Laffer told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday. “If you start lowering taxes from very high levels, you can actually sometimes actually increase revenues. Not all the time, but sometimes that happens.”

DON"T USE TOO SMALL Claire McCaskill
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has ended months of speculation by declaring that she’s definitely not running for governor in 2016 and is endorsing Missouri Attorney Chris Koster instead.

“I have an amazing job. I am challenged every day,” McCaskill said in an interview Monday with host Steve Kraske on KCUR-FM, the public-radio station in Kansas City.

“I love the work, and so at the end of the day, you’ve got to decide. ‘Is the job that you’re thinking about going for, is it a better job than the one you have? And can you do more?’ ”

(file photo: UPI)

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder appears ready to bolster his standing as the longest-serving person in that office, as his campaign confirms he plans to seek a fourth term in 2016.

“As of right now, he plans to run for re-election in 2016,’’ a spokesman said Tuesday.

Rex Sinquefield
Courtesy of Rex Sinquefield's website

(Updated 2:50 p.m. Tues., Dec . 9)

Wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield appears to have made his choice for Missouri’s next lieutenant governor:  Bev Randles, chairman of the Missouri Club for Growth.

Sinquefield is backing up his support with a $1 million check into Randles’ newly created exploratory committee, set up Monday. Randles says she will spend months talking to fellow Republicans to decide whether she has adequate support for a 2016 campaign.

Rex Sinquefield
Courtesy of Rex Sinquefield's website

Shortly before the polls close on Nov. 4,  wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield and his wife, Jeanne, will already have moved on to the 2016 elections.

The couple is hosting an early-evening fundraiser – billed as an “Election Night Reception”  -- on Nov. 4 at their St. Louis home.  The reception is scheduled to end when polls close at 7 p.m.

The beneficiary is U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. The senator is expected to seek re-election in 2016.

Rex Sinquefield
Courtesy of Rex Sinquefield's website

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.’ “

Anne Marie Moy/Grow Missouri

At the next Cardinals’ game, the audience — and much of the St. Louis area — may spot something huge floating in the sky, and it’s not a drone, a hot air balloon or a flying saucer.

It’s a blimp, allegedly among the largest in the world, leased by a conservative political group to be flown around the state for the next two months.

In effect, the blimp will be “a giant billboard’’ that flies in the sky, says Aaron Willard, treasurer for Grow Missouri, which has leased the aircraft for the next two months.

DON"T USE TOO SMALL Claire McCaskill
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill dismissed on Monday rumors that she may be interested in a 2016 run for governor – 12 years after she lost her first bid for that job.

When asked if she was considering another run for governor, McCaskill replied, “I actually am not. I am very busy in my job” as U.S. senator.

“I am very happy in the job I have, and I am very lucky to have it,’’ she said in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio.

Rex Sinquefield
Courtesy of Rex Sinquefield's website

(Updated 2:20 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15)

Wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield, Missouri’s top political donor, is giving $2.5 million to Grow Missouri – a prominent conservative political action committee – to help bankroll its campaign efforts this fall.

Those efforts will include helping the next speaker of the Missouri House, state Rep. John Diehl of Town and Country, as well as other Republicans running for several key legislative contests in the St. Louis area.

Rex Sinquefield
Courtesy of Rex Sinquefield's website

When it comes to donating to Missouri candidates and causes, retired financier Rex Sinquefield may subscribe to the idea of “going big or going home.” 

This past election campaign is no exception. Sinquefield has  given out around $4.4 million so far this year to support ballot initiatives, candidates and friendly political groups. That money has flowed directly -- or through outside groups -- to a host of candidates who competed in last week’s primary elections.

Wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield has made another donation of $50,000 to embattled St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, who’s in a tight primary race with County Councilman Steve Stenger.

Sinquefield’s donation was posted Thursday on the Missouri Ethics Commission’s website and comes less than a week after his earlier $50,000 donation to Dooley.

Sinquefield is, by far, Dooley’s most generous donor.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy |

(Updated 11:30 a.m., Mon., July 28)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has underscored her influence within the Missouri Democratic Party by writing a check for $240,000 – making her the new top donor for the party.

And wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield has donated another hefty sum to one of his favorite officeholders, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.

But Sinquefield gave even more Monday to a Republican rival for Dooley's job, state Rep. Rick Stream.

stacks of money

The first week of July has been a boon for the main group campaigning for the proposed transportation sales tax on the Aug. 5 ballot and for just-announced Republican state treasurer candidate Eric Schmitt.

In the last 24 hours alone, Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc. has collected at least $410,000 – much of it from road construction firms and related unions.

(via flickr/jimbowen0306)

Any doubts about the political stakes for St. Louis County’s open 24th District state Senate seat should be squelched in the next few weeks, as many of the state’s biggest political players – politicians and donors -- are jumping in on behalf of their parties’ favored contenders in this fall's election.

The bipartisan crowd also signals that the district, which takes in much of mid-county from Creve Coeur to Chesterfield, is deemed now to be politically swing turf up for grabs.

The Western District Court of Appeals of Missouri has resurrected an initiative-petition effort to restore campaign donation limits in Missouri. But the proposal’s backers may not have enough time to collect the signatures needed to get their proposal before voters.

The lawyer for the appeals-court loser — wealthy donor Rex Sinquefield — noted that its side has 15 days to decide whether to appeal this week’s ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court.

“We have some time,’’ said Sinquefield lawyer Marc Ellinger.

When it comes to campaign financing, one name stands out: Rex Sinquefield. 

In 2013, an off year politically, the retired financier gave millions in campaign contributions — primarily to ballot initiatives and political action committees. Most of Sinquefield's money went toward an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of tax cut legislation. Sinquefield also gave hundreds of thousands of dollars for ballot initiatives, including one to curtail teacher tenure.

(via Flickr/401K)

For most intents and purposes, it was all quiet on Missouri's electoral front in 2013. But that didn’t stop the money from flowing to candidates and campaigns. 

Throughout last year, a diverse group of donors gave well over $21 million worth of donations of $5,000 or more. That money flowed to candidates, political party committees, ballot initiatives and political action committees in all corners of the state.

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

As soon as the snow melts, Missourians may find themselves confronting a horde of people stopping them outside stores, on the streets or at their front doors.

The object: to get their signatures on petitions that would put a variety of issues – such as early voting, income taxes and teacher tenure – on the August or November ballot.

The long-simmering fight over campaign contribution limits is heating up once again. The latest chapter: a Kansas City court is to hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case between Missouri Roundtable for Life, which supports contribution limits, and libertarian interests, headed up by Rex Sinquefield.

(UPI file photo, Bill Greenblatt)

Financier Rex Sinquefield, Missouri’s largest political donor, has given $750,000 to jumpstart the initiative petition drive for a ballot measure to end teacher tenure.

According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, the money was donated on Christmas Eve to “,” the campaign committee set up to oversee the effort.

St. Louis Public Radio

Some opponents of the effort to merge the city of St. Louis with St. Louis County have announced a new group – Common Sense for St. Louis – to fight any sort of ballot measure.

“We’re truly grassroots,’’ said spokeswoman Jennifer Bird. “We’re not funded by a billionaire.’’

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Convenient ignorance explains most of the folly in human affairs. The things we don’t know really can hurt us. Worse, the things we think we know are often wrong.

Once a misconception gains general acceptance, calamity is all but assured because the flawed assumption allows us to logically proceed to absurd results. Unquestioned belief, masquerading as common knowledge, provides a kind of lazy wisdom — it relieves us of the burden of critical thought while lulling us into the delusion that we’re in control of events.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The chief executives of St. Louis and St. Louis County helped kickstart an endeavor to gather data -- and public input -- that could lead to a potential reunion of the two jurisdictions.

Sinquefield Cup is living up to expectations

Sep 11, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: All eyes of the chess world are locked on St. Louis this week as four of its greatest titans battle it out for the 2013 Sinquefield Cup held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, 4657 Maryland Ave.

The top two ranked players in the world: GM Magnus Carlsen (2862) and GM Levon Aronian (2802) are mixing it up with the top two U.S. players GM Hikaru Nakamura (2774) and U.S. Champion Gata Kamsky (2741) over a week-long, double round robin style tournament.