With help from Sinquefield, Bearden launching groups focused on state issues
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2010 - Former state Rep. Carl Bearden, a St. Charles County Republican, has announced he's stepping down as state director of Americans for Prosperity -- a free-market, small-government advocacy group -- to help launch two new Missouri-focused groups.
The new groups will be called "United for Missouri" and "United for Missouri's Future." One will focus on research and educating the public, while the other will be an issue-advocacy arm that is likely to conduct ad campaigns.
The two groups' common purpose will be to focus solely on state issues, Bearden said in an interview today.
Wealthy philanthropist/financier Rex Sinquefield will help fund the new effort, but Bearden said he expected others to also be involved.
As part of Americans for Prosperity, Bearden had focused primarily on federal issues. Most notably, the group had opposed the increased government spending, the new national health care changes and the proposed cap-and-trade legislation aimed at curbing pollution.
Bearden's state arm of Americans for Prosperity had been involved in many of the region's Tea Party gatherings.
Bearden said he wanted now to focus more on state issues. He emphasized that he had left his Americans for Prosperity post on good terms, and that he had helped expand Americans for Prosperity's state membership from virtually nothing a couple years ago to 26,000 Missourians now.
In a statement, he added, "I am proud to be part of the successful effort that launched Americans for Prosperity-Missouri three years ago and built it into a vital part of the grassroots political movement in this state. And now it's time for me to move on to pursue a completely Missouri-focused project. More details will be provided in a couple of weeks about this exciting venture."