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Government, Politics & Issues
On the Trail, an occasional column by St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jason Rosenbaum, takes an analytical look at politics and policy across Missouri.

Sinquefield Still Reigns Supreme Among State's Biggest Individual Donors

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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.

Since 2012, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's "Power Players" series has charted out Missouri's biggest donors and biggest donations. And from 2008 to 2013, Sinquefield has been at the top of the list of the state's biggest individual donors.

Recently, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon updated the "Power Players" database with all Missouri and federal donations made during 2013. You can see the data by clicking here.

Here are some takeaways from analyzing Power Players' 2013 data — as well as donation information from 2008 to 2013:Since 2008, Sinquefield has given $28,083,480 to state and federal candidates or causes.  The 16 other people on the "Power Players" list have given a combined total of $20,008,036 during the same time.

But Sinquefield's 576 donations from 2008 to 2013 are still less than the roughly $28.4 million that James and Virginia Stowers donated in 2005 and 2006 to support an initiative petition campaign to prevent the legislature from restricting embryonic stem cell research. 

They've got the power

Sinquefield, of course, wasn't the only big donor who gave prodigiously in 2013. The 16 other people on the "Power Players" list continue to give to some of the state's candidates and causes:

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