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Missouri mega-donor, Nebraska governor bankrolling PAC attacking Eric Greitens

 Rex Sinquefield is among the donors to the PAC that has spent $7.4 million to attack former Gov. Eric Greitens in the Republican Senate primary.
Dilip Vishwanat
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Rex Sinquefield is among the donors to the PAC that has spent $7.4 million to attack former Gov. Eric Greitens in the Republican Senate primary.

Missouri’s most prolific Republican donor and the governor of Nebraska have joined forces to defeat former Gov. Eric Greitens in the GOP Senate primary.

Show Me Values, a political action committee formed June 2, is the biggest spender in the Missouri Senate race that has now cost almost $34 million. Its first full disclosure report, covering June, shows it raised $1.35 million during the month.

Rex Sinquefield, who has contributed more than $41 million to Missouri candidates over the past decade, contributed $1 million, with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts giving $250,000. The remaining $100,000 was contributed by August A. Busch III, former CEO of Anheuser-Busch who is a long-time GOP donor and half-brother to Democratic Senate hopeful Trudy Busch-Valentine.

Show Me Values disclosed its June donors on Wednesday, the same day it also reported to the Federal Election Commission that its total spending in the race has reached $7.4 million.

The PAC has spent $3.6 million on television ads hammering Greitens by highlighting child and spousal abuse allegations made by Greitens’ ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, and accusing him of being too cozy to China.

The contribution increases Sinquefield’s investment in the Senate race to $2.5 million. Sinquefield, a supporter of Attorney General Eric Schmitt, contributed $1.5 million to a PAC called Save Missouri Values, which has reported spending $3.6 million backing Schmitt.

He has also contributed the legal maximum of $5,800 to Schmitt’s candidate committee.

Ricketts, elected in 2014 and son of the founder of TD Ameritrade, can’t run for governor again this year because of term limits. He has also contributed about $675,000 in other federal races this year, FEC filings show.

Ricketts and Greitens were once political friends. Politico, in a story about the contribution, noted that Greitens was one of the headliners at a 2017 political event hosted by Ricketts.

Missouri Independent is part of States Newsroom, a network of news outlets supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Missouri Independent maintains editorial independence.

Rudi Keller covers the state budget, energy and the legislature. He’s spent 22 of his 30 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics, most recently as the news editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Keller has won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

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