Campaign Finance: maybe it all depends on what your definition of “grassroots” is

Probably not.

Eric Greitens (r) [2016 file photo].

Eric Greitens (r) [2016 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Eric Greitens’ (r) 2016 gubernatorial campaign:

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Gerald Cook JR 5632 S Castlebay Dr Springfield MO 65809 Loren Cook Company Sales 9/30/2016 $25,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write a big check, can vote in the election.

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Digital Monitoring Products 2500 N. Partnership Blvd. Springfield MO 65803 9/30/2016 $50,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write a really big check, but corporations can’t vote. Yet.

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Jerry Cook 2340 E Cottage Blvd Ozark MO 65721 Loren Cook Company President 9/30/2016 $50,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write a really big check, can vote in the election.

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Emerson’s Missouri Responsible Government Fund 8000 W Florissant Ave St Louis MO 63136 9/30/2016 $25,000.00

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Ameren Missouri PAC PO Box 780 Jefferson City MO 65102 9/30/2016
$10,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write big checks, can’t vote in an election. Yet.

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI David Hogan 353 Conway Lake Dr St Louis MO 63141 Hogan Transports/Transportation Executive 9/30/2016 $10,000.00

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Brian Hogan 2740 Turnberry Park Ln St Louis MO 63131 Hogan Transports/Transportation Executive 9/30/2016 $10,000.00

Can write big checks, can vote in the election.

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Midwest Products Group Inc 221 Bolivar St Suite 200 Jefferson City MO 65101 9/30/2016 $5,001.00

[emphasis added]

That’s just like a campaign contribution, only smaller.

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Kansas City Power & Light PO Box 418679 Kansas City MO 64141 9/30/2016 $15,000.00

[emphasis added]

Hedging their bets? Just asking.

C151053 09/30/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Republican Governors Association – Missouri 1747 Penn. Ave. NW Suite 250 Washington DC 20006 9/30/2016 $750,000.00

[emphasis added]

Well, okay then. We have no idea who wrote all the checks to get there.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: an average (September 21, 2016)

Campaign Finance: ante up (September 22, 2016)

Campaign Finance: ante up – part 2 (September 28, 2016)

Brawndo! It’s got electrolytes!

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Last week from President Obama:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2016

Veto Message from the President — S.2040

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

I am returning herewith without my approval S. 2040, the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” (JASTA), which would, among other things, remove sovereign immunity in U.S. courts from foreign governments that are not designated state sponsors of terrorism.

I have deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), who have suffered grievously. I also have a deep appreciation of these families’ desire to pursue justice and am strongly committed to assisting them in their efforts.

Consistent with this commitment, over the past 8 years, I have directed my Administration to pursue relentlessly al Qa’ida, the terrorist group that planned the 9/11 attacks. The heroic efforts of our military and counterterrorism professionals have decimated al-Qa’ida’s leadership and killed Osama bin Laden. My Administration also strongly supported, and I signed into law, legislation which ensured that those who bravely responded on that terrible day and other survivors of the attacks will be able to receive treatment for any injuries resulting from the attacks. And my Administration also directed the Intelligence Community to perform a declassification review of “Part Four of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11,” so that the families of 9/11 victims and broader public can better understand the information investigators gathered following that dark day of our history.

Notwithstanding these significant efforts, I recognize that there is nothing that could ever erase the grief the 9/11 families have endured. My Administration therefore remains resolute in its commitment to assist these families in their pursuit of justice and do whatever we can to prevent another attack in the United States. Enacting JASTA into law, however, would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks. As drafted, JASTA would allow private litigation against foreign governments in U.S. courts based on allegations that such foreign governments’ actions abroad made them responsible for terrorism-related injuries on U.S. soil. This legislation would permit litigation against countries that have neither been designated by the executive branch as state sponsors of terrorism nor taken direct actions in the United States to carry out an attack here. The JASTA would be detrimental to U.S. national interests more broadly, which is why I am returning it without my approval.

First, JASTA threatens to reduce the effectiveness of our response to indications that a foreign government has taken steps outside our borders to provide support for terrorism, by taking such matters out of the hands of national security and foreign policy professionals and placing them in the hands of private litigants and courts.

Any indication that a foreign government played a role in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil is a matter of deep concern and merits a forceful, unified Federal Government response that considers the wide range of important and effective tools available. One of these tools is designating the foreign government in question as a state sponsor of terrorism, which carries with it a litany of repercussions, including the foreign government being stripped of its sovereign immunity before U.S. courts in certain terrorism-related cases and subjected to a range of sanctions. Given these serious consequences, state sponsor of terrorism designations are made only after national security, foreign policy, and intelligence professionals carefully review all available information to determine whether a country meets the criteria that the Congress established.

In contrast, JASTA departs from longstanding standards and practice under our Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and threatens to strip all foreign governments of immunity from judicial process in the United States based solely upon allegations by private litigants that a foreign government’s overseas conduct had some role or connection to a group or person that carried out a terrorist attack inside the United States. This would invite consequential decisions to be made based upon incomplete information and risk having different courts reaching different conclusions about the culpability of individual foreign governments and their role in terrorist activities directed against the United States — which is neither an effective nor a coordinated way for us to respond to indications that a foreign government might have been behind a terrorist attack.

Second, JASTA would upset longstanding international principles regarding sovereign immunity, putting in place rules that, if applied globally, could have serious implications for U.S. national interests. The United States has a larger international presence, by far, than any other country, and sovereign immunity principles protect our Nation and its Armed Forces, officials, and assistance professionals, from foreign court proceedings. These principles also protect U.S. Government assets from attempted seizure by private litigants abroad. Removing sovereign immunity in U.S. courts from foreign governments that are not designated as state sponsors of terrorism, based solely on allegations that such foreign governments’ actions abroad had a connection to terrorism-related injuries on U.S. soil, threatens to undermine these longstanding principles that protect the United States, our forces, and our personnel.

Indeed, reciprocity plays a substantial role in foreign relations, and numerous other countries already have laws that allow for the adjustment of a foreign state’s immunities based on the treatment their governments receive in the courts of the other state. Enactment of JASTA could encourage foreign governments to act reciprocally and allow their domestic courts to exercise jurisdiction over the United States or U.S. officials — including our men and women in uniform — for allegedly causing injuries overseas via U.S. support to third parties. This could lead to suits against the United States or U.S. officials for actions taken by members of an armed group that received U.S. assistance, misuse of U.S. military equipment by foreign forces, or abuses committed by police units that received U.S. training, even if the allegations at issue ultimately would be without merit. And if any of these litigants were to win judgments — based on foreign domestic laws as applied by foreign courts — they would begin to look to the assets of the U.S. Government held abroad to satisfy those judgments, with potentially serious financial consequences for the United States.

Third, JASTA threatens to create complications in our relationships with even our closest partners. If JASTA were enacted, courts could potentially consider even minimal allegations accusing U.S. allies or partners of complicity in a particular terrorist attack in the United States to be sufficient to open the door to litigation and wide-ranging discovery against a foreign country — for example, the country where an individual who later committed a terrorist act traveled from or became radicalized. A number of our allies and partners have already contacted us with serious concerns about the bill. By exposing these allies and partners to this sort of litigation in U.S. courts, JASTA threatens to limit their cooperation on key national security issues, including counterterrorism initiatives, at a crucial time when we are trying to build coalitions, not create divisions.

The 9/11 attacks were the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, and they were met with an unprecedented U.S. Government response. The United States has taken robust and wide-ranging actions to provide justice for the victims of the 9/11 attacks and keep Americans safe, from providing financial compensation for victims and their families to conducting worldwide counterterrorism programs to bringing criminal charges against culpable individuals. I have continued and expanded upon these efforts, both to help victims of terrorism gain justice for the loss and suffering of their loved ones and to protect the United States from future attacks. The JASTA, however, does not contribute to these goals, does not enhance the safety of Americans from terrorist attacks, and undermines core U.S. interests.

For these reasons, I must veto the bill.

BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 23, 2016.

[emphasis added]

Both houses of Congress overrode the President’s veto.

In the U.S. Senate:

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 114th Congress – 2nd Session
Question: On Overriding the Veto (Shall the Bill S. 2040 Pass, the Objections of the President of the United States to the Contrary Notwithstanding? )
Vote Number: 148
Vote Date: September 28, 2016, 12:02 PM
Required For Majority: 2/3
Vote Result: Veto Overridden
Measure Number: S. 2040 (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act )
Measure Title: A bill to deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, and for other purposes.
Vote Counts:YEAs 97 NAYs 1 Not Voting 2
[….]
Missouri:
Blunt (R-MO), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea

[emphasis added]

In the U.S. House:

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 564
S 2040      2/3 YEA-AND-NAY      28-Sep-2016      3:01 PM
QUESTION:  On Passage, The Objections of the President to the Contrary Notwithstanding
BILL TITLE: Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

—- YEAS    348 —
Cleaver
Graves (MO)
Long
Luetkemeyer
Smith (MO)
Wagner

—- NAYS    77 —
Clay
Hartzler

Strange company.

Then the republican Senate Majority Leader suddenly discovered:

White House Slams Congress for ‘Buyer’s Remorse’ Over 9/11 Bill
By Ali Rogin and Arlette Saenz
Sep 29, 2016, 6:46 PM ET

….Earlier Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed the White House for not doing enough to express its own concerns about the legislation to Congress.

“That was a good example, it seems to me, of failure to communicate early about the potential consequences of a piece of legislation that was obviously very popular,” he said. “I told the president that this was an example of an issue we should have talked about much earlier.”

But he also acknowledged that, in their zeal to support the families of 9/11 victims, lawmakers themselves did not fully consider the potential consequences of passing a bill that might leave the U.S. open to similar litigation.

“By the time everybody seemed to focus on the potential consequences of it, members had basically already taken a position,” he said. “Everybody was aware of who the potential beneficiaries were but no one had really focused on the potential downsides in terms of our international relationship.”

Earnest had a different characterization for what happened.

“The suggestion on this part of some members of the Senate is that they didn’t know what they were voting for. They didn’t understand the negative consequences of the bill. That’s a hard suggestion to take seriously,” Earnest said….

[emphasis added]

Failure to communicate? Uh, next time read the veto message.

Ladies and gentlemen, your republican run U.S. Congress.

Campaign Finance: just passing through, again

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From who exactly? We don’t have a clue. We might never know….

….Yes, but the eventual republican nominee will have all the money they need….

….Gee, someone must have some very wealthy out-of-state friends. Too bad we can’t tell who they are….

Josh Hawley (r) [2016 file photo].

Josh Hawley (r) [2016 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for a PAC in Washington, D.C.:

C161307 09/29/2016 MISSOURI FREEDOM PAC Republican Attorneys General Association 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 800 Washington DC 20006 9/28/2016 $990,000.00

[emphasis added]

And not a penny more than needed.

Then, today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Josh Hawley’s (r) 2016 campaign for Attorney General:

C151132 09/29/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Missouri Freedom PAC 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 800 Washington DC 20006 9/29/2016 $1,000,000.00

[emphasis added]

Gee, the very same address. They must save a lot on postage.

Not particularly grassrootsie. Again. Not at all transparent. Again. That’s now $3,000,000.00 total from the same PAC, funded by another (the same) PAC in Washington, D.C.

Campaign finance in Missouri, especially as practiced by republican interests, is an obscenity.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: actual experience doesn’t matter if you have enough money – part 2 (August 24, 2016)

Campaign Finance: the $2,000,000.00 (and counting) candidate (September 4, 2016)

Campaign Finance: nothing exceeds like excess (September 26, 2016)

Campaign Finance: ante up – part 2

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A lot of money.

Eric Greitens (r) [2016 file photo].

Eric Greitens (r) [2016 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Eric Greitens’ (r) 2016 gubernatorial campaign:

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Herzog Railroad Services, INC PO Box 518 St Joseph MO 64502 9/28/2016 $100,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write a big check, corporations can’t vote in the election. Yet.

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Dwayne Holden 3903 E Eaglescliffe Dr Springfield MO 65809 Custom Metalcraft Inc President 9/27/2016 $5,001.00

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Josh Ferguson 8318 Kingsbury Blvd St Louis MO 63105 Self Coffee Business 9/27/2016 $5,001.00

Those were just like campaign contributions, only smaller.

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Richard DeVos 126 Ottawa Avenue NW Suite 500 Grand Rapids MI 49503 Amway Corp. Founder 9/27/2016 $20,000.00

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Richard DeVos 126 Ottawa Avenue NW Suite 500 Grand Rapids MI 49503 Requested Requested 9/27/2016 $20,000.00

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Daniel DeVos 126 Ottawa Avenue NW Suite 500 Grand Rapids MI 49503 DP Fox Ventures President & CEO 9/27/2016 $20,000.00

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Suzanne DeVos 126 Ottawa Avenue NW Suite 500 Grand Rapids MI 49503 VanderWeide VP of Corporate Affairs 9/27/2016 $20,000.00

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Douglas DeVos 126 Ottawa Avenue NW Suite 500 Grand Rapids MI 49503 Amway Corp. Principle 9/27/2016 $20,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write big checks, same last name, same address. It’s an even $100,000.00. Go figure. Can’t vote in the election.

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Eric Karlovic 477 Kassie View Court Des Peres MO 63122 HLK Agency Partner 9/26/2016 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write a big check, can vote in the election.

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Bill Bloomfield 2711 W. Sepulueda Blvd. #119 Manhattan Beach CA 90266 Retired Retired 9/26/2016 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write a big check, can’t vote in the election.

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Tom Stillman 37 Glen Eagles Dr. St Louis MO 63124 Summit Distributing Chairman and CEO 9/26/2016 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

Can write a big check, can vote in the election.

C151053 09/28/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI John Ghirardelli 4359 E. Bogey Ct. Springfield MO 65809 Keystone Digital Professional Management 9/26/2016 $5,001.00

[emphasis added]

Another one that’s just like a campaign contribution, only smaller.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: an average (September 21, 2016)

Campaign Finance: ante up (September 22, 2016)

Location, location, location…

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National campaigns don’t print yard signs, they leave it up to the locals. Mostly because acquisition and distribution is a pain and they don’t really do anything other than make the yard sign planters feel better about themselves.

Okay, there is some pleasure to be derived from insult signage.

In west central Missouri, barely outside the right of way in front of an empty lot:

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I’ve yet to encounter one in front of an occupied house. And I’ve been looking. Not too hard, but I tend to notice these things.

It’s paid for by “StandPatters for Trump”:

standpatters1406

There’s a group that actually chose that name?

It appears to be an entrepreneurial entity in Tipton, Missouri. Interestingly, there’s no Allied Printing Trades mark (“union bug”) on their printed materials. Go figure.

Campaign Finance: just keep writing those $1,000,000.00 checks

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Think of it as a media buyer full employment stimulus package.

In the Missouri Constitution:

BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 29
Organized labor and collective bargaining.
Section 29. That employees shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for a family funded PAC:

C151174 09/27/2016 COMMITTEE FOR ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT IN MISSOURI Sarah Humphreys Atkins 4713 Rock Springs Rd Arlington VA 22207 TAMKO Building Products Quality Consultant 9/27/2016 $1,000,000.00

[emphasis added]

The Tamko Building Products family.

It’s about “right to get paid less” – they spend their money going after legislators (including republicans) who support issues sympathetic to organized labor. You know, working people. And, they also ran a lot of ads against Chris Koster (D) – someone else who makes no apologies for supporting organized labor.

$1,000,000.00 is a lot of money. But, in the current saturated market, is there any TV ad time left? And if there is, will anything cut through the escalating noise? Just asking.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: Account…ability (February 23, 2016)

Campaign Finance: Account…ability – part 2 (February 25, 2016)

Campaign Finance: Account…ability – part 3 (March 25, 2016)

Campaign Finance: Tamko! (June 3, 2016)

Campaign Finance: the right to spend as much as you want to influence elections in Missouri (August 25, 2016)

Campaign Finance: nothing exceeds like excess

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We weren’t aware that voters had a say in who becomes the general counsel for Tamko Building Products in Joplin. Oh, wait…

Josh Hawley (r), the republican party nominee for Attorney General [2016 file photo].

Josh Hawley (r), the republican party nominee for Attorney General [2016 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Josh Hawley’s (r) 2016 campaign for Attorney General (we should probably double check on that last part):

C151132 09/26/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Sarah Atkins 4713 Rock Spring Rd Arlington VA 22207 Tamko Building Products Consultant 9/26/2016 $500,000.00

C151132 09/26/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI David Humphreys PO Box 4050 Joplin MO 64803 Tamko Building Products Executive 9/26/2016 $500,000.00

[emphasis added]

That’s $1,000,000.00 today.

Before, in 2016, from the same family:

C151132 05/02/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI David Humphreys PO Box 4050 Joplin MO 64803 Tamko Building Products Executive 5/2/2016 $500,000.00

C151132 06/02/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Sarah Atkins 4713 Rock Springs Rd Arlington VA 22207 Tamko Building Products Consultant 6/2/2016 $250,000.00

C151132 07/07/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI David Humphreys PO Box 4050 Joplin MO 64803 Tamko Building Products Executive 7/5/2016 $1,000,000.00

C151132 07/23/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI David Humphreys PO Box 4050 Joplin MO 64803 Tamko Building Products Executive 7/21/2016 $250,000.00

[emphasis added]

In 2015, from the same family:

C151132 09/23/2015 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Sarah Atkins 4713 Rock Springs Road Arlington VA 22207 Tamko Building Products Consultant 9/22/2015 $125,000.00

C151132 09/23/2015 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI David Humphreys PO Box 4050 Joplin MO 64803 Tamko Building Products Executive 9/22/2015 $125,000.00

C151132 09/23/2015 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Ethelmae Humphreys 2505 E 11th St Joplin MO 64801 Tamko Building Products Executive 9/22/2015 $250,000.00

[emphasis added]

That’s a total of $3,500,000.00 in one year from three individuals in one family to prop up one candidate.

Consider that when you vote on November 8th.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: You paid what for what? (October 2, 2015)

Campaign Finance: it all depends on what your definition of “grass roots” is (May 2, 2016)

Campaign Finance: escalation (July 7, 2016)

Campaign Finance: it’s all relative (July 24, 2016)

Campaign Finance: the $2,000,000.00 (and counting) candidate (September 4, 2016)

Ashley Beard-Fosnow (D) in the 55th Legislative District: grassroots campaign

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Ashley Beard-Fosnow (D) is the Democratic Party candidate challenging incumbent Rick Brattin (r) in the 55th Legisltive District.

Grassroots campaigns aren’t so much about flooding the district with costly mailers and ads, but they are about speaking with and connecting with voters.

An unresponsive incumbent with a single large dollar donor can be vulnerable to a grassroots campaign. A challenger knocking on 9,000 doors (to date) in the district and attending one event after another has a good start toward unseating an incumbent.

Yesterday we attended a meet and greet event for Ashley Beard-Fosnow (D) held at the home of a supporter in Raymore.

Ashley Beard-Fosnow, the Democratic Party candidate in the 55th Legislative District - Raymore, Missouri - September 25, 2016.

Ashley Beard-Fosnow, the Democratic Party candidate in the 55th Legislative District – Raymore, Missouri – September 25, 2016.

Ms. Beard-Fosnow greeted everyone as they entered, spoke with small groups of individuals, briefly addressed those in attendance about her background and goals in her campaign, and then spent a considerable amount of time taking questions and listening.

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The conversation included education and schools, infrastructure needs – not “kicking the can” of pressing road and bridge maintenance down the road, and economic development.

20160925-img_1393

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Events like these, with substantive interaction with a candidate, is one of many ways that candidate can engage others to speak on their behalf to their friends and neighbors in the district.

That’s a much more Democratic way to reach voters than a single $50,000.00 check from a wealthy individual who doesn’t live in the district.

Previously:

Ashley Beard-Fosnow (D) in the 55th Legislative District (November 8, 2015)

Campaign Finance: propping up the republican incumbent in the 55th Legislative District (August 27, 2016)