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Previously: Campaign Finance: Attorney General Chris Koster (D) has a really good day (March 12, 2011)

Yesterday, at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

CONTRIBUTION OF MORE THAN $5,000.00 RECEIVED BY ANY COMMITTEE FROM ANY SINGLE DONOR – TO BE FILED WITHIN 48 HOURS OF RECEIVING THE CONTRIBUTION

C031159 MISSOURIANS FOR KOSTER [pdf] 3/13/2011

James E Stowers

400 W 49th Terrace

Kansas City , MO 64113

American Century Investments Founder

3/13/2011

$75,000.00

[emphasis added]

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) has another very good fundraising day.

James Stowers? Ah, yes, that’s right. Stem cell research.

Chris Koster in Independence, MO (March 30, 2008)

…Why did I switch parties? Probably three reasons. As much as I, there are two big ones. The biggest one might be stem cell research. Um, when I walked in to the Missouri Senate I walked…first of all, when you’re a prosecutor you’re really not a Democrat or a Republican. I mean you run with a letter after your name but you apply the laws equally. So I never really had to exist in a partisan whirlwind until I got down to the Senate. Everybody knew that I was a centrist when I ran for office. Walked in, and as soon as I walked in, we hit the stem cell debate on the floor. Everybody who’s been watching my career, um, and who believed that there might be opportunities some day to advance said to me, “Stay away from this. You don’t want to touch this thing. If you touch it is, if you touch it as a Republican it could end you.” Couple of issues. One, it’s the Stowers Institute. Okay. Stowers Institute has a three and a half billion dollar endowment. Within ten years after Jim and Virginia make their final gifting to that, meaning after, which is a polite way of saying after they make their final gifting [laughter], uh, you know, this thing is going to be as much as a ten billion dollar endowment and will be the most well endowed medical research facility on the planet Earth. Um, Washington University has a five billion dollar endowment. It took them a hundred years to put it together. Stowers has a three billion dollar endowment, it’s been up and goin’ for a decade now, and it’s going to ten. And Washington University’s endowment is split between education and medicine and Stowers’ endowment is totally focused on stem cell research.

By the end of my lifetime Stowers Institute will be as important to this city as Washington University is to St. Louis. As..I think everybody in the room knows there’s a hundred acres that Stowers has under contract in the state. What everybody might not know in the room is that there already exists a plat map of what that hundred acres is gonna look like. And, there could be as many as ten facilities the size of the current Stowers Research Institute on that hundred acres. Ten research facilities, six hundred thousand square feet per research facility, state of the art, world class scientists coming to Kansas City and doing research that is recognized around the planet.

It was not an issue that you just backed away from.

I mean, if you’re in politics..I think anybody who’s worth their salt in politics is looking for some hill that’s worth dying on. Every hill’s not worth dying on, but if no hill is worth dying on then you should just go practice law. This was a hill worth dying on..

So Bartle and I had our day out there. It was an extraordinary experience, I remember it like it was yesterday. I worked my tail off preparing. I had an hour long presentation, that I probably spent forty hours working on and, I dunno, three months researching. One of the cool things was the Stowers Institute gave me access to the finest scientists in the world as I prepared my  floor speech. So I got to talk to people in London, Paris, Harvard. It was incredible. So Bartle and I do our thing. It goes on for about five hours and, and we won that year. That was 2005 and so, you know, the rest of the thing has rolled forward with Amendment 2 and all. But, you know what? The political handlers were right. It created a breech between myself and the Republican Party that never healed. And it was never going to heal. And, you know, they put a target on my head after that. The, the, the conservative wing of the party put a target on my head to make sure that no one who held these beliefs would advance. Okay, so that was reason number one. That I basically became fed up with that attitude. Because they are willing to take the Stowers Institute and send then to San Diego. As if though, somehow that enhances the, the morality of the planet. It just doesn’t. We should be proud to have them here. I bet that most of the people in this room are proud to have them here. And people make all the difference to keep them here…