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The Red Lily, Anatole France

…For the poor it consists in sustaining and preserving the wealthy in their power and their laziness. The poor must work for this, in presence of the majestic quality of the law which prohibits the wealthy as well as the poor from sleeping under the bridges, from begging in the streets, and from stealing bread…

There’s this gem of a press release from the astroturf PAC, Grow Missouri:

Grow Missouri Will Report $2.5 Million Contribution

Funds Will Support Speaker-Elect John Diehl’s “100 Great Ideas” Tour

Sept. 12, 2014 (ST. LOUIS) Grow Missouri – a broad based coalition formed to advocate policies that will make Missouri a more competitive, more attractive place to live and work – is announcing it will be reporting a new contribution of $2.5 million.  The money will be used in large part to help support Missouri House Speaker-elect, John Diehl’s “100 Great Ideas Tour,” as well as other efforts that promote pro-growth, smaller government policy initiatives….

[emphasis in original]

Let’s take a look at exactly how “broad based” Grow Missouri actually is. Via the Missouri Ethics Commission

C131097: Grow Missouri

308 E High St Ste 301 Committee Type: Political Action

Jefferson City Mo 65101

[….] Established Date: 07/08/2013

[….]

[emphasis added]

The “broad based coalition” is a little over a year old. Let’s look at their “broad based coalition” history of contributions:

MISSOURI ETHICS COMMISSION

CONTRIBUTIONS AND LOANS RECEIVED

GROW MISSOURI [pdf] 10/15/2013

Rex Sinquefield 244 Bent Walnut Westphalia MO 65085 Retired 7/9/2013 $1,300,000.0[0]

Pelopidas LLC 1034 South Brentwood Blvd. St Louis MO 63117 7/15/2013 $22,000.00 [in-kind]

11. TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED AT FUND-RAISERS AS REPORTED INLINE 8 ON FORM CD1A $0.00

12. TOTAL ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSON GIVING $25 OR LESS $0.00

13. TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

14. TOTAL IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS (NOT COMMITTEES) GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

[emphasis added]

Heh. The Missouri Ethics Commission reporting system has difficult handling contribution amounts in seven figures.

Gee, that in-kind contribution from Pelopidas LLC? What’s the connection there? (via the Missouri Ethics Commission):

Principal     Lobbyist

PELOPIDAS LLC     Dave Berry

PELOPIDAS, LLC     Katherine Casas

PELOPIDAS, LLC     David Michael Jackson

PELOPIDAS, LLC     Travis Brown

[….]

Principal Lobbyist

REX AND JEANNE SINQUEFIELD     David Michael Jackson

REX AND JEANNE SINQUEFIELD     Travis Brown

REX AND JEANNE SINQUEFIELD     Dave Berry

[….]

REX AND JEANNE SINQUEFIELD     Katherine Casas

The next PAC campaign finance report:

MISSOURI ETHICS COMMISSION

CONTRIBUTIONS AND LOANS RECEIVED

GROW MISSOURI [pdf] 1/15/2014

Rex Sinquefield 244 Bent Walnut Westphalia MO 65085 Retired 12/19/2013 $245,000.00

Rex Sinquefield 244 Bent Walnut Westphalia MO 65085 Retired 12/30/2013 $250,000.00

11. TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED AT FUND-RAISERS AS REPORTED INLINE 8 ON FORM CD1A $0.00

12. TOTAL ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSON GIVING $25 OR LESS $0.00

13. TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

14. TOTAL IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS (NOT COMMITTEES) GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

[emphasis added]

And the next:

MISSOURI ETHICS COMMISSION

CONTRIBUTIONS AND LOANS RECEIVED

GROW MISSOURI [pdf] 4/15/2014

11. TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED AT FUND-RAISERS AS REPORTED INLINE 8 ON FORM CD1A $0.00

12. TOTAL ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSON GIVING $25 OR LESS $0.00

13. TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

14. TOTAL IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS (NOT COMMITTEES) GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

[emphasis added]

And the next:

MISSOURI ETHICS COMMISSION

CONTRIBUTIONS AND LOANS RECEIVED

GROW MISSOURI [pdf] 5/9/2014

11. TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED AT FUND-RAISERS AS REPORTED INLINE 8 ON FORM CD1A $0.00

12. TOTAL ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSON GIVING $25 OR LESS $0.00

13. TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

14. TOTAL IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS (NOT COMMITTEES) GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

[emphasis added]

And the next:

MISSOURI ETHICS COMMISSION

CONTRIBUTIONS AND LOANS RECEIVED

GROW MISSOURI [pdf] 7/15/2014

Rex Sinquefield 344 Bent Walnut Westphalia MO 65085 Retired 5/13/2014 $1,500,000.0[0]

11. TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED AT FUND-RAISERS AS REPORTED INLINE 8 ON FORM CD1A $0.00

12. TOTAL ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSON GIVING $25 OR LESS $0.00

13. TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

14. TOTAL IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS (NOT COMMITTEES) GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

[emphasis added]

And the next:

MISSOURI ETHICS COMMISSION

CONTRIBUTIONS AND LOANS RECEIVED

GROW MISSOURI [pdf] 8/4/2014

Rex Sinquefield 244 Bent Walnut Westphalia MO 65085 Retired 7/18/2014 $250,000.00

11. TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED AT FUND-RAISERS AS REPORTED INLINE 8 ON FORM CD1A $0.00

12. TOTAL ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSON GIVING $25 OR LESS $0.00

13. TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

14. TOTAL IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS (NOT COMMITTEES) GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

[emphasis added]

And the last:

MISSOURI ETHICS COMMISSION

CONTRIBUTIONS AND LOANS RECEIVED

GROW MISSOURI [pdf] 9/4/2014

11. TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED AT FUND-RAISERS AS REPORTED INLINE 8 ON FORM CD1A $0.00

12. TOTAL ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSON GIVING $25 OR LESS $0.00

13. TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

14. TOTAL IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS (NOT COMMITTEES) GIVING $100 OR LESS $0.00

[emphasis added]

And, of course, just today:

C131097 09/12/2014 GROW MISSOURI Rex Sinquefield 244 Bent Walnut Westphalia MO 65085 Retired 9/11/2014 $2,500,000.00

[emphasis added]

That’s all of the contributions – $6,045,000.00 from one person and $22,000.00 in-kind from a group associated with lobbyists who also lobby for the person who wrote the big checks.

Let’s put that all in perspective:

The Grow Missouri PAC’s “broad based coalition” consists of $6,045,000.00 from Rex Sinquefield (in blue)

and $22,000.00 (in-kind) from Pelopidas LLC over the fourteen month existence of the PAC.

That’s your “broad based coalition”.

Whoever wrote that press release is showing their absolute contempt for the media and the public. They think we’re all too stupid to notice or too lazy to care. They may be right on both counts.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: how astroturf (the fake grassroots) works (August 1, 2013)

Campaign Finance: Why give 11 cents when you can write a check for $1.5 million? (May 15, 2014)

Campaign Finance: “Never give up. Never surrender.” (September 12, 2014)