August 9, 2018 - GOP's Ugly House 15 Nominee - Rise of Shadow Campaigns - Readers on Elections and more....

GOP Nominates Lunatic Fringe in House 15

Yesterday I was forwarded a research document about Steve West, the Republican nominee in House 15, that alleges that he “maintains several alter egos, most prominently ‘Jack Justice’, and operates an extremist website (”

From the document (see it here): [West] has a YouTube channel (see it here) The Youtube channel user who uploads the videos uses his real name, Steve West, and includes in its URL “oldamerican”, which is Mr. West’s campaign slogan, and is featured on his campaign website and yard signs. Steve West’s business, Dry Foundation of Kansas City (, sponsors his radio show. Although the photos of his alter egos on have a wig and fake facial hair, the individual is easily identifiable as Steve West. To date, we have listened to less than 5% of Mr. West’s recorded statements. Included below are some of the shocking excerpts.

"They've been harvesting baby parts at Planned Parenthood since the early 1990s... Michael Savage continually refers to these people as Nazis, and that's exactly what they are. And it's interesting the people that are behind it... the Jews are behind all of this... they're atheists, they're Communists, but at the center of this conspiracy -- they're Jews."

"St. Jude Hospital - they're cancer research. They're getting these kids sick through vaccines and other means, and then they're torturing them, with these anti-cancer drugs. This St. Jude Hospital -- it makes me sick how these kids are suffering, and all for a little PR for the Jewish Cabal."


It’s safe to assume that the Republican voters didn’t know about this “alter-ego” of West.  He had the MRL endorsement and even received a small independent expenditure from them.  But the MOGOP has to renounce this candidate.  And they should have something was up even before this.  His campaign literature (see it here) focuses on fighting Islam; he proposes that Islam not be afforded the normal protections due a religion, and denying immigration for Muslims.


The Rise of the Shadow Campaign

One of the more striking aspects of the primary season was the extent in which 3rd party independent expenditures dominated the state senate campaigns.

One lobbyist emailed me… “I wonder if anyone will think about what the Republican primary races might have looked like without all of the third-party expenditures fueled by PAC to PAC transfers (most of them from/by Jeff Roe)….”

It’s true.  The first-rate Jason Hancock reported on this a week ago (see it here).  The Missouri Senate Conservatives Fund was active – and successful – in operating something of a shadow campaign for the state senate candidates who were Axiom clients.

This, despite the intentions of Fred Sauer who wrote and bankrolled the Amendment 2 campaign contribution limits, is the future of campaigns in Missouri. 

There will be the candidate committee, raising money under the limits.  And there will be an allied – but uncoordinated – campaign raising “soft dollars” without limits to augment their efforts.

One politico I spoke to says that Axiom is unique in Missouri.  Due to their size, they were able to house both sides and simply put a firewall between them.  He imagines that a more standard operating method will be for candidates to have their regular consultant, and then a second soft-money, uncoordinated consultant running the “shadow campaign.” 

And he explains that, despite the allegations of coordination, campaigning isn’t really brain surgery once you know what you’re doing.  You can drop in someone from another state, look at the candidate profiles, run a poll and they’ll know what issues to hit and target.  It might look coordinated because they’re similar, but it’s actually just a function of professionalism.


This explains the recent creation of Unifying Missouri PAC, an independent fundraising vehicle supportive of Governor Mike Parson.  Every serious candidate will need an outside committee.


eMailbag On RTW

The 2018 anti-RTW vote was bigger than '78, even though the percentage of Missouri workers who are union members is about half what it was in '78, and GOP leaders supported RTW this time (Bond, Danforth, Ashcroft all opposed RTW in '78 though Ashcroft changed his position in the '90s).  The political zeitgeist this year is all about frustrated workers and women/minorities feeling disempowered by the President.  Any candidate in a competitive race who doesn’t get that will lose.


How Did Hummel Lose?

Readers weighed in on how Karla May was able to upset Jake Hummel.  It’s a mystery to me.  Here’s the best theory… Triple-whammy for Hummel--African-American turnout for the prosecutor race, women turnout (all over the state in Dem primaries women did several points better than they should have given differences in campaigns), and a focus on the RTW issue.  Frankly many were complacent as well since Karla wasn't running a big campaign.


And one retired pol offered this: In the cases of Jake Hummel and Bob McCullough, their defeats were caused, at least in part, by failing to follow this old campaign axiom:  You have two choices when you run for office:  Run scared or unopposed.  Neither of them seemed to take their opponents seriously and it cost them.



From a lobbyist: With Hummel losing, which is mind-boggling BTW, someone in the Democratic caucus should hire Greta Bax. She is the best Senate staffer on either side of the aisle. It would be bad to lose her in the building.



See several new lobbying registrations for drug companies today (below).  Perhaps not a coincidence given the recent lawsuit filed by some counties against opioid manufacturers….


I missed in running through the election results… Rep. Kurt Bahr won the Republican nomination


Press release: Zel M. Fischer, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri and chair of the Appellate Judicial Commission, announces the commission today submitted to Governor Mike Parson its panel of nominees to fill the vacancy on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. This vacancy exists due to the March 2018 retirement of Judge James E. Welsh.  The commission unanimously supports the three nominees. After approximately five hours of public interviews, more than 1.5 hours of deliberations and four rounds of balloting, the nominees – each of whom received seven votes – are Thomas N. Chapman, W. Ann Hansbrough and W. Douglas Thomson.


New Committees

Tony Pecinovsky formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Tony Pecinovsky) to run for St. Louis Alderman, Ward 14, as a Democrat.


Lobbyists Registrations

Thomas Robbins and Steven Tilley added Boardwalk Office Suites LLC, and Truman Library Institute.

Roger Best added University of Central Missouri.

Kristi Kemp added Allergan USA Inc.

Gregory Porter, David Willis, Alex Eaton, Rebecca Lohmann, and Daniel Pfeifer added The Opportunity Trust

Brian Rosen added Purdue Pharma LP.

Kevin Webb added Mallinckrodt LLC.

Rachel Hassani deleted Missouri Restaurant Association, and Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons.

Cydney Mayfield deleted Lauber Municipal Law LLC.

Richard McCullough deleted Missouri Chiropractic Physicians Association.

Clara Carroll Rodriguez deleted Missouri Alzheimer’s Coalition, and Alzheimer’s Association.

Anne Essing deleted The Downtown Community Improvement District.

Aaron Baker deleted Clean Line Energy Partners, and Upper Mississippi Illinois Missouri River Association.

John Bardgett and Erika Leonard deleted Behavioral Health Holdings LLC, and Alterra Worldwide.


$5K+ Contributions

Boone County for Cavanaugh - $9,000 from Matthew Cavanaugh.

Raise Up Missouri - $15,000 from SEIU Local 1 Missouri Division PAC.

Missouri Senate Conservatives Fund - $45,000 from Missouri Forward PAC.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $7,500 from Charter Communications.

SaferMO.Com - $10,500 from Missouri Asphalt Pavement Assn Political Action Committee.

SaferMO.Com - $15,000 from Frank Twehous Excavating Company Inc.

SaferMO.Com - $50,000 from Summit Material.

Catalyst PAC - $20,000 from Tesla Inc.

Citizens For Cerutti Wacker - $5,148 from James Cerutti.



Happy birthdays to Brian Baker, Lyndall Fraker, Winston Apple, and Christopher Till.