Nixon snags $500,000 donation, while Lager and Koster also benefit from big donors
Gov. Jay Nixon has received $500,000 from the national Democratic Governors Association, a contribution that boosts his already huge lead among Missouri candidates who have collected donations of more than $5,000 apiece.
(Start of update) That money may be needed. One of his Republican opponents - Kirkwood businessman Dave Spence - donated $500,000 of his own money to his campaign on the last day of June. Spence's overall large-donation tally for the month, even coming from his own pocket, was still far below Nixon's totals.
June sparked a frenzy of donations because it is at the end of the latest quarter for campaign fundraising. All donations above $200 must be reported July 15. (End of update)
The DGA's donation to Nixon signals that it is willing to help even those gubernatorial candidates, like Nixon, who appear to be in a strong position. The DGA's generosity reflects, in part, that it has been one of the most successful national Democratic groups in terms of fundraising, and has raised far more than its rival, the Republican Governors Association.
The huge donation to Nixon also reinforces another fact: Although the governor has emphasized that he would prefer to see Missouri return to campaign-donation limits, the Democrat has – by far – benefited the most by their absence.
Just for the month of June, Nixon collected $1.3 million in donations larger than $5,000, which must be reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission within 48 hours. That tally includes his donation from the DGA, which was collected on Friday and reported on Sunday.
On Monday, the commission's site showed that Nixon received a $15,000 donation from Ford Motor Company's Civic Action Fund.
State Sen. Brad Lager, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, was in second place in the over-$5,000 crowd after taking in $917,500 from just five donors.
That total includes a $250,000 donation from Herzog Contracting Corp, a St. Joseph-based transportation infrastructure company. The contribution – which was made to Lager’s campaign on June 30 – showed up on the Missouri Ethics Commission web site Monday afternoon.
Retired financer Rex Sinquefield donated $385,000 to the two-term state senator from Savannah, Mo., while TAMKO executive David Humphries gave Lager’s campaign $250,000. That generosity far outpaced the donations to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder – whom Lager is seeking to oust on Aug. 7. Kinder picked up $30,000 from three donors.
Coming in third in the big-donor department for June is Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, who took in $417,250 in large donations of $5,000 or above. But the bulk of that was one contribution: $300,000 from the Democratic Attorneys General Association.
That money may have indirectly come from a number of major corporations – including Altria, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Pfizer and Visa – which late last week gave five-figure contributions to the national Democratic Attorneys General Association’s Missouri PAC. That PAC then forwarded the $300,000 contribution to Koster’s campaign committee.
Koster’s chief Republican opponent, St. Louis lawyer Ed Martin who previously served as chief of staff for former Gov. Matt Blunt – received just $26,000 in June in donations that were larger than $5,000 apiece. (He fared better in May, when he received a $250,000 contribution from Humphries.)
(Start of update) Initially Monday, it appeared that Nixon’s three major Republican rivals had not collected much in large donations during June.
Businessman Dave Spence, who is largely funding his own campaign, had only taken in $170,000 in June in over-$5,000 chunks. Fred Sauer, active in the anti-abortion movement, donated $100,000 of his own money to his campaign. Kansas City consultant Bill Randles reported no donations of $5,000 or more.
By the end of the day, the Missouri Ethics Commission's web site showed that Spence -- who already has given more than $2 million to his own campaign -- had poured in another $500,000 of his own money. That was in addition to $55,000 from four other donors that Spence received on Saturday.
Overall, including his own money, Spence ended up receiving $725,000 in oversized donations in June - still far less than Nixon. (End of update)