Missouri Senator Faces Attacks, Says Graves Is Back for Nomination’s Filbuster • Missouri Independent

Political enemies pursued in Jefferson City by a state senator seeking to continue his political career in county government followed him home.

State Sen. Paul Weiland, R-Imperial, will have to step down in January because of term limits. He is running in the Republican primary for county executive in Jefferson County, challenging first-time incumbent Dennis Gannon.

On July 13, a political action committee created last year — Let’s Go Brandon Pac — began blanketing Jefferson County with postcards and digital ads attacking Wayland, costing $123,938 so far.

The PAC has only three donors:

Ketchmark and McCreighta Kansas City law firm that paid $71,000; Herzog Contracting Corporation, a St. Joseph-based heavy construction firm that gave $75,000; and $100 from Don’t Trade On Me Pac, which Let’s Go shares with Brandon Pac, a treasurer, Chris Voss.

Pieces of mail attack Weiland over the lobbyist gifts he has received since joining the Senate in 2015 and his 2017 vote to allow a legislative pay increase to take effect.

For Weiland, the source of the money makes it clear that he is being attacked because he opposition to nomination For the Politically Connected Kansas City Attorney Todd Graves University of Missouri Curator Board,

Graves’ friends are bent on revenge, Weiland said.

“That’s the only thing I can understand,” Wayland said in an interview with The Independent.

Graves is a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, and his brother is the sixth District U.S. Representative. Sam Graves. He was chairman of the Republican Party from 2017 to 2019 and his law firm provided legal defense for former Gov. Eric Grettens during House impeachment hearings.

Graves is president of the Herzog Foundation, which describes itself as a “many-hundred-million-dollar endowment from the late Stanley Herzog” to “support the advancement and acceleration of Christian education”.

Michael Ketchmark, a prolific political donor to both sides and key partner in Ketchmark and McCreight, is a friend of Graves’ and surrounded him around the missouri capitol To solicit support for his nomination in March 2021.

Neither Ketchmark nor Brad Lager, chief executive officer of Herzog Contracting, responded to messages seeking comment. PAC treasurer Vas also did not respond to messages seeking comment.

appointment battle

As of early 2021 there were three vacancies on the UM Board of Curators and the competition was tough Governor Mike Parson will be the pick for the Sixth Congressional District seat. Each congressional district has one member on the board, and a larger member from anywhere in the state.

Along with Graves, candidates lobbied for selection included Blake Hurst, former Missouri Farm Bureau president, and Lisa WexelmanAn attorney at the Polcinelli Law Firm in Kansas City.

Hearst was rural interest’s choice to represent the district that runs from Kansas City north to the Iowa border and from the Missouri River east to the Mississippi. Wixelman was the choice of Kansas City interests who wanted a curator who attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City. she was too Backed by UM Systems President Mun Choi,

But Graves was Parson’s choice.

Read |  Murdoch calculated expediency with Donald Trump

Many Republicans were upset with Graves because of the way he ran the state party. When he stepped down as chairman, he directed $200,000 to a committee seeking to reverse the 2018 anti-gerrymandering initiative known as Clean Missouri. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the spending left the party short of funds at the start of the 2019-2020 election cycle.

during grave confirmation hearingWeiland makes tough inquiries about cash transfers as Graves firm lawsuit filed against a Republican state senator While Graves was the chairman of the party, his removal as US Attorney in 2006 and his law firm received a contract worth approximately $408,000. Check Missouri Gaming Commission,

When the confirmation came on the floor, Wayland, a few other Republicans and most Democratic senators filmed to prevent a vote,

During the debate, Weiland said that Graves was a “jerk” in his answers.

“It’s a matter of great concern to me,” Willand said at the time. “In the future, should a situation arise with the university, can we expect this nominee to be answerable to the Missouri Senate?”

Weiland questioned whether the gaming commission contract was any kind of compensation for the state’s refusal to pay for Eric Grittens’ defense of his firm during the impeachment hearing.

filibuster, to end the parses made a deal with the Democrats To appoint a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City when he selects for a curator from the St. Louis area. The governor turned down a separate deal offered by Wieland and other Republicans, but without the Democrats, the roadblock could not have been sustained.

One seat is vacant and the other is serving an expired term with a curator, but Parson has yet to fulfill the promise he made to Democrats.

The ending left bitterness between Graves’ supporters and Weiland.

Read |  Belfast law firm to file defamation action against Brandon Lewis over Troubled legacy article

Jefferson County Politics

Gannon, the incumbent, said he was unaware of Let’s Go Brandon Pac or his plans to interfere with the race until a supporter called him about a postcard attacking Wayland.

“I knew there were some people who were not with Paul for whatever reason,” Gannon said. “I don’t know who they are and didn’t hear the name of PAC until a friend of mine found a piece of literature. I don’t know, I don’t know what the relationship is with him and my opponent. ,

Gannon describes the spending as a contribution to his campaign.

running for county executive, with a four-year term of a approx $85,000. salary of, pits two candidates with long experience in Jefferson County politics. The winner will face Democratic nominee Frank Newkirk of Barnhart, who is unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

Wayland was elected to a term in the Missouri House in 1994, and was also in the House from 2011 to 2015. He has been in the Senate since 2015.

Gannon’s husband chosen in 2018 is san alain gannonA legislator since 2013 and the son of Jack Gannon, A Democratic legislator from 1973 to 1987.

Gannon has raised $270,000 to keep his job, which includes $73,939 of Let’s Go Brandon’s expenses reported as in-kind contributions and $87,000 in loans to the campaign. Several PACs who played a heavy role in the legislative race have spearheaded his campaign.

He has received $15,000 from three PACs controlled by lobbyist Steve Tilley, a longtime friend of Ketchmark, who helped facilitate at least one statehouse meeting for Graves and Ketchmark during the confirmed fight. They have also received large PAC contributions from labor unions, with the Laborers International Union PAC giving $20,000 and the Carpenters Union adding $10,000.

Gannon said he is trying to keep the race for jobs and law enforcement afloat. The county is expanding its port with $25 million in state appropriations and crime in the area makes it a top issue for voters.

The only controversy about the port, he said, was “whether people are taking credit who shouldn’t.”

Wiiland has raised $164,000 for his campaign, as well as harnessing PACs that give large amounts to influence the legislative race. His biggest supporter is Jeffco Now, a PAC that contributed nearly $20,000 in 2021.

His campaign message focused on making more county records available online and opposing tax increases. The proposed sales tax for county parks was defeated in April By a margin of about 3-1.

Postcards provided to The Independent claimed Wieland – including one sent to his home – as a senator, he was the largest recipient of lobbyist gifts in the legislature and was one of two members who Voted in 2017 to allow wage increases A motion to take effect by a non-partisan commission.

Both claims are true, but the lobbyist gift fee is somewhat misleading. Since Wiiland joined the Senate in 2015, Missouri Ethics Commission records show, he was the largest recipient of gifts, approximately $24,750. But since he returned to Jefferson City as a member of the House in 2011, he is the fifth-largest with $31,233.

The top recipient of lobbying gifts at the time was former state Sen. Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City, with $53,189.

A constitutional amendment passed in 2018 ended most small lobbying gifts starting in 2019. Since the amendment passed, lobbyists are reported to have spent $8.24 on Wiiland.

When Weiland voted to accept the pay increase, the legislative salary was $35,914 and had not been increased since 2009. Lawmakers are now paid $36,326 per year.

Gannon said he has tried to stay positive with his campaign messages. She worries that messages from outside groups will be blamed on her.

“You always worry about it,” he said. “You always worry about his message and whether it will make a bad impression on me as a person.”

Weiland said he is not concerned with the impact of postcards and digital messaging. He said the Kansas City postmark makes people suspicious of the message.

“People here know me” after a total of 14 years in the legislature, he said.

He said that PAC attacked him in the last race.

“They’ve sent a ton of mail to tell people how awesome I am,” Wayland said. “People are becoming immune to it.”

Read |  Biden urges to deal with Putin hammer blow on grain deal as Russia struggles world | news

Source link