The fundraising race has already begun in the GOP showdown for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office in 2024.
Attorney General Andrew Bailey take office Even before his predecessor was elected to the U.S. Senate, he began raising funds through an independent political action committee. officially launched his campaign last week.
Will Scharf, a former U.S. assistant attorney and policy director in the short-term administration of Gov. am.
Bailey and Scharf are wasting no time building a campaign war chest with other potential candidates waiting. And so far Scharf has a big advantage in fundraising.
Bailey has received funding help from former Missouri House speaker and lobbyist Steve Tilley. Last month, a fundraiser for the Attorney General at a hangar co-owned by his lobbying firm At Chesterfield’s Spirit of St. Louis Airport.
Bailey’s nominations committee had not been formed until last week, so funds raised from the fundraiser went to the Liberty and Justice PAC, a Tilly-related committee established in November.
It reportedly raised $72,000 in fundraising, with most of the money coming from Tilley’s customers, or a series of PACs funded by Tilley’s customers.
Meanwhile, Scharf reportedly raised around $300,000 in December. Although he hasn’t officially said he’s running for Attorney General, Schaaf boasted of his release that the total was “an attorney general candidate’s quarterly funding record.”
In January, Schaaf put $500,000 of his own money into a statewide campaign.
Among Schaaf’s donors was Leonard Leo, co-chair of the conservative legal group Federalist Society, according to The New York Times: Over $1.6 billion in conservative donor funding under management.
leo is considered He is one of the leading architects of conservative efforts to reshape the US judicial system, including the US Supreme Court.
Help from Steve Tilly
Tilly has become a formidable fundraiser for Missouri politicians in recent years. Over a decade of complaints about FBI scrutiny of his activities. No charges have been filed for any matter involving Tilly, and he has long denied any wrongdoing.
His fundraising prowess relies on a unique setup. Fund one of the few political action committees by lobbying clientsdistribute the checks to the candidates.
In December, six Tilley-connected PACs wrote a $5,000 check to the Liberty and Justice PAC. All but one are based in his Tilley hometown of Perryville, and the four share the same PO Box address.
Andrew Bailey begins fundraising for Missouri AG campaign with lobbyist help
The MO Majority PAC was founded in 2015 with a $560,000 donation from Tilly’s now defunct campaign committee.
Missouri Growth PAC’s president and treasurer is Tilley’s father.
The Missouri C PAC, Missouri Senior PAC, Missouri AG PAC, and Missouri Shield PAC are organized or run by John Birtham, a former employee of Tilly’s Lobby Company, or his father Tom.
Tom Burcham is a longtime friend of Tilley and was involved in his first public contact with the FBI’s scrutiny in 2009. FBI questioned congressman about his role in obstructing legislation That would have undermined the lawsuit filed by Bircham.
Brittany Robbins, communications director at Tilly’s firm, Strategic Capital Consulting, said in an email to The Independent that each PAC that donated to support Bailey is independent of the lobbying firm. said.
“We will make recommendations, but we cannot control the final decision,” Robbins said.
In addition to $30,000 from six PACs connected to Tilley, Bailey received just over $10,000 from Tilley’s clients in December.
This includes $1,000 from Warrenton Oil, which sued the state in 2021. end the crackdown on so-called gray market slot machines at a convenience store. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is defending the state in a Warrenton Oil lawsuit filed jointly with slot machine owner Torch Electronics.
Last summer, Warrenton Oil cut a series of $15,000 checks into MO Majority PAC, Missouri Growth PAC, Missouri C PAC, Missouri Senior PAC, and Missouri AG PAC for a total of $75,000. Meanwhile, Torch Electronics donated his $40,000 to each PAC for a total of $200,000.
Former Attorney General Eric Schmidt has returned a political contribution he received from the owner of Torch Electronics in 2021 after accusations of a potential conflict of interest due to ongoing lawsuits.
However, Schmidt’s donation was to his campaign committee. His $1,000 check for Warrenton Oil was sent to the Liberty and Justice PAC. The Liberty and Justice PAC is an independent spending committee that Bailey can coordinate for funding, but has no control over.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office approached Bailey’s campaign with questions but did not respond to an email requesting comment.
“Friend and Mentor”
In addition to his own money, Schaaf receives support from some of his former colleagues in the Gleitens government.
Schaaf served as director of policy in the governor’s office for 17 months before Graitens took office. Forced to resign in June 2018 to avoid impeachment and settle felony charges.
Former Graytens campaign manager Austin Chambers donated $2,650 to Scharf. So does Nick Maddux, a former deputy chief of staff to Gleitens, who now works at a political consulting firm that supports Schaaf’s campaign.
A large donor, unrelated to Graytens, was West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, who donated $2,000 to Scharf.
Former Gritens aide plans to bid for Missouri office in 2024
But the donation that gets the most attention is a $2,650 check from Leo.
Scharf has been active with the Federal Association for years, working to confirm Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. He told Post-Dispatch that Leo “dear friend and mentor”
Leo is credited with helping lead efforts to put conservative judges on the bench, quietly building a vast political network backed by anonymous millions of dollars. was the beneficiary of the largest known political donation in U.S. history when businessman Barre Seid funded a nonprofit run by Leo with $1.6 billion.
According to The New York Times, Leo helped the Marshal $500 million in resources over the last decade It funds legal, policy and political battles across the country on issues ranging from critical race theories to transgender rights to election law.
In a press release announcing the total quarterly funding, Schaaf said, “I have never run for public office. I am humbled by the support we have received so far. We are deeply grateful to those who have stepped up to help us bid for public office,” Schaaf said.