By Tim Jones
As a former Speaker of the House turned private citizen, communications director, public policy fellow, political activist and radio show host, I wear several hats on any given day. One of which I find most fulfilling is serving as the Chairman of the Missouri Club for Growth (MOCFG) and its Political Action Committee. The MOCFG began in 2007 as a state affiliate of the National Club for Growth, created in 1999. Both organizations began to focus political discourse on fiscally conservative economic issues and leaving a strong legacy of economic freedom, liberty and stability for our next generation. We have thousands of grassroots members across the State of Missouri who look to us for guidance and information regarding their state legislative representatives and senators.
The Missouri Club for Growth PAC (MOCFG PAC) has not shied away from engaging in primary elections and often recruits and supports candidates who are proven and committed strong fiscal conservatives. While many like to brag about ever-increasing Republican super-majorities in the General Assembly, we are keenly aware that if those majorities are governed by moderates or RINOs (Republicans in name only), the constitutional common sense conservative agenda will stall and sputter. Therefore, unlike many other groups, the MOCFG PAC is not afraid to endorse and assist strong conservative candidates in primary elections. We believe we need to strengthen and improve upon the true conservative core of the Missouri General Assembly to ensure that only the most philosophically pure, hardest working, and most focused conservatives are successfully elected.
The MOCFG PAC has a longstanding policy that any candidate may be eligible for our endorsement, regardless of party affiliation, if they comply with our process. That process begins with a candidate survey, made available to every incumbent and new candidate for office, which is comprised of about a dozen questions on topics such as tax reform, education reform, and regulatory reform. Every candidate who files for state legislative office is sent a notice with instructions on how to fill out the online survey. Those responses are collected and reviewed by our Board of Directors. Our diverse Board is currently comprised of six members from all across the State of Missouri including the cities of Nixa (near Springfield), Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia. We have small business owners, a farmer, attorneys, and former legislators.
Once the candidates and their surveys are reviewed, we look at each individual race to determine where and how we can be most effective and have the greatest engagement and impact. We do engage when we find a race where the candidates have clear and strong differences on issues of importance to our members and to our mission. We fully vet the candidates, then make endorsements and begin our expenditure program.
Depending on the district and our resources, we conduct independent expenditures in support or opposition to candidates. This can consist of mail, radio, television, and digital spending. Our goal is to be the trusted brand voters listen to when trying to determine who the true fiscal conservative is in any given race. To be most effective, we only engage in a handful of races where there are distinct, apparent differences in the candidates on core philosophical issues that speak to the heart of our mission and principles.
This cycle we are proud to support eight (8) candidates that we believe are strong, committed conservatives and will make a difference in our Capitol to the benefit of all the citizens of our great state. They are: Cindy O’Laughlin (SD18), Tony Leutkemeyer (SD34), Mike Haffner (HD55), Rik Combs (HD59), Jim Murphy (HD94), Dottie Bailey (HD110), Georjene Tilton (HD137), and Robert Stokes (HD162). Unlike their opponents, these candidates are the true, strong conservatives that share our vision for tax, education, and regulatory reform. They are also liberty minded individuals that will protect all of our constitutional rights, particularly our first amendment rights of freedom of speech and assembly which are absolutely under attack by the far left, their liberal media allies and those who support the ever-growing, increasingly invasive big government nanny state.
In the coming months, I look forward to delving deeper into the issues the MOCFG considers important to Missourians. Such hot topics will most likely include education reform and the expansion of charter schools, public sector worker freedom, further income tax cuts reform, and protecting the first amendment rights of those who choose to engage in political speech, one of the first and foremost rights that our founding fathers and mothers fought and died for at the genesis of our great nation.
Our general election will no doubt include discussion about these and other passionate issues. As we move past the primary season and sprint towards the general election, the MOCFG PAC will begin our endorsement process anew as we look to identify strong conservatives to assist this November. We know the liberal attack machine has its eyes set on some of those brave freedom fighters, so we will help defend those who have been elected and continue to fight for the conservative cause. The Missouri Club for Growth serves an important and vital role in the public policy discourse and decision making in this state and will continue to stand by candidates that are committed to fighting the good fight for the fiscal conservative liberty movement.
Tim served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2007-2015 having been elected twice to serve as Speaker from 2012-2105. He is currently the Chairman of the Missouri Club for Growth, the Sr. Director for Media & Communications for the First Rule Media Network and the Host of “The Tim Jones Show” which airs every Sunday evening from 7-9pm Central on St. Louis’ Fox News Radio affiliate, KFTK FMNewsTalk 97.1.
A donation has been made in Jones name to the St. Vincent’s Home for Children in St. Louis for the writing of this editorial.