KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With more out-of-state donors than ever pouring money into Missouri campaigns, new ads paid for by outstate donors are up on the airwaves, only this time it’s an anonymous group with a weak attempt at making their efforts appear to be in support of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. The LG PAC is a federally registered PAC run by Hank Monsees of Kansas City as both the Treasurer and custodian of records.
Kinder’s campaign was quick to state they have no knowledge of the group or its organization. The website shows signs of support for Kinder and seems to foreshadow attacks on former Speaker Catherine Hanaway and Eric Greitens. The site gives the same treatment to Brunner and comes at a time when the committee has placed over $100,000 behind ads to attack him.
The address listed for the committee is that of Monsees and Associates located at 520 West 103rd Street, Suite 243, Kansas City, Missouri. Its initial attack against John Brunner comes at a time that many private polls have shown some upward movement for the candidate. Many attribute that rise his first-mover status on rural radio, and more recently with television spots.
The ad attacks Brunner with a collection of vague attacks over a late tax payment from several years ago.
The ads revolve “around tax history of Brunner including not paying his taxes on time which resulted in multiple liens,” documents filed with the FEC by the TV stations state. “Ad also states that Brunner set up overseas accounts to avoid Missouri taxes and refused to show his tax returns.”
Brunner’s campaign quickly replied to the attacks with a statement Saturday, blaming out-of-state special interests.
“It’s no surprise that John Brunner is being targeted by special interests with flat-out lies. John is the only candidate who can’t be bought and who is not looking to start, extend or jump-start a political career,” said Brunner campaign spokesman Mike Hafner. “The special interests have good reason to fear John Brunner as Missouri’s next governor, because John will stand up for ‘We the people’ to take our government back from the special interests, and get Missouri back on the right track.”
According to the Federal Election Commission, LG PAC was formed on May 16th and the website states that “This committee supports/opposes more than one Federal candidate and is NOT a separate segregated fund or a party committee”, raising questions about why it would be running advertisements against a candidate for governor of Missouri.
Adding to the questions, the group’s bank is listed as Chain Bridge Bank, located at 1445-A Laughlin Avenue, McLean, Virginia. Chain Bridge Bank has no branches in Missouri. In fact its closest branch would be over 1,050 miles from Monsees’ office in Kansas City.
The ads were produced by Main Street Media Group.
Kinder has long stuck to a clean campaign pledge, but Brunner has had conflict with the Greitens campaign. The highlight of that conflict came in a leaked phone call between the two, ironically over a third party committee running advertisements about Greitens.
Calls to Monsees were not immediately returned.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.