JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A major Republican donor who had been relatively quiet donated half a million dollars to a new committee today that is rumored to be targeting Republicans that support Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of Right-to-Work legislation.
Days ago, the “Committee for Accountable Government in Missouri” filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission and Humphreys, President and CEO of Joplin-based Tamko Building Products and a longtime generous Republican donor, dropped $500K into the committee.
The committee will likely be aimed at primary challenges to Republican members of the House and Senate that support Nixon’s veto earlier this summer of so-called “Right-to-Work” legislation. Sources around the state capitol told The Missouri Times they expected the committee to actively support primaries against Republicans supporting Nixon’s veto.
With the annual veto session just days away, the creation of a committee specifically to support pro-RTW Republicans will likely be on some members minds as Republican leadership continues to whip votes in the hopes of overriding Nixon.
Unions in Missouri have continually beat back “anti-labor” laws in recent years with the help of a handful of “pro-labor” Republican allies. Right-to-Work legislation represents one of the few issues that sometimes bitterly divides members of the Republican Party, with many saying that the legislation has its best chance with a Republican governor who won’t issue a veto.
“This is yet another example of big money buying votes in the Missouri legislature to hurt working families in Missouri,” said Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis.
Republicans were more than 20 votes short in the House and a few shy in the Senate from having veto-proof approval of Right-to-Work when they advanced the bill last spring. Proponents of the legislation particularly in the House, have spent the last few weeks trying desperately to wrangle the needed support, while opponents have are hoping to circle the wagons with their allies and hold firm.
Humphreys did not respond to requests for a comment.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.