JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Former Speaker of the House and U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway was eager to release her fundraising numbers -$1.42 million in 2014 – and liberal groups were even more eager to analyze them yesterday. As the 15th of January came and went, many expected to see an influx of campaign reporting, but there hasn’t been any, despite the circus over Republican candidates for governor.
Hanaway’s campaign committee received donations from more than 220 donors and entered 2015 with total cash on hand of $1.28 million. The campaign was quick to share that Hanaway’s cash on hand is a modern day record for any prior non-incumbent Republican gubernatorial candidate two years prior to election.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support from the Missourians who have invested in my campaign to restore leadership and faith in Missouri government,” said Hanaway. “I embarked on this journey almost a year ago to ensure my campaign was well positioned going into 2015. A year later, I have been to more than 100 events, visited over 45 counties, and formed a statewide network of grassroots supporters. We are well on our way to winning the Missouri Governor’s mansion and restoring freedom, growth, and opportunity in our great state.”
One donor, St. Louis billionaire and conservative activist Rex Sinquefield, has made a personal investment that makes up 63 percent of Hanaway’s campaign’s funds, a total of $900,000 in contributions, according to the Missouri Democratic Party. If you include a $100,000 contribution to Hanaway from The Missouri Club for Growth, a conservative group almost entirely funded by Sinquefield, that number balloons to 70 percent, at a $1 million total.
The contributions from the billionaire included 10 weekly payments of $10,000 near the end of 2014, which led to several members of the media reporting the recipient had been dubbed “Catherine Layaway” in political circles, Democrats were sure to mention.
“During her campaign, Hanaway has done little to prove she’ll be an independent voice advocating for Missouri’s working families,” said Crystal Brinkley, Executive Director of The Missouri Democratic Party. “Rather than building a grassroots network of supporters, she’s let one wealthy extremist fund a majority of her campaign operation.”
Hanaway joins several other major Missouri Republicans in receiving large portions of their financial backing from the billionaire.
However, other than the reiteration of early campaigning, January reports were scarce. Less than a dozen were filed amongst 2016 candidates, but the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) says that’s fine.
“It’s optional in the January after elections,” said representatives from the MEC. “Some choose to for easier bookkeeping. Many filed 30-Day reports after the election if they had contributions or expenditures from the elections, which most did. But, every other year in the January after elections – reporting is not required.”
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.