The drama this week started when Swan’s team released a television advertisement Tuesday that discussed Rehder’s career, alleging a total of 17 years as a lobbyist in Missouri — including after she took office.
Rehder’s campaign responded by sending a letter from a Kansas City law firm to local TV stations in an attempt to pull the ad, according to Swan’s team.
Swan said Rehder’s records with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) point to her working as a lobbyist for the Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association from 2006 through 2008. Additionally, she said Rehder’s LinkedIn indicated she worked as the director of government affairs for Galaxy Cablevision from 1991 to 2006.
Other information from the team behind the ad pointed to a 2015 biography from the Midwestern Regional Conference on Women in Government saying Rehder lobbied for the Missouri Cable Telecommunication Association after joining its board of directors in 2003.
“Either she thinks she wasn’t a lobbyist because she didn’t file the required paperwork with the Missouri Ethics Commission while engaging in what I think most people would call lobbying, or she was misrepresenting her career online by claiming 15 years as Director of Government Affairs to pump up her resume,” Swan said in a statement. “Either way demonstrates dishonesty, which frankly is what we should all expect from Holly by now.”
The ad said: “Look, Holly spent nearly 20 years as a lobbyist. Used her influence to lower her own taxes but votes for higher taxes for you.”
The letter from Rehder’s team called the statements “false and derogatory.” Rehder’s time as a lobbyist lasted only the two years she was registered and did not extend to her time in office, which would violate Missouri law, the letter, provided to The Missouri Times, said.
In an interview with The Missouri Times, Rehder said the “attack ad” was a response to recent polling numbers and denied the accusations.
“With recent publicly available polling in our race, it doesn’t surprise me that Kathy Swan would start lying about my job history,” Rehder said. “She must be using Common Core math because with the resume she has built for me, I’d be 120 years old by now. Methuselah himself couldn’t keep up with her attacks for the ages. Several stations are considering taking down her ads. MEC records show clearly she’s lying about my work history.”
Rehder referenced poll numbers released by Missouri Scout last week that showed her polling at 51 percent compared to Swan’s 29 percent.
Another poll published in The Missouri Times Whispering Gallery Tuesday had Rehder with a smaller lead: 34 percent 27 percent, respectively.
The Missouri Times has ranked the race to replace outgoing Sen. Wayne Wallingford as a toss up between the two legislators.
Both candidates have received endorsements in their race. Swan was one of the candidates backed by Missouri Right to Life, and Rehder has received endorsements from Missourians for Life as well as the Missouri Hunting and Working Dogs Alliance.
Both candidates have served in the Missouri House and are term-limited this year.