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Monday, July 2, 2012

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder Burned by Former Donors

Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 7:01 AM

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Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder lost two big donors last week to his challenger in the Republican primary, Brad Lager.

David Humphreys, owner of the Joplin-based Tamko Building Products, cut a check for $250,000 to Lager's campaign last week in what is only the latest slap in the face to Kinder from a former supporter.

Humphreys had been a major financial contributor to Kinder up until last August when Riverfront Times revealed the lieutenant governor's curious relationship with a former stripper. Humphrey's later asked that Kinder's campaign return $165,000 in donations.

St. Louis' income-tax-hating financier extraordinaire, Rex Sinquefield, also signed over $385,000 to Lager last week. Sinquefield and Humphreys had both made six-figure contributions to Kinder in 2011.

Travis Brown, a political advisor to Sinquefield, wouldn't comment specifically about his boss' feelings toward Kinder, but noted that many former supporters are losing faith in the lieutenant governor.

"We're seeing many donors who see the importance of having state leaders with long-term viability," Brown told Daily RFT, adding that Sinquefield's $385,000 check is the largest he has made to a candidate since he "returned to Missouri politics." (Sinquefield has given much larger donations to ballot initiatives he supports, including a $3.9 million gift to Let Voters Decide in 2010.

Kinder, once a Tea Party darling, had been considering a run for Missouri governor until allegations from Tammy Chapman, a former Penthouse Pet, brought his campaign to a screeching halt last year. Now he seeks re-election with significantly less fanfare and a mounting fundraising disparity between himself and his opponents.

Lager raked in $660,000 big time contributions in June ($635,000 from Humphreys and Sinquefield), more than any other statewide candidate. According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, Kinder has received just one oversize check last month -- a $10,000 donation from the construction firm Fred Weber Inc. 

Two months ago, Kinder had $1,276,694 on hand according to the quarterly report his campaign filed in April. At that time, Lager trailed with $1,108,113.

Lager could expect even more big money in July...Sinquefield and friends will be hosting a fundraiser for Brad Lager on July 12 at the posh St. Louis Club in Clayton.

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