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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Democrat Says Missouri Auditor Asked Him Not to Run; Wanted to Make History Unopposed

Posted By on Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 8:45 AM

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Last week Haas broke his silence and e-mailed Schweich, telling him that he hoped that they "could remain friends forever" but that he planned to discuss Schweich's request in a radio interview on KTRS 550 AM. The interview never happened, but apparently it did elicit a couple e-mails (below) from Schweich in which the auditor strongly discouraged Haas from discussing the issue.

"I do not think that our personal discussions should be made public," wrote Schweich in a March 31 e-mail provided by Haas. "I thought we had a relationship of trust."

Schweich followed that up with another e-mail the same day.

"Discussing our conversations will do nothing to advance your political aspirations, and it will cost you a friend," wrote Schweich. " I guess I was wrong about you. Best of luck."

haas_schweich.jpg

Schweich's campaign declined to comment on Haas' allegation.

As the recent Politico article pointed out, Schweich running unopposed for auditor could strengthen his appearance within the Republican party and scare off possible in-party challengers. It is widely expected that Schweich will run for governor in 2016 when Democrat Jay Nixon is term-limited out of office.

The Politico article in which Schweich boasted of his fundraising strength and the lack of qualified candidates to challenge him. - POLITICO.COM
  • Politico.com
  • The Politico article in which Schweich boasted of his fundraising strength and the lack of qualified candidates to challenge him.

For what it's worth, Haas also has his sights set on higher office. He's hoping to win the state-rep race this year and then run for U.S. Senate in 2016 when incumbent Roy Blunt is up for re-election. Speculation also has it that Jay Nixon will also enter that race, which means Haas would face lottery-like odds of winning the Democratic primary. But with Haas, that's not completely out of the question.

In 1992 Haas won $250,000 playing the Illinois lottery and sank $125,000 of it into his failed race for the St. Louis mayor's office that year. Haas is again buying lottery tickets in Illinois.

"I figure I'll need $5 to $10 million to beat Nixon," said Haas last week when the lottery was up to $19 million.

He'll also need better name recognition if he plans to be a senator, which makes him wonder if perhaps he should have run against Schweich after all.

"Losing a statewide office might help me more than getting elected into the state legislature," he says. Either way, he feels no remorse for making public Schweich's request that he not run for auditor.

"In politics, you don't say anything you don't want to see in the headlines the next day," says Haas. "That's lesson No. 1."

E-mail the author at chad.garrison@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter @chadgarrison.

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