Kennedy's weekly column on Joplin business is a must-read in a Sunday Joplin Globe that no longer fits into that same category.
So I have to think that he must have been thrown in at the last minute to handle today's examination of the lieutenant governor's race. In the portions of the story on the Democratic Party candidates and minor party candidates, Kennedy had no problems since much of the information appeared to be taken from candidate websites.
It was in the main part of the story, the battle between incumbent Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, that the story runs into problems.
In a race that has been characterized by the incredible amount of money that has been poured into it, much of it from Joplin's Humphreys family, owners of TAMKO, somehow Wally Kennedy overlooked more than a million dollars.
In the article, Kennedy writes the following:
Lager has stockpiled nearly as much money as the incumbent he is trying to topple. According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, he has received two $250,000 donations in his bid for lieutenant governor. The donations, made late last year, were from Stanley Herzog, via Herzog Contracting, St. Joseph, and from David Humphreys, via TAMKO Building Products, Joplin.
Kennedy missed an additional $250,000 from David Humphreys, $100,000 contributions from Humphreys' mother, Ethelmae Humphreys, and his sister, Sarah Atkins, which means that the Humphreys family has given $700,000 to the Lager campaign.
He also overlooked another $250,000 from Herzog, and Lager's biggest contribution, $385,000 from retired billionaire Rex Sinquefield.
But it is the Humphreys money, $700,000 in less than seven months, that makes this not only a state story, but a local story.
In the Aug. 27, 2011 Globe, Susan Redden wrote about David Humphreys' displeasure with Peter Kinder's alleged frequenting of strip clubs, something which led Humphreys to ask for a refund of the money he had contributed to Kinder's ill-fated never-officially-announced candidacy for governor:
Humphreys told Politico in an email that he had asked Kinder to drop plans to run in 2012 and asked that his campaign donations be returned. He said he would support Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon if Kinder is the GOP nominee. The communication was confirmed by the website.The Politico scoop came from former KY3 political reporter David Catanese, who described it this way in an Aug. 19, 2011, article:
Humphreys tells POLITICO in an email that he has asked the lieutenant governor to forego a 2012 campaign, requested his donations be returned and warned he will support Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon if Kinder is the GOP nominee.Humphreys' move is a devastating blow to Kinder and the strongest signal to date that the lieutenant governor's support is beginning to erode in light of a story that detailed his interactions with a former Penthouse Pet."If I had known this about him I would not have supported him in the past," Humphreys told POLITICO.Humphreys, a deeply conservative and private man, also conveyed he believes Kinder should step down from his current post immediately as a matter of principle and "so that he is not a liability to other Republicans in the upcoming elections."
If Kennedy had read his own paper, he would have seen a June 25 Associated Press article in which donations from Humphreys and Sinquefield were the major topic:
Two prominent political donors have switched sides in Missouri’s Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
A spokesman for retired businessman Rex Sinquefield said Monday that he was contributing $385,000 to state Sen. Brad Lager’s challenge of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. The Missouri Ethics Commission website on Monday showed that businessman David Humphreys also recently gave an additional $250,000 to Lager.
Neither of those contributions, as I noted previously, were mentioned in Kennedy's article.
And again, considering the Joplin angle to this story, it would seem like it would be appropriate for a Joplin Globe reporter to ask Humphreys if he is the one funding Better Government for Missourians, the group which was formed July 13 and since that time has contributed $300,000 to the St. Joseph-based Missourians for Conservative Values. That money has been used to finance the "Horny Toad" advertisements attacking Kinder.
My guess it that question will be asked, but probably not by a Joplin Globe reporter.