Sunday, June 10, 2007

Developer not happy with Blunt's lack of loyalty

Developer Sam Hamra spent big money on Matt Blunt and he expects to get something for his investment. Reporter Terry Ganey's article in today's Columbia Tribune features this interesting exchange:

Hamra wrote Gov. Matt Blunt on Dec. 11 asking him to use his influence to get the MHDC to approve state subsidies for three of Hamra’s projects. In the letter, Hamra said he had raised $400,000 for Blunt’s campaigns and that he expected Blunt to be loyal to his friends. John Hancock, a spokesman for the Blunt campaign, said Hamra helped raise about $100,000.

Hamra threatened to switch allegiance to Attorney General Jay Nixon, a Democrat who is opposing Blunt, a Republican, in the 2008 governor’s race. Hamra’s letter said Nixon had visited him the day Hamra was writing the letter and was seeking Hamra’s political support.

Blunt rejected Hamra’s letter, saying it was "the most offensive and improper communication I have ever received." In a written response, the governor said the letter asked him to do things "I would never consent to do."

Blunt wrote that if he and Nixon were opponents for the same office, "I suggest you support him."

"I am not for sale," Blunt said. "Perhaps he is."

I find that last quote fascinating, especially considering the approach the governor has taken with education. The pro-voucher group All Children Matter poured hundreds of thousands into Blunt's first campaign for governor, and has been rewarded with one pro-voucher nomination after another to the State Board of Education (Donayle Whitmore-Smith, Debi Demien, Derio Gambaro).

Perhaps the governor is not for sale to people who are in the same business as Carlson Gardner.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it amazing -- or maybe just disheartening -- that the hometown newspaper of Sam Hamra and Tom Carlson, the Springfield News-Leader, hasn't printed a word of this scandalous story that now has been reported in the Columbia Tribune and (weeks ago) in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch? Is the News-Leader afraid of Mayor Carlson? What could possibly be the reason for ignoring the story? Heck, the other party in the story, Governor Blunt, also lives in Springfield! The so-called editors of the News-Leader should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

To date, the News-leader has managed to avoid reporting on several stories of interest that can be found, shall we say, elsewhere...

What's interesting is how Blunt appears to be trying to turn lemons into lemonade with this story. Its obvious Blunt is trying to cast himself as innocent victim, all around good guy and Nixon as corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for covering this, Randy, for certain the Springfield News Leader didn't want to touch this with a ten foot pole. They can't afford to embarrass anyone or offend the monied people.

Then they wonder why their subscription base to newspapers keeps going down.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for out-of-the-area papers (and blogs), we wouldn't know the "real" news or the behind the scene news. Shame on local papers!

Jackie Melton said...

You know, Turner, I think it's fair to throw that chum into the water but has the group "All Children Matter" made the same sort of demands on the Governor that Sam Hamra made? Can you back it up with a comparable letter from this pro-voucher group?

Isn't it possible that the Governor offers one after another voucher proposal because he simply supports vouchers for what he feels are legitimate reasons rather than as a payoff to a group who has donated to him or his campaign?

If you have a comparable threatening letter from "All Children Matter," I'd like to see it or read a report on it...then maybe I'll consider you to be onto something. :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can can embarrass the SNL into hiring a Jeff City reporter who will cover her ahem ... bare ass at the capitol.

Jackie Melton said...

Mr. Turner,

Excuse my denseness. :) Lack of sleep sometimes does that to a person. I realize that I was incorrect in writing about "voucher proposals," which you didn't mention at all, instead you were writing about pro-voucher nominees to the State Board of Education, same question or request applies though.

Can you direct me to a comparable letter from All Children Matter demanding that Blunt nominate these pro-voucher supporters to the State Board of Education or they will remove their support from him?


Anonymous said...

What else is new, The Springfield News Leader won't print alot of interesting news articles in this area. I have personnally gave them incriminating evidence about the corruption in the Lawrence County Courthouse, and Sheriff's department, but they refuse to print a story on it. I even showed them the evidence which was on the letterhead from the courthouse, and Sheriff. So apparently they are afraid of more then just Tom Carlson.

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting that you can get local news from St. Louis and Columbia but not from the Springfield News leader. Kinda makes you wonder who Blunt has in the SNL. I also have supplied information against the corruption in the Lawrence County Judicial system, which they will not publish. Jay Nixon and Governor Blunt will not investigate Lawrence County either which makes one wonder how far up the line this corruption goes.