In Missouri Governor's Race, an Independent PAC's Allegiance in Question

by | June 21, 2016

By Kevin McDermott

An independent political PAC that has riled the race for Missouri's Republican nomination for governor is denying a report suggesting it's tied to one of the four candidates.

Richard Monsees, treasurer of LG PAC, issued an unusual statement to reporters today denying a report by a Kansas City television station that his PAC may be affiliated with gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens.

LG PAC is set up as federal "527" PAC, which makes it more difficult to determine who is funding the PAC. But such entities are under a different kind of restriction: They're not allowed to coordinate with any candidate.

A recent report by KMBC, the ABC affiliate in Kansas City, raised the question of whether the PAC was doing just that, based on video footage that shows Greitens and Monsees chatting during a political event.

Monsees, in an email to reporters, strongly denied the report, writing, "The same footage could have been shot of me at an event talking to Catherine Hanaway, Peter Kinder or John Brunner," the other three candidates in the GOP primary race.

"LG PAC is not supporting any candidate for Governor," Monsees wrote. "As conservative Republicans, LG PAC's singular focus is helping to ensure that we elect a conservative that can win in November."

Brunner has been targeted by a television advertising blitz from the group, which has alleged he engaged in shady business and tax practices as a former CEO. Brunner has denied it, and complained about the anonymous nature of the attacks during a recent gubernatorial debate. He also made it the focus of his first statewide television commercial last week.

"Nameless, faceless special-interest insiders are attacking John Brunner with flat-out lies, because he's the only candidate who can't be bought," says the narrator in the ad, as the screen shows a dark sinister series of images.

When LG PAC's attack ads first appeared, several Missouri news outlets, including the Post-Dispatch, were unable to reach any of the group's officials through the contact information on their campaign records. The funding sources for its roughly $1 million ad blitz remain a mystery because of the federal campaign rules under which it operates.

The winner of the Aug. 2 Republican primary will mostly likely face Democratic Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster in the Nov. 8 general election.

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