A group called Now or Never PAC said Wednesday it will spend $800,000 on a last-week ad campaign supporting Rep. Todd Akin's Senate campaign. Campaign finance disclosures and past reporting suggests the PAC -- and therefore the spending -- are connected to two area Republican political consultants and well-known multi-millionaire Rex Sinquefield.
FEC filings show the treasurer of Now or Never PAC is James Thomas III of Kansas City. Thomas is the treasurer of several political committees, including a committee called Freedom PAC.
Freedom PAC should be familiar to Kansas Citians. It's the committee which paid for the campaign to repeal the city's one percent earnings tax, a campaign run by local GOP consultant Jeff Roe. The earnings tax referendum, you'll recall, was a Sinquefield initiative.
Records show Sinquefield has given $200,000 to Now or Never PAC this year.
You may also remember that Freedom PAC -- which still exists, by the way, and recently made payments to Roe's company -- was largely funded by a non-profit social welfare organization that did not have to disclose its donors.
The same mechanism has been used by Now or Never PAC. The only contributions to Now or Never PAC since the August primary have come from a non-profit group called Americans for Limited Government -- a total of $1,950,000, given in two installments in September.
The name should also be familiar. Americans for Limited Government and groups associated with it have been involved in several Missouri issues, including eminent domain and government spending. The group's latest tax filing shows ALG is connected with wealthy New York developer Howard Rich.
In 2006, Rich financed a $50,000 campaign in Kansas City to keep term limits for members of the City Council. The local group which used the money was called Missourians in Charge, and its spokesman was local GOP consultant Patrick Tuohey.
Tuohey was the spokesman for GOP Senate candidate Sarah Steelman last summer. Now or Never PAC endorsed Steelman in that race.
So two local political consultants -- Roe and Tuohey -- appear to be involved at some level on Now or Never PAC's decision to buy time for Akin and against Sen. Claire McCaskill. Rex Sinquefield, known to both men, is also involved.