What do you call a former GOP Speaker of the Missouri House who donates $7,500 to a democrat, MO AG Koster? A democrat who refused to investigate the illegalities of the state government? Who made the donation? Steve Tilley, the former State Representative who resigned his office months early to become a paid lobbyist in Jeff City.
Despicable seems to fit.
The story broke late last week. I’ve not seem much mention of it in the usual GOP news sources.
June 13, 2013 – Politics
– Just days after announcing his pledge to raise more than $400,000 to help Missouri Democrats in their effort pick up seats in the General Assembly, Attorney General Chris Koster reported a campaign contribution from an unlikely source: A Republican.
On Wednesday, Koster reported a $7,500 contribution from former GOP House Speaker Steve Tilley, now a lobbyist in Jefferson City.
Tilley’s donation came four days after Koster announced his pledge to raise more than $100,000 annually for House and Senate Democrats. A source with knowledge of the transaction said Tilley’s pledge was made before Koster’s speech to the Missouri Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner in St. Louis on Saturday.
The move has struck a nerve with some Republicans, who are concerned about Tilley helping Koster raise even a dime as Koster works to fulfill his pledge and concurrently raise funds for his likely 2016 campaign for governor.
“Very disappointed to see money raised by a Republican Speaker going to a Democrat [Attorney General] who recently pledged to fund [Democratic] Legislative races,” Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey said on Twitter.
Tilley’s donation is small in comparison to some of the GOP money Koster accepted in 2012. Koster received $250,000 from Republican mega-donor Rex Sinquefield that year, as well as $10,000 from William Danforth and $50,000 from GOP donor Sam Fox, a close ally of Republican state Auditor Tom Schweich (who is also considering a 2016 gubernatorial campaign).
Tilley has contributed to Democrats in the past. Last year, Tilley contributed to Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat, for her state Senate campaign. Both Nasheed and Koster are personal friends of Tilley.
After leaving public office last year and with no plans to seek it again in the near future, Tilley still has an active campaign count. In April, Tilley reported more than $1 million on hand.
I should note that Tilley, while serving as Speaker, refused to bring RTW legislation to a vote. He said there weren’t sufficient votes so he wasn’t going to waste his time. The true version of that statement is that Tilley didn’t want to upset his union contributors.
In retrospect, Koster and Tilley are alike. Neither have any strong personal convictions except those that benefit themselves. My wife and I met Koster when he was running for Cass County’s prosecutor. He claimed to support the entire conservative list of issues. He won and within a year or two, switched parties to run for AG. Tilley appears to be following a similar path.
Tilley and Koster are prime examples of people who should never be elected or appointed to any public office. They will sell out their constituents at any moment for personal advantage or advancement. They are truly despicable.