47

Why a post title of ’47’? It’s a good number, that’s why. It’s also pertinent to my wedding anniversary. Mrs. Crucis and I were married 47 years ago, today. We were both in college at the time. We had just finished finals for the Winter quarter. There was a one week break before the beginning of the Spring quarter. If I recall correctly, we both had our last final in mid-week. We were married on Saturday, had a short, three-day honeymoon and were back at work by the following mid-week. We both worked for the university and filled in for others who wanted to go home over the break. Plus…we could use the money.

Forty-seven. It doesn’t seem all that long.

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The drama isn’t ending. More evidence is appearing about the complicity of the Catherine Hanaway campaign to the vile radio ad against Tom Schweich. The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch printed an article about the links between Citizens for Fairness, who ran the ad, and the Catherine Hanaway campaign.

Citizens for Fairness was front group for Hanaway’s consultant

March 15, 2015 7:00 am  • 

JEFFERSON CITY • When bars, bowling alleys and other businesses in St. Joseph, Mo., mobilized to fight a smoking ban on last April’s ballot, they formed a political action committee and gave it a wholesome-sounding name:

Citizens for Fairness in Missouri.

The businesses argued that the anti-smoking proposal was unfair because it affected their establishments but not the local casino. Still, the ordinance passed. So the committee went dormant, its treasury dwindling to $2,062 as of Dec. 31.

Then last month, the committee resurfaced. Citizens for Fairness sponsored a radio ad that aired across the state. The ad belittled Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich’s appearance, called him a weak candidate for governor and said opponents would “squash him like the little bug that he is.”

Why did bar owners target Schweich? They didn’t.

The committee is a front used by political consultant Jeff Roe of Kansas City. Roe, who is known as a ruthless political tactician, is managing the campaign of Republican Catherine Hanaway. She was Schweich’s main competitor for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination.

Airing as it did 18 months before Schweich and Hanaway were to face off, the ad might have been quickly forgotten. But when Schweich committed suicide Feb. 26 by shooting himself at his Clayton home, it became a symbol of the toll that personal attacks can take on public officials.

In a funeral homily, former Sen. John Danforth said the ad was hurtful to Schweich, and he called for voters to reject political bullying by “anonymous pseudo-committees.”

Hanaway has denied involvement in the ad; Roe declined to be interviewed.

If you continue reading the column at the P-D website, it provides the links between the resurrected Committee and Catherine Hanaway. Hanaway’s treasurer, James C. Thomas III of Kansas City, and, using the name of the earlier organization in St. Joe, created the new Committee for Fairness. He was also the deputy treasurer for the new committee. Thomas was cited for violations of state law when he was the deputy treasurer of another political committee.

As much as Hanaway tries to distant herself from that vile ad, she is only convincing more GOP voters of her complicity. It is also a violation of Missouri law for a candidate to create such a political committee according the the Post-Dispatch article.

The fallout from Schweich’s death is not affecting Catherine Hanaway, alone. John Hancock, the newly elected Chairman of the Missouri GOP, still can’t shake accusations about his involvement in the scandal.

Republican lawmakers call for resignation of Missouri GOP chairman

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A group of Missouri Republican legislators on Thursday huddled in the office of Sen. David Pearce to announce their call for the resignation of John Hancock, the newly elected chairman of the Missouri Republican Party.

In an interview Thursday morning ahead of the announcement, Pearce said the party’s silence on things like the tone of politics surrounding Schweich’s young campaign for governor coupled with questions about whether Hancock led a “whisper campaign” that Schweich was Jewish ahead of his suicide two weeks ago were the impetus for his desire that the party would, again, elect a new leader.

“Since Tom Schweich’s funeral, there has been nothing from the party that has talked about any changes we should make in politics, ethics reform, the role of consultants, and campaign finance. Nothing,” he said. “The party has been eerily silent on all those issues, not to mention the controversy surrounding Schweich and Hancock. We just need new leadership to progress from here.”

Even as Pearce, Sen. Mike Parson and Sen. Gary Romine made their opposition to Hancock known, members of the Missouri Republican State Committee – Hancock’s constituency of 68 — have stood by their chairman. After the tumultuous tenure of his predecessor, Ed Martin, who struggled to finance the party’s operations, Hancock was elected last month with more than 50 votes and a mandate to lead the party into the 2016 election cycle.

Pearce agreed that Hancock did “enjoy a very comfortable margin,” but said the signal from elected officials should be meaningful to the committee.

Hancock is the darling of Missouri’s GOP establishment with his power centralized around St. Louis and eastern Missouri. His acceptance by the remaining members of the state central committee is shaky. If any more allegations about Hancock’s involvement, in any form, with the whisper campaign against Schweich comes to life, Hancock may suddenly find himself being ushered out the door with a new Chairman taking over.