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December was big money month for Nixon, Sinquefield

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 5, 2012 - Wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield has gotten out his checkbook again, donating $50,000 to Senate Republicans' campaign committee and $20,000 to state Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, who is seeking re-election in a new district.

Both of the donations were made on Dec. 31, so they should show up on the campaign reports filed January 15.

According to the Missouri Ethics Commission's tallies, Sinquefield donated at least $800,000 in 2011 to candidates and causes in the state. And that's not including most donations after September 30, which -- unless they were over $5,000 -- do not need to be reported until January 15.

Meanwhile, state House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, is doling out some of the money he had planned to use for his now-scuttled bid for lieutenant governor.

Tilley gave $15,000 on December 31 to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a fellow Republican who is seeking re-election to a third term after dropping his expected campaign for governor. Does Tilley's donation mean that he prefers Kinder to his primary rival, state Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah?

The biggest year-end beneficiary of hefty contributions appears to be Gov. Jay Nixon, who collected about $350,000 in December from donors who gave more than $5,000 apiece.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.