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Three major Missouri GOP donors offer boost to embattled Wisconsin governor

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 27, 2012 - Three prominent Missouri Republican donors have come through big time for embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, with each donating $250,000 to help him fight off a recall effort later this spring.

The three are: David C. Humphreys and his sister Sarah Atkins, both of Tamko Building Products in Joplin, and Stanley M. Herzog of St. Joseph-based Herzog Contracting.

Atkins donated $250,000 on Jan. 13, with her brother following suit on Jan. 14. Herzog chipped in Jan. 17. The aid was first reported Thursday by the Associated Press. (Click here to viewWalker's campaign-finance report, filed Monday.)

Their combined $750,000 represent more than a quarter of the $2.39 million that Walker has reported raising. Labor groups, teachers and Democrats have collected 1 million signatures in Wisconsin in an effort to recall Walker, a Republican who pushed through some measures deemed anti-union and anti-teacher since taking office a year ago.

The Humphreys family has been among Missouri's top GOP donors for years. David Humphreys had been the biggest donor to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican who had been expected to run for governor this fall until controversy broke over his acquaintance with a former stripper and his acknowledgement that he used to frequent the East Side strip club where she worked in the 1990s.

Humphreys made news when he then demanded his donations back and called for Kinder to drop his candidacy -- and resign his current office. Kinder kept Humphreys' money and his office but did drop his gubernatorial bid. Humphreys now has donated to Kinder's GOP rival, state Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah.

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.