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Major GOP donor Humphreys gives big bucks to Nixon; Sinquefield bankrolls new group

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 24, 2012 - Since winning re-elected six weeks ago, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has apparently attracted support from one of the state’s top Republican donors – David Humphreys of Joplin.

Nixon’s campaign committee reported Sunday to the Missouri Ethics Commission that Humphreys, head of TAMKO Building Products Inc., contributed $25,000 on Friday to the governor’s campaign committee. The donation appeared to first attract attention on Twitter via a tweet from Missouri lobbyist Travis Brown.

Humphreys' money is presumably to help the governor pay for some of his inaugural activities.  Nixon is to be sworn in to a second term on Jan. 14, but political activists have been reporting that the governor is planning to keep his festivities low-key, in part reflecting the nation's still-struggling economic times.

The donation appears to be Humphreys’ first contribution to a major Missouri Democrat in at least six years, according to Ethics Commission records.

There's at least no recent record of Humphreys ever supporting Nixon. In fact, in 2008, Humphreys gave more than $200,000 to Nixon’s Republican opponent, then-U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Columbia.

In 2012, Humphreys gave at least $1.4 million to various Missouri candidates before the Nov. 6 election – and all were Republicans. However, Humphreys’ chosen GOP candidates didn’t appear to include Nixon’s GOP opponent, St. Louis businessman Dave Spence.

Sinquefield bankrolls new group

Meanwhile, one of Missouri’s other top Republican donors – financier Rex Sinquefield, of St. Louis and mid-Missouri – appears to have provided seed money for a new campaign committee called Missourians for Excellence in Government.

Sinquefield donated $275,000 to the campaign committee on Friday, the same day that Missourians for Excellence in Government filed its formation papers. The group does not appear to yet have a website, or to have yet made any public announcement about its existence or its aims.

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.

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