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Missouri Republicans are grumbling about former GOP speaker’s donation to Koster, a Democrat

06/13/2013 4:21 PM

06/13/2013 4:22 PM

Missouri Republicans were grousing Thursday about a campaign donation from former GOP House Speaker Steve Tilley to the state’s Democratic attorney general, Chris Koster.

According to state records, Tilley’s political committee forked over $7,500 to the Koster campaign committee on Tuesday.

Besides being a Democrat, Koster also is the early favorite to succeed Jay Nixon in the governor’s office.

“Very disappointed to see money raised by a Republican Speaker going to a Democrat AG who recently pledged to fund Dem Legislative races,” said Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey on Twitter. Dempsey is a Republican.

Koster just announced that he would contribute $400,000 to elect more Democrats to the General Assembly now dominated by Republicans.

What’s especially galling to Republicans is the notion that money in Tilley’s campaign account came from donors who were supporting his work as speaker or backing him in his 2012 bid for lieutenant governor, which he later abandoned.

“Republicans are angry,” one GOP leader wrote The Star.

Tilley, now a lobbyist and political consultant, stepped down as speaker last year and could not be reached for comment.

Republican state Sen. Brad Lager from northwest Missouri said Tilley’s move “underscores why we need ethics reform in Missouri.

“We have too many elected officials or previously elected officials who view government for how to advance themselves personally as opposed to having the public’s interests at heart,” Lager said.

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