Finally coming out of hiding, political consultant Jeff Roe now says he paid for the radio ad that attacked Republican Tom Schweich days before the Missouri auditor committed suicide.
Roe also claims Catherine Hanaway — the GOP gubernatorial candidate he favored over Schweich — knew nothing about the ad.
But a form filed Wednesday with the Missouri Ethics Commission reveals a few interesting tidbits.
Essentially, they raise questions about whether Roe is telling the full story or there’s more to know about the background behind the ad and who in the Hanaway campaign knew about it.
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▪ The Wednesday filing came from Citizens for Fairness in Missouri, a Roe-connected group.
The only monetary contribution received was $5,000. It wasn’t attributed to Jeff Roe but to Chester White LLC.
But — heh, heh — there’s a funny story here.
It seems Roe was just being his usual self, mocking transparency when it comes to spending on campaigns and the ads themselves.
As colleague Barb Shelly tweeted Wednesday, “Chester White is a breed of domestic pig Roe is fond of, I am told. He named a LLC after it.”
This is where it would be so easy to link Roe to swine and/or pigs, given the way he conducts himself.
But let’s not do that.
Later, the ethics commission report shows a total of $8,250 of in-kind contributions — the total cost of the anti-Schweich ad, produced by a Roe-backed group.
The contribution was made on behalf of “Hanaway for Governor, Inc.”
▪ That brings us to Roe’s claim that Hanaway personally knew nothing of his contributions or the ad before it ran.
In Wednesday’s filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission, the Citizens for Fairness in Missouri report included this notation:
“Two expenditures in opposition to Thomas Schweich’s campaign for Governor were made by the Committee without giving notice to and without getting approval from any candidate for Governor. However, these expenditures were made with the knowledge of certain professionals retained by Hanaway for Governor, Inc. These expenditures have been reported to Hanaway for Governor, Inc. in a letter dated April 15, 2015 giving Hanaway for Governor, Inc. notice of the date and amount of these expenditures.”
Roe could have been a stand-up guy and explicitly said whether he was at least one of those “certain professionals,” given his support for the candidate and the fact that his group, Axiom Strategies, is helping her campaign.
But did other Hanaway aides know about the ad but not bother to tell her?
It’s a story worth following in the coming months. Hanaway is ramping up her campaign in a Republican gubernatorial fight that could get nastier, if that’s even possible, as other opponents get into the race.
Roe says he will not participate in any of these coming attacks because he’s busy helping GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
Take Roe’s claim with a big grain of salt, though, based on his track record.