The Buzz

Tim Wolfe: Kurt Schaefer pressured me to undermine primary foe’s candidacy

UPDATED: 1:45 p.m. Thursday with Schaefer response.

Kurt Schaefer, the Missouri state senator from Columbia who’s running for attorney general, on Wednesday absorbed a couple of body blows from Tim Wolfe, the former University of Missouri System president.

Wolfe released an angry letter that the Columbia Daily Tribune released Wednesday morning that covered a range of issues. One of them was what Wolfe referred to as political pressure that Schaefer applied to Wolfe regarding Josh Hawley, who is vying with Schaefer for the GOP nomination for attorney general.

Hawley also teaches law at MU.

Wolfe said Schaefer met with him several times in an attempt to take away Hawley’s “right to ask for an unpaid leave of absence” for running for public office.

“When I questioned the fairness of this and I refused to budge on his right to run for office, he then asked me to get in the middle of the tenure decision for Mister Hawley, which I refused as well,” Wolfe wrote in his letter directed to his “friends.”

Schaefer, who initially declined comment, issued a statement Thursday in which he accused Wolfe of refusing to take responsibility for leaving the university system “in disaray.

“In an attempt to extort taxpayer dollars for an extravagant golden parachute, he is attempting to revise history and blame everyone but himself.,” Schaefer wrote.

“In a widely distributed email, which was intentionally leaked to the press, he attacks numerous individuals, including me. His claims are false and ridiculous. It is no surprise that he strongly opposed my attempts to hold the University accountable for the partnership between a taxpayer-funded institution (the University) and Planned Parenthood abortion services.”

Hawley could not be reached.

Wofle also wrote that Schaefer was actively lobbying former MU Chancellor Bowen Loftin over Planned Parenthood. In late September, Loftin revoked a Planned Parenthood physician's admitting privileges at the university hospital after Republican state lawmakers pressured the university to reconsider its relationship with the family planning provider.