The Buzz

Heavies give Missouri transportation sales tax committee $160K; is a familiar name involved in the campaign?

The Heavy Constructors Association’s Industry Advancement Fund has given $160,000 to the campaign committee supporting a 3/4 cent sales tax increase for transportation in the state.

The contribution isn’t a surprise. This year, the Heavies have given the committee more than $270,000. As of mid-June — before this latest contribution — the committee, Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs, had raised about $700,000.

Political pros are watching the Heavies closely to see if well-known consultant Pat Gray is involved in the campaign.

Gray, you may recall, was a part of the Jackson County translational health sales tax campaign in 2013, until other campaign workers were told not to share any information with Gray in the days before the vote.

Many political consultants were angry with Gray after that election.

Gray has worked with the Heavies in the past. He’s also worked with the local political group Freedom Inc., which opposed the health levy because the sales tax hurts the poor.

Freedom’s position on the 3/4 cent transportation sales tax isn’t known. Yet.

We’ve asked Gray and the Heavies for a comment, but haven’t heard back.