Government & Politics

Missouri mega donor spent another $2.3 million pushing ‘right to work’

Joplin businessman David Humphreys
Joplin businessman David Humphreys

Joplin businessman David Humphreys continues to spend big in the hopes he can fill the Missouri General Assembly with lawmakers who will finally pass a “right to work” law.

Humphreys and his family were busy in the run-up to the August primary supporting challengers to Republican incumbents who have historically opposed tougher regulations on labor unions. That includes pumping nearly $3 million into a political action committee called Committee For Accountable Government.

His efforts proved successful, as two incumbent House Republicans were defeated and his preferred candidates for the Missouri Senate emerged victorious in contested primaries.

Now he’s setting his sights on the November election, and in the past 10 days has doled out $2.3 million to various candidates, including a $1 million check to the Committee For Accountable Government.

Humphreys is the president and CEO of Tamko Building Products Inc., a Joplin-based company specializing in manufacturing residential and commercial roofing products, waterproofing products, composite decking and railing systems, and cements and coatings.

His primary goal is a so-called “right to work” law, which would prohibit contracts that require workers to pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of employment. Supporters argue right to work would strengthen the state’s economy and encourage businesses to grow. Opponents say it would weaken labor unions, lower wages and compromise workplace safety.

Republicans have the votes to pass right to work, but not enough to override a governor’s veto. That’s why labor unions have poured their resources into the gubernatorial campaign of Democrat Chris Koster, who has pledged to oppose right to work.

In the same time period that Humphreys spent $2.2 million, various unions have given Koster a little more than $1 million.