Three companies associated with one of Missouri’s top Republican political donors transferred $150,000 to an organization that has provided key financial support to conservative causes this week.
The contributions, reported Tuesday by the Missouri Ethics Commission, came in $50,000 increments from Herzog Contracting Corporation, Herzog Railroad Services Inc. and Herzog Technologies Inc. All list the same address in St. Joseph. The chairman of the board of Herzog Contracting is Stanley Herzog, a prominent donor of the Missouri Republican Party. He had ties to former Gov. Eric Greitens’ nonprofit, A New Missouri Inc., and a company associated with him purchased a Jefferson City building where the organization later set up shop. He also donated to Greitens’ campaign for governor.
Herzog is also active on the national level. The nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign donations, lists Herzog as a “top donor” to outside spending groups, which can give unlimited sums to support or oppose candidates.
A recipient of Herzog’s donations is the American Democracy Alliance — Ridgely PAC. The American Democracy Alliance, a nonprofit, is located in the same building as the office of Graves Garrett LLC, a law firm of which Todd Graves, former Missouri GOP chairman, is a partner. The American Democracy Alliance has, however, been an active player in past political campaigns.
While it’s not clear what the money is for — neither Herzog nor the Democracy Alliance responded to the Missourian’s requests for comment — the donations come at a time when many politically active groups are preparing signature drives to get questions on next year’s ballot.
Leading up to Missouri’s 2018 election, the American Democracy Alliance was pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign to support the right-to-work law.
That measure, which makes is harder for labor unions to collect dues, was overwhelmingly struck down by Missouri voters in an August referendum after the state legislature enacted it.
Following voters’ approval of caps on campaign donations by individuals, Missouri donors have begun to funnel donations through political action committees and utilized nonprofits like the American Democracy Alliance in order to skirt contribution limits. Political action committees must report their donors; nonprofit “social welfare” organizations are not required to do so.