Liberals who suspect that wealthy businessmen and political masterminds are colluding to hijack democracy might have fainted had they walked into the St. Regis hotel's lobby restaurant in New York the other day. There was Rex Sinquefield, a deep-pocketed St. Louis, Mo., native and big-time political donor, sitting across from the Republican Rasputin himself, Karl Rove. The not-so-vast right-wing conspiracy in plain public view.In fact, Rex is apparently a major funder of Roves' dishonest "dark money" smear advertisements that are trampling democracy:
He won't say how much money he has donated to political causes in general, or specifically to Mr. Rove and his Super PAC, American Crossroads, but it's safe to say it's more than a pittance.Mr. "libertarian" Rex is rooting for Todd Akin in the Missouri Senate race:
In this year's U.S. Senate race, Mr. Sinquefield's support for Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman wasn't enough to defeat Todd Akin in the GOP primary. But he's still quietly hoping Mr. Akin wins, despite the candidate's comments about "legitimate rape" and pregnancy, which Mr. Sinquefield calls "crazy." He hardly relishes taking Mr. Akin's side, and lapses into prayerful French asking for forgiveness ("Pardonnez moi, mon dieu")...Oh, and just like he was rooting for St. Louis public schools to fail, he's rooting for Kansas to take Missouri jobs. Did I say "rooting for?" I meant he's bankrolling Kansas initiatives to take Missouri jobs:
This year he spent more than $2 million collecting signatures to eliminate the state's corporate and personal income taxes and replace them with a sales tax capped at 7%. Mr. Sinquefield decided to postpone the initiative until next year because it wasn't polling well. Then again, he says, smiling, he may not need to put the initiative on the ballot in 2013 after all—because of some unexpected help from Missouri's next-door neighbor. Earlier this year, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a significant tax cut, reducing the Kansas income-tax rate to 4.9% from 6.45% and eliminating taxes on 190,000 small businesses. "Unbelievably brilliant," Mr. Sinquefield says of the Kansas approach. He expects that businesses, especially S corporations and limited liability companies, will flock across the border. "You go into Kansas City and you stand on State Line Road, right in the heart of the metro area," he says, and watch businesses jump from the Missouri side to Kansas. "The doctors are going to move. The lawyers are going to move. It will be a little harder for manufacturing to move, but they'll move too. There will be a cloud of dust at the Missouri-Kansas border." No surprise: Mr. Sinquefield bankrolled—he won't say how much—a group called Kansans for No Income Tax that helped get the law passed.And even worse is that Rex is planning to spend bucketloads of money in 2014 demonizing public school teachers in a bid to get rid of "teacher tenure." What's truly sad, however, is not that deluded right-wing millionaires are trying to impose their ideas on the rest of the world by throwing cash around, but rather that so many St. Louis "Democrats" are willing to do their bidding in return for table scraps. Just this past week, an employee of one of Rex's groups wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post using touchy-feely language to set the stage for attacking teacher tenure in just the way Sinquefield suggested. And of course many St. Louis Democrats are all-too-willingly pushing the phony "local control" ballot initiative funded by Rex in exchange for who-knows-what favors. He already knows he can buy any and all Missouri Republican politicians; if we allow him to buy St. Louis Democrats as well, it will be next to impossible to stop his misguided agenda for the state.