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Donors seek to defend Missouri's right-to-work law

Donors seek to defend Missouri's right-to-work law

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JEFFERSON CITY • Two nonprofits have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to political action committees working to protect a Missouri right-to-work law that takes effect this month.

The Kansas City Star first reported American Democracy Alliance contributed $350,000 to a PAC called Liberty Alliance and $150,000 to another PAC called Missourians for Worker Freedom.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' nonprofit called A New Missouri Inc. donated $100,000 to Missourians for Worker Freedom. A New Missouri Inc. last month gave that PAC $250,000.

The nonprofits aren't required to disclose their donors. When contributions are routed through a nonprofit to a political campaign to hide the donation's source, it's called "dark money."

The contributions seek to stave off a union-backed effort to put the right-to-work law Greitens signed in February on the 2018 ballot.

Another recent large donation came from Joplin businessman David Humphreys, CEO of TAMKO Building Products, Inc. On Tuesday, he donated $100,000 to Liberty Alliance, according to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Liberty Alliance also received a $100,000 check from St. Joseph-based Herzog Railroad Services, Inc., at the end of July.  

The big ticket contributions came on the same day attorneys trying to defend the new law asked the Missouri Supreme Court to decide whether the ballot questions being sought by union officials can be placed on the ballot.

At issue is a dispute over the wording of the ballot question, in which the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District overruled a lower court decision tossing out the language.

The Missouri AFL-CIO, which is circulating petitions to put a referendum on the 2018 ballot, has until Aug. 28 to submit the required number of signatures to put the law on hold.

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