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BLOWOUT QUARTER! Guess who wins hedge fund manager vs. school teacher Mo Rep campaign fundraising award?

Rumor has it John Wright may start new venture fund with campaign war chest
 
COLUMBIA, 7/23/12 (Op Ed) -- Goodness to heavens gracious! 

Over $74,000 to win a sleepy, hot August Democratic primary in our small mid-western community!  OMG! and SMHIDB (shaking my head in disbelief).

That's what hedge fund manager John Wright, a candidate for 47th District Missouri representative, has raised to date to defeat fellow Democrat Nancy Copenhaver, a career school teacher, for the August primary privilege of facing Republican Mitch Richards in November.
 
(Disclaimer:  Use of the term "privilege" is tongue-in-cheek, though I was definitely impressed to see Mr. Richards at Almeta Crayton's old-timey Town Hall last week -- the only candidate or politician there at all, that I could see).

At a League of Women Voters forum this month, Mr. Wright urged campaign contribution limits and decried the ability of big donors to essentially buy elections. 

But his 48-page July campaign finance contribution report left my head spinning with memories of B-school and company financial statements.  Compared to Mrs. Copenhaver's 10-page report, which logged about $19,000 in contributions and loans -- I felt like I'd just run through a gauntlet of investment prospectuses.

Several pages of out-of-area Wright donors -- over $45,000 worth -- featured plenty of money manager and executive types, with names like "Deep Creek Capital" and "East Rock Capital," and "Capital Management," and "SK Capital Partners" and Soros Fund Management (in for $5,000), and this LLC, and that CEO, which leads me to conclude that people with money (enjoying the Mitt Romney/Bain Capital irony in all of this) apparently aren't all bad.
 
And to be fair, Wright has oodles of small donors -- and donors making multiple small donations that add up to -- well, kinda big donations.  Jeff City attorney Michael Berry probably wins my John Wright Multiple Donor Award: he gave not once, not twice, but six times that I could count.
 
The lawyer that gives YOU money!  Ain't that the kind we all wanna have!

Wright's also got the backing of the local politerati.  There's Jim Ritter, in for a Ben Franklin.  And Dan Atwill, Darin Fugit, Karen Miller, Darwin, Bruce Wilson, Marquis "Mark" (pronounced Marky Mark) Landrum, Terry "the Mystery Lobbyist" Schlemeier, Dan Knight (in for a 3-fer), Bernie Lensmeyer (with another 3-fer, as in multiple gives).
 
I think I saw Rep. Chris Kelly before my eyes got bleary, and a James Kelly of "Weiss Asset Management" in sunny San Fran (no relation to our Rep, I'm supposin').  And, um,  Rep. Stephen Webber too. 
 
If you don't know all these folks, just know that they kinda run stuff around here (except for the out-of-towners).
 
Heck, even Assessor Schauwecker ponied up a ten spot on June 7th, then thought he'd better give again (case the legislature comes pokin' round his Assessor books, I'm figurin'), adding another hundred a few weeks later.
 
School chum and fellow hedge funder Richard "Mick" McGuire came in for another three large, bringing his total to a Bain-sized $13,000 and change (try catching that in your Mitt).  McGuire's dad Rick McGuire -- a retired MU prof -- kicked in a few hundred.  Wright's mom and pop were in a for few thousand.
 
And so on and so forth, for 48 pages. 
 
I am so DONE hearing politicians and their supporters complain about money, who has it, who gives it, and who don't.   Mr. Wright's campaign report is the most recent exhibit as to why.
 
 
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