Archive for the ‘Missouri Politics’ Category

Spence Jackson Left a Note, Say Police
March 30, 2015

(AP) – Police say the spokesman for Missouri auditor’s office left a note before his apparent suicide, which came about a month after his boss killed himself.

Jefferson City Police spokesman Capt. Doug Shoemaker said Monday that 44-year-old Robert “Spence” Jackson died Friday evening or early Saturday at his apartment.

Shoemakers says investigators found a note, but he declined to say what it said.

Jackson’s body was found Sunday evening after police responded to a well-being check. Police say they believe he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Shoemaker says Jackson’s mother called police Sunday after not being able to reach him.

Jackson’s boss, Auditor Tom Schweich, fatally shot himself last month at his home in what police also have described as a suicide

Statement of Matt Blunt on Spence Jackson
March 30, 2015

Statement of former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt:
“Melanie and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Spence Jackson who was a good friend for many years. Spence was a gifted communicator who dedicated his talents in public affairs to public service. Over his career he served as chief spokesman for three of Missouri’s statewide offices including that of the governor when I held that post. Spence was hard-working, well-liked and quick-witted. He will truly be missed. We mourn his passing and offer our prayers to his family and friends

Schwiech Aide Spence Jackson Dead
March 30, 2015

Multiple sources are saying that Spence Jackson, the media relations director for the late state auditor Tom Schweich, was found dead in his apartment in Jefferson City on Sunday.
Jackson’s death is reportedly being investigated as a suicide.
Schweich committed suicide February 26 at his home in Clayton. Friends and colleagues, including Jackson, said Schweich was angry about an alleged “whispering campaign” among other Republicans saying Schweich was Jewish, that Schweich believed was an effort to hurt him in the race for the Republican nomination for governor. Jackson was one of those in the Republican party who accused Missouri GOP Chairman John Hancock of being behind that effort, and called for his resignation.
In addition to being on Schweich’s staff for nearly four years, Jackson was close to Schweich.
More information about Jackson’s apparent death is anticipated later this morning.
Before taking the job working for Schweich in the auditor’s office in May, 2011, Jackson had worked as the communications director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development under then-governor Matt Blunt as well as the communications director for Blunt’s office in 2005 and much of 2006, and for Blunt’s campaign in 2004.

Audit Questions Controls in Koster’s AG Office
March 24, 2015

AP) – Although Attorney General Chris Koster’s gubernatorial campaign has had a policy in place for months to address concerns that he was influenced by lobbyist perks and political donations, an audit released Tuesday faulted his state office for not implementing a similar system.
At issue is a New York Times article in October asserting Koster was among many attorneys general who were soft on companies facing litigation from their offices after receiving gifts and donations.
Koster’s campaign spokesman Andrew Whalen on Tuesday confirmed that he adopted a policy the next month to stop accepting gifts from lobbyists or contributions from anyone involved in litigation with his office within the last 90 days.
Koster, the only Democrat running for governor in 2016, called it one of the strictest ethics policies of any elected attorney general in the U.S. But the state audit criticized the attorney general’s office for not implementing similar protocols to prevent conflicts of interest.
In a written response included in the audit report, the attorney general’s office said its lawyers had no contact with Koster’s campaign.
“Whether or not a particular entity, lobbyist, or attorney may be a political contributor is of no relevance, and AGO attorneys spend no time concerning themselves with that issue,” the office said in its written response. “The far better solution is to keep campaign business out of the office.”
Spokespeople for the attorney general’s office declined further comment Tuesday

Hancock Says Fundraising is Key to Staying on GOP Job
March 23, 2015

(AP) – The embattled chairman of the Missouri Republican Party gained some support Monday as police said they have no evidence of an anti-Semitic whispering campaign against a state auditor who killed himself.

A prominent GOP donor on Monday also revised his account of hearing a negative remark about the auditor’s religion, reaffirming the basic sentiment but saying the comment occurred earlier than he originally had recalled.

The twofold developments came as GOP Chairman John Hancock said he is weighing whether to remain in the job or resign following the Feb. 26 suicide of Auditor Tom Schweich, a Republican gubernatorial candidate who had said that Hancock was spreading false information about his religion.

Some Schweich supporters have called on Hancock to resign, or for the Republican state committee to remove him.

Hancock, who was elected chairman Feb. 21, said Monday that he would step down only if the controversy damages his ability to raise money for the Republican Party or hurts his other job as a paid consultant for GOP candidates.

He added: “I’ve received a tremendous amount of support from the state committee to continue on in this role.”

Schweich shot himself at his Clayton home just minutes after telling an Associated Press reporter that he wanted to go public with allegations that Hancock had been telling people Schweich was Jewish. Schweich, who was Christian but had Jewish ancestry, also had expressed angst to friends over what he perceived to be an anti-Semitic whispering campaign.

Clayton Police Detective Lt. Don Bass said Monday that the investigation into Schweich’s death is nearing an end. He said Schweich left behind no message explaining his actions, and detectives have found no evidence that he was the target of political bullying.

“I think everybody’s looking for a rational reason for an irrational act … but right now we’re not finding anything,” Bass told The Associated Press. He said based on “the leads and sources that we have heard from, we have not been able to prove that there was a whispering campaign.”


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