Mo. Democrats to FEC: Brunner ‘skirting’ campaign law

John Brunner

— Before he even officially announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Monday, Republican businessman John Brunner is facing a complaint from Missouri Democrats.

The Missouri Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint with the Federal Election Commission Thursday alleging Brunner failed to comply with election law by campaigning for office, but not declaring his intent with the commission.

“For months, John Brunner’s campaign has relied on his ability to hide behind professional political consultants and his extreme personal wealth to avoid any accountability,” said Catilin Legacki, spokesperson for the Missouri Democratic Party. “It’s deeply troubling to see someone who made his fortune inheriting a multi-million-dollar cleaning products company using that money to run such an unclean campaign right out of the gate.”

Since early this year, Brunner has done things candidates running for statewide office presumably would do. He has crossed the state courting supporters, met with local leaders, attended events where he has been announced as a candidate, and met with consultants in Missouri and in Washington.

Election law states that individuals become candidates once they have “written or oral statements that refer to him or her as a candidate for a particular office,” and exceeded $5,000 in contributions or expenditures.

Brunner, however, has never officially declared to be a candidate, and has been testing the waters on his own dime.

“They must be very, very scared of John Brunner,” spokesman John Hancock said of the FEC complaint. “I feel sorry for them.”

Brunner is expected to make the announcement official Monday, Oct. 3, days after the quarterly fundraiding filing deadline with the Federal Election Commission.

Brunner will be challenging Republicans Sarah Steelman and Todd Akin to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill next year.

Leave a Reply