Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill has been accused of being behind a hash of slanderous “dark money” mailers sent to Republicans in Missouri that contain lies about her opponent, Josh Hawley.
“Voters around the state are receiving political mailers from an anonymous source attacking Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley on a range of issues — from gun rights to his push to oust former Gov. Eric Greitens,” The Kansas City Star reported.
The mailers urge Republicans to vote for either a third-party or independent candidate. Enough GOP votes cast in either direction would essentially swing the election to McCaskill who’s narrowly trailing Hawley in a highly contentious race.
Included in the mailers are lies such as the claim that Hawley supports radical gun control measures. This would certainly be big news to the National Rifle Association if it were true, given that the guns rights group endorsed him for McCaskill’s seat months ago.
Mailers that fail to identify who paid for them — which is required by law — attack @HawleyMO on gun rights while praising other candidates.
They appear to be connected to mailers attacking other GOP Senate candidates in Montana and Indiana.https://t.co/HTQPzAkZ2n #MOSEN
— Jason Hancock (@J_Hancock) October 31, 2018
The mailers also falsely claim Hawley had joined liberals, including McCaskill, in smearing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings in September and October.
One of the mailers says @HawleyMO led a “witch hunt” against @EricGreitens and unfairly attacked him “before he had all the facts, like Washington liberals attacked Judge Kavanaugh.”https://t.co/HTQPzAkZ2n #MoSen
— Jason Hancock (@J_Hancock) November 1, 2018
What a total fraud McCaskill is, using “dark money” as an excuse to vote with the smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh and then having allies try to save her with the darkest of dark money — illegal, no-disclaimer mailers designed to depress Republican turnout. https://t.co/RCvj6qP2Yq
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) November 1, 2018
Of greater concern to Republicans are the mailers’ lack of identifying information regarding who funded them. Funding identification is reportedly required by law. Those groups that fail to comply with this rule are usually described as “dark money” organizations.
While it’s unclear whether McCaskill is linked to the dark money group or groups behind the mailers, some find it troublesome that the Missouri senator hasn’t personally condemned the mailers yet.
“Claire McCaskill should be consistent for once in her career and denounce these dark money groups that are sending illegally mailed attack ads to Missourians,” Missouri Republican Party press secretary Christopher Nuelle said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “Otherwise, her continued calls to get dark money out of politics are completely hollow.”
Over the summer she criticized Hawley for supporting Citizens United, falsely implying his support for the 2010 ruling makes him a supporter of dark money.
Very bad. The Citizens United decision was an activist court reaching…hard. My opponent supports that decision and dark money. He’s endorsed by Citizens United! I oppose dark money and this terrible decision to protect dark money donors. https://t.co/upcrq5SksE
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) July 17, 2018
Except even the far-left news purveyor Vox has admitted that the Citizens United ruling that granted corporations, labor unions and other groups the right to spend money on elections is not “responsible for the rise of so-called dark money in politics.”
The ones truly responsible for the rise of dark money are the politicians who support dark money groups. And it just so happens McCaskill may be one such politician.
McCaskill’s spokeswoman has for her part denied this allegation, saying, “Claire condemns all dark money efforts, including these mailers. Josh Hawley supports anonymous political giving, and Claire will continue to work hard to end it.”
Few on social media appear to believe her:
We have reached peak irony in politics when @clairecmc (who raised 3x as much $ as Hawley, much of it from HWood) criticizes @HawleyMO with a straight face for using “Dark Money” even as her surrogates send out postcards full of outright lies funded with dark money…. #MOSen https://t.co/mhADW583fq
— Mike Feller (@MikeFeller1) November 1, 2018
.@clairecmc and her dark money pals are up to their dirty tricks again, but this time it looks like they’re breaking federal law. #MOSen https://t.co/J51ydLzGUq
— Bob Salera (@BobSalera) November 1, 2018
@clairecmc please tell your dark money groups to stop sending me mailers that don’t have disclaimers or return addresses. Missouri deserves better than this.
— Sarah Buxton (@TheSarahBuxton) November 1, 2018
Reminder that @clairecmc absolutely hates dark money…except when it benefits her. In that case she just stays quiet and enjoys the help. #MOSen https://t.co/x32GPfegEE
— Ryan Powers (@RyanSPowers) October 31, 2018
Another liberal dark money mailer for @clairecmc. A page from Claire’s 2012 playbook. It is hypocritical because she has attacked dark money groups, but that was before she was trailing in the polls & desperate. #mosen pic.twitter.com/kV89aTEP1u
— James MN Harris (@JamesMNHarris) October 31, 2018
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