The Corner

Regulating Politics in Missouri

In August, NR endorsed Josh Hawley, who is running to serve as Missouri’s attorney general, over his primary opponent, state senator Kurt Schaefer. “Missouri conservatives face an especially stark choice in the race for the Republican nomination. . . . Schaefer is a man whose merits do not appear to include any firm conservative convictions.”

Since then Schaefer has been working to confirm that judgment. The Wall Street Journal editorialized a few weeks ago about legislation he proposed to force political groups to disclose their donors. Schaefer’s amendment would mean that “if Sally Smith runs for office and her political consultant also does work for the Sierra Club or National Rifle Association, that group would have to disclose its donors. That would be true whether or not the group is active in the state, has run any advertising, or is even interested in Sally’s candidacy.”

The Journal suggested that Schaefer wanted to change the law to make life harder for groups that support Hawley. Regardless of the motive, it’s a terrible idea. The state’s house of representatives appears to have killed it for now. The fact that Schaefer sought it is another piece of evidence Missouri Republicans should consider as they decide on an AG nominee.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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