A newly formed and shadowy campaign committee popped up on Wednesday with the Missouri Ethics Commission. It purports to oppose the November 5 ballot measure in Jackson County to increase sales taxes by a half-cent for medical research.
But information about the committee is not readily available.
Citizens For Fairness registered with the Missouri Ethics Commission on Wednesday, two days after it received its first major campaign contribution. That money came from an equally mysterious and also newly formed entity called the Government Policies Foundation.
The Government Policies Foundation registered with the Missouri Secretary of State's office on September 17 as a nonprofit. It cut a $196,000 check to the Citizens For Fairness committee on October 21. The Government Policies Foundation is registered by Doug Patterson of the Property Law Firm LLC in Leawood, Kansas. Patterson, previously a Leawood City Council member and Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives, was not immediately available for comment.
The Government Policies Foundation lists its address as 1025 Winchester Avenue, which is a warehouse space not far from Swope Park - not often the locale for a nonprofit foundation.
A source tells The Pitch
that the group has sent mailers out to Jackson County residents in opposition to the tax, which would fund translational medical research for Children's Mercy Hospital, St. Luke's and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Citizens For Fairness' treasurer is Kim Westhusing; she was not immediately available for comment, either.
They registered with the Jackson County Election Board on October 3, a little more than a month before election day.
Two other campaign committees have formed in opposition of the translational research tax, but they're both led by known quantities. Jim Fitzpatrick, a former Kansas City Star
newsman, started the Committee to Stop a Bad Cure. He is readily available by phone to discuss his opposition to the tax.
He says he doesn't know much about Citizens For Fairness.
"There are a couple of groups lurking around that I don't know much about," Fitzpatrick says.
Citizens for Responsible Research also opposes the tax and was started by Brad Bradshaw, a lawyer who splits his time between Springfield and Kansas City and thinks a statewide research tax is a better idea. He's also available pretty much anytime to discuss his stance on the tax.
We'll update more information as we find it.