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Enron exec’s dark money group spending big in MO

dark money group run by former Enron executive John Arnold is spending big money to influence Missouri elections according to a report from the Missouri Times.

Among Arnold’s big time spending campaigns through his Action Now Initiative is a $700,000 ad campaign on Claire McCaskill’s behalf. Though McCaskill is usually outspoken about dark money that isn’t being spent on her behalf, she has been conspicuously silent on Arnold. Guess McCaskill’s problem is less about who is doing the spending and more about whether it benefits her.

In case you missed it…

Campaign donations in Missouri continue to build from former Enron exec
The Missouri Times
September 18, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Who is John Arnold, and why does his name keep appearing in Missouri campaign finances?

Arnold and his wife Laura have become megadonors in several campaigns now, through the “Action Now Initiative.”

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Action Now Initiative gave $312,000 to Clean Missouri, which is backing the Amendment 1 referendum on the November ballot. That referendum seeks to ban most lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, lower campaign contribution limits and change the system used for redistricting.

The “Action Now Initiative” is also reportedly funding other efforts to create commissions that would redraw political districting maps and force legislatures to vote on the maps it creates in Utah and Michigan. Similarly to Missouri, the Arnold’s “Action Now Initiative” gave $355,000 to a group in Utah and $250,000 to a group in Michigan, each with the aim to change the way districts are drawn.

In addition to that, Arnold’s Action Now Initiative has also helped fund Patients for Affordable Drugs Action, which has also lent some of its considerable funding to aid Sen. Claire McCaskill in the form of a $700,000 ad campaign.

After working as an executive for Enron, Arnold made his fortune with the hedge fund firm Centaurus Advisers, LLC. Since then, he has put his money to work, using it to push initiatives and aid campaigns such as local soda taxes, pension reform, bail reform, and the redrawing of political districts across America.

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation is a private foundation founded by Arnold and his wife in 2008, the same year that the Arnolds signed the Giving Pledge, a pledge by some high-net-worth individuals to donate a large fraction of their income to philanthropic causes during their lifetimes.

That foundation has put an emphasis of donating to causes like reforming K-12 education, public pension reform, improving the criminal justice system, and improving reproducibility in science.