The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 20, 2014

Joplin PAC reports $11,000 in contributions

— A political action committee formed to endorse and fund candidates in the Joplin City Council and school board races has collected $11,000, according to its first quarterly report.

Directors of the Joplin Progress Committee said last month that it was formed with a set of objectives and values that contributors of $500 or more would use to select candidates to support.

The group’s treasurer is former U.S. Bank President Clifford Wert. Its assistant treasurer is Jerrod Hogan, of Anderson Engineering and co-founder of Rebuild Joplin. Other founding directors are Brad Beecher of Empire District Electric Co., and Jane Cage of Heartland Technology Solutions and the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team.

People who contribute $500 or more to the group will be allowed to attend the PAC’s private meetings and vote on which candidates to support. Those who give $250 will receive updates by email, the founding directors said last month.

Hogan said Monday that the group has not yet met to discuss candidates.

A candidate review committee has been formed to interview candidates who seek funding from the group, he said. That group will form recommendations to be made to the main committee.

“We’re hoping to start the interview process the first week in February,” Hogan said. “Then the entire group will come back and review the recommendations. We’re hoping to come out by the middle of February with the recommendations.”

According to the group’s first quarterly report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, monetary donations by its founding directors are:

Wert, $250 on Oct. 31 and $250 on Nov. 6; Cage, $500 on Nov. 5; Beecher, $500 on Nov. 14; and Hogan, $500 on Nov. 19.

Other $500 contributors:

Paula Baker, of Freeman Health System; Veri Properties LLC, of Carl Junction; Sharon Beshore, retired; Lance Beshore, of Leggett & Platt Inc.; Michael Wiggins, of Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant; Sara Newman, retired; Karen Plott, of Choice Marketing; Bennie Crossland, of Crossland Construction; Fred Osborn, of Mercy Hospital Joplin; Nancy Good, of Waco Title; Troy Hill, of BKD LLP; Henry Robertson Jr., retired; Joplin Building Material Co.; Randy Moore, of EaglePicher Technologies; J. Hipple Investments LLC; Gary Pulsipher, of Mercy Hospital Joplin; and TJ Franz and Associates, Joplin.

Contributors of $250 are Ronald Gatz, of Empire District, and Scott Brothers, of The Insurance Center.

Expenditures totaled $736, including $484.47 for advertising in the Globe, and the remainder for things such as postage and telephone costs, according to the report.

Top three issues

A LIST OF KEY PLATFORM ISSUES is set out in the committee’s literature. Those include regional economic growth, quality-of-life improvements, and support of “any reputable large-scale developers who express an interest in doing projects in our city and bring forth economically viable, self-sustaining projects.”

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