A few hold the political purse strings in Missouri

More than a quarter of all large campaign contributions in Missouri over the last five years were doled out by 10 individuals and groups, according to analysis by The Star of reports filed with the state ethics commission.

Sitting atop the list is Rex Sinquefield. The retired financier from St. Louis has since 2011 contributed $22.1 million in large contributions — defined by state law as any donation greater than $5,000.

That’s three times as much as the second largest donor. It’s also nearly as much as the next nine combined, a list that includes a payday-loan-funded nonprofit, a teachers union and the state’s largest utility.

The numbers paint a stark picture of the state of Missouri politics, where the cost of campaigning has risen dramatically since the General Assembly voted to abolish campaign contribution limits in 2008. Republicans are benefiting the most from the free-flowing campaign cash, but Democrats aren’t shy about taking their share of five- and six-figure checks from big-spending donors.

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