Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blame Shifting Brunner Bus Strikes Again

Photo credit: Missouri Political News Service
For the second time Republican John Brunner's campaign has introduced his children into the media narrative and then bizarrely blamed one of his GOP rivals for having done so. It would seem that his children are little more than the political equivalent of human shields dragooned to bear whatever blame Brunner wants to shift.

This blog broke the Humane Farming Association (HFA) donation story in late June with the post, John Brunner: A Free Range Chicken in Every Pot. When Brunner responded to that post by saying that one of his children had made the donation, I called him a chicken.

This past Monday, Sarah Steelman released a TV ad criticizing Brunner for the HFA donation. That elicited the following response from the Brunner campaign (make sure you watch the Steelman ad first so you can better appreciate this non sequitur from Team Brunner):
Ginny Becker Responds to Sarah Steelman’s Personal Attack 
Steelman attacks Brunner’s youngest daughter in first television advertisement 
ST. LOUIS, MO — Sarah Steelman continued her personal attacks on John Brunner’s family today with the release of her first television ad. For months Steelman and her campaign operatives have been running a smear campaign focused solely on attacking John Brunner’s youngest daughter for her charitable donation. 
Ginny Becker, John Brunner’s youngest daughter released this statement in response to Steelman’s negative, dirty, and personal family attacks: 
“Christmas for our family means incorporating the spirit of charity and sharing God’s blessings.  Some of my favorite memories involve ‘adopting’ a military family in need. What this means is that we would help the family of a U.S. soldier who had been injured or killed in active duty, by shopping, wrapping, and shipping every item on their Christmas list. 
In lieu of gifts, one year, my father and mother allowed us to make charitable donations to the charity of our choice. For example, some of us chose as beneficiaries Autism Speaks and the Fischer House. 
One year, I chose as my beneficiary the Human Farming Association. It was solely my decision; made with the best of intentions. My charitable donation has nothing to do with a political race, and in my opinion, there are more significant issues to discuss today.” 
Todd Abrajano, Brunner spokesman called for Sarah Steelman to immediately apologize to John Brunner and his family for her uncalled for personal attack on his family. 
“The latest ad from Sarah Steelman is a despicable attack on John Brunner’s family and is completely outside the bounds of a political campaign,” said Todd Abrajano, Brunner spokesman. “It’s noteworthy that her ad does not address the kitchen table issues, such as spending, debt, and the economy that affect every Missourian, rural and urban. Sarah Steelman should be ashamed of herself for putting this ad on the air and I call on her to apologize to John Brunner’s family immediately.” 
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When I first blogged this story I included a link to the 2008 990-PF for The Brunner Foundation. That document not only lists the $10,000 donation to HFA, but it also identifies the trustees of the Foundation. As you can see in the snapshot below, none of Brunner's children are among the trustees:

If Brunner's campaign wants to shift the responsibility for this (and possibly other donations), then they should ask the Brunner Foundation to amend their 990's to accurately reflect who is responsible for the foundation's donation decisions--add his children as trustees.

1 comment:

MO 8th said...

In response to John Brunner funding the attack on Missouri's family farmers, regular folks are turning out in droves to Steelman's Flatbed Forum

MOMentum @Sarah_Steelman