The radical anti-tax Club for Growth and Leonard Leo, the well-known activist who has spent decades pushing the nation’s courts to the right, are both supporting an expensive campaign to unseat Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey in the Republican primary next year.
Despite the tough record Will Scharf has developed in the six months since Gov. Mike Parson chose him to succeed now-Sen. Eric Schmitt, the initiative aims to replace Bailey with a Leo disciple, former federal prosecutor Will Scharf. However, Scharf contends that his rival “very much represents the establishment insider clique in” the state house of representatives.
Who is Andrew Bailey
Andrew Bailey, an American lawyer and politician born in 1981, holds the office of Missouri Attorney General, which he was appointed to in January 2023.
Bailey graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in English and the University of Missouri School of Law with a Juris Doctor.
Following completion of his undergraduate studies, Bailey enlisted as an officer in the American Army. His military service included a deployment to Iraq. After earning his law degree, Bailey worked as the chief counsel for the Missouri Department of Corrections and an assistant prosecutor in the Warren County prosecutor’s office.
Bailey began working for Governor Mike Parson’s office in 2019 as deputy general counsel and was promoted to general counsel in 2021. Governor Parson appointed Bailey as Missouri’s 44th attorney general in November 2022. He is running as a Republican for a full term as Missouri’s attorney general in 2024.
The Life and Liberty PAC, which receives funding primarily from Michael Ketchmark’s family and allies as well as Pauline MacMillan Keinath of the Cargill family, is a supporter of Bailey’s candidature.
Bailey is against abortion. He reportedly asked the state auditor’s office in 2023 to revise the estimated costs for an initiative petition from “no costs or savings” to “in the billions.” The AG’s office has received a number of petitions, like this one, to defend abortion in Missouri after the state outlawed it. Although he personally opposes abortion, Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick told reporters that there is no proof that it would cost the state money.
Federal court Brian C. Wimes ruled on March 7, 2023, that a state legislation governing cooperation with federal authorities on weapons matters, which had been signed by Parson, was illegal because it violated the Supremacy Clause. Republican congressman Eric Burlison mocked Bailey’s declaration that he would appeal the judgement, saying it was understandable given Wimes was an Obama appointee.
Quinton Lucas, the mayor of Kansas City, expressed his displeasure with Bailey’s behaviour, saying that Missouri officials had hoped that Bailey, like former attorney general and current U.S. Senator Eric Schmitt, “…would approach the office like a grown-up.”
Attorney General Bailey’s administration withdrew from a case involving unrestrained slot machines. Torch Electronics and Warrenton Oil, the plaintiffs, have given money to Bailey’s campaign for Missouri attorney general in 2024.
When conflict of interest issues were brought up in 2021, former attorney general Eric Schmitt chose to continue working on the lawsuit rather than returning payments from Torch Electronics. When asked why Bailey’s office decided to take the money rather than drop the case, Bailey’s spokesperson Madeline Sieren did not provide an answer.
Bailey supports the lawsuit brought by former attorney general Eric Schmitt on behalf of MOHELA, a corporation hired to manage student loan accounts, against the Biden student debt reduction plan. Federal appeals sent the issue to the Supreme Court and permanently banned student debt relief after a federal judge in Missouri initially dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that the corporation was too far from the state of Missouri for the case to have standing.
Bailey stated that the Supreme Court should “sort out” the matter when questioned about MOHELA’s unpaid contributions to state higher aid funds since 2008.Advocates for student debt reduction have stated that, should the plan be approved, MOHELA’s income will rise.