A conservative non-profit has stepped up its campaign targeting Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway.
Missouri Alliance for Freedom has ads running, including on major newspaper websites in the state with the caption “Follow The Law. Release The Text Messages.”
The ad has a link to the auditor’s online contact information. Kansas City-based Missouri Alliance filed a lawsuit against Galloway, a Columbia Democrat, in July.
The litigation seeks documents concerning an audit of the state Revenue Department over whether it was complying with a state law to issue tax refunds in a timely manner.
Wednesday, in a statement, the Alliance said it had filed a complaint with Attorney General Josh Hawley, citing Galloway’s failure to comply with the Missouri Sunshine Law.
Galloway’s office issued a statement late last month defending its actions in response to broad records requests for the documents through the Missouri Sunshine Law.
In the statement, the office said Missouri Alliance filed its court action 14 days before the office was due to deliver thousands of documents in accordance with an established schedule. It said the Alliance then asked the auditor’s office to discontinue fulfilling their original request, and concurrently filed 13 new open records requests.
In the late November statement, Galloway said, “this sudden disinterest in records previously requested strongly suggests this lawsuit is not about obtaining information. Instead, it appears to be a deliberate effort to intimidate the State Auditor and obstruct a thorough review of state agencies.”
Missouri Alliance appears to have established a Twitter account this week called “Come Clean Nicole”. A tweet posted Wednesday says “Liberal State Auditor Nicole Galloway is refusing to follow the law and won’t release her text messages from her taxpayer provided state phone. What is she hiding from the people of Missouri?”
By late Thursday afternoon, the Twitter account had issued two Tweets and had six followers.
As the state Auditor, Galloway has said the job of her office is to ensure that government serves taxpayers with transparency. She’s the only Democrat currently holding a statewide office, and will be up for reelection next November.
The Kansas City based Graves Garrett law firm, which represents the Missouri Alliance, didn’t respond to inquiries regarding the non-profit’s current campaign.
Graves Garrett has strong ties to the Republican Party. Partner Todd Graves is the Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. His brother, Sam Graves, is the state’s 6th District Republican Congressman.
Missouri Alliance President Kristen Blanchard Ansley referred to the organizations Wednesday release in response to a question about the motivation of it’s lawsuit and filing with the attorney general’s office.