Climate Denier Pleads for Help After Floods Inundate Office
January 6, 2016
JEFFERSON CITY • Former Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones wants $10,000 in donations to rebuild his Eureka political office damaged by recent flooding.
Jones, a Republican, set up a GoFundMe page Monday for repairs to his office, “affectionately known as Jones WHQ.”
The page calls the office “a community landmark and has been the site of countless meetings, debates, campaign committee discussions and decisions that have forever left their mark on the permanent record of the history of the state of Missouri.”
The page does not say what repairs the $10,000 will be used for, but that Jones will match whatever is donated.
As of November, Jones still has $725,164 in his campaign account. His time as a legislator ended last January.
Jones currently is director of political communications at First Rule Media, a division of Pelopidas (a Rex Sinquefield lobbying group) and Senior Policy Fellow at the John W. Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise at Lindenwood University. He also is chairman of Sinquefield-based group, Missouri Club for Growth.
Now we turn to an irony, and an exemplar of an important and troubling phenomenon. The irony is that one small piece of the loss of property this flooding caused in Missouri was severe damage to the campaign headquarters of former Missouri House representative (District 110) Timothy Jones. Jones is a long time climate science denier. He is no longer in elected office, by his own choice, but Jones wrote that as he plans “… to continue my public service in the future, I am keeping all options open for 2018 and beyond to serve our state and our nation.” That facility is also used, according to Jones and others, to host Republican political meetings and events.
I would not have even noticed that Jones’ headquarters had been destroyed had he not done something that is astonishingly insensitive and inappropriate. Jones is a popular and powerful Republican, statewide, in Missouri. He has raised a lot of money. As of January 2015 Jones had nearly one million dollars in his campaign coffers. Given the ruined status of his headquarters, it would be a simple matter to fund repair and renovations beyond whatever insurance coverage he had on the place. But instead of simply paying the piper that he himself helped invite to the party, he started a Go Fund Me campaign so that his supporters, who had suffered through this flood, could pay for those repairs.
Mr. Jones, while continuing to deny the influence of climate change on extreme weather events battering his consituents, hopes they will buck up to pay for his drowned office, while he sits on nearly a million dollar political chest.
But wait, there’s more. Tim Jones has left public office for now, though he may return. But what is he doing exactly?
At the time that he announced he would no longer be seeking election, Jones accepted a job as a senior policy fellow with the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise, housed at Lindenwood University. Lindenwood announced, within a day of Jones’ announcement that he would be joining Hammond, the award of a $2 million grant from … wait for it … the Charles Koch Foundation.
Judging by his twitter feed, shame is not an emotion familiar to Mr. Jones.