Just one day after state auditor Tom Schweich killed himself, new information is coming out about just how contentious the campaign for governor was getting.
A voicemail that Auditor Schweich left a St. Louis newspaper reporter minutes before he fired the single shot has been made public.
A radio ad was putting the GOP candidate in a not-so-flattering light.
The blatantly personal attack ad was from the Citizens for Fairness in Missouri, which is a group that only claims to have taken in about $80,000 in donations according to state ethics records.
$65,000 of that money is from the Adam Smith Foundation in Jefferson City, but ABC 17 was unable to find any records on that group.
The ad is based on the Netflix TV show, “House of Cards,” and makes reference to Schweich’s small stature, and even said his democratic opponent would squash him like a bug.
Some readers may find the content of this ad disturbing and disrespectful in the wake of the auditor’s death.
“Is he a weak candidate for governor? Absolutely, just look at him. He could be easily confused for the deputy sheriff of Mayberry,” claimed the ad.
While we may never know what caused Schweich to kill himself, there are more than enough theories out there.
His run for governor was just announced less than a month ago and his critics were already lining up.
This ad was as personal as you can get.
“Schweich is an obviously weak opponent against democrat Chris Koster. Once Schweich obtains the Republican nomination we will quickly squash him like the little bug that he is.”
In the last few minutes of Schweich’s life, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported his wife was in the home with him as he reached out to Post-Dispatch editor Tony Messenger to set up an interview for later that day. Those were likely the last words of Schweich’s life.
The following voicemail was left by Schweich on Messenger’s phone:
“Tony, it’s Tom Schweich calling. If you could have a reporter here at my house by 2:30 p.m. I’m going to speak to the Post-Dispatch and the AP only. I would give a brief prepared statement which we would video tape and then I could answer questions by your reporter. This is only for you two and I hope you won’t make it known that I’m doing this. Give me a call and let me know if you can have somebody here at 2:30. To me this is more of a religion story than a politics story. It’s your choice on who the reporter is. Thanks, bye bye.”
The Schweich family has not yet spoken out, and there is no word if the funeral will be public.
The auditor’s office is still running despite the loss of its leader.
The office stayed open Friday, being run by the deputy auditor and the Chief of Staff.
It also released a new report about property seized during police raids.
The department plans to issue another audit next week about the Joplin School District.