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PAC uses Missouri governor's attack on paper to raise money

Posted at 4:29 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 17:29:08-04

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A political action committee backing Republican Gov. Mike Parson is raising money with a new video highlighting his attacks on a Missouri newspaper that discovered a flaw in a state agency's cybersecurity and waited for it to be fixed before publishing a story.

The 55-second video released Thursday by Uniting Missouri praises Parson for standing up to the state's "fake news factory" and criticizes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It suggests that a reporter for the newspaper was "digging around" in personal data about teachers.

Uniting Missouri promoted the video in an email urging recipients to help fund Parson's efforts to "hold the liberal media accountable." It includes a link to a form that allows people to contribute. The PAC declined comment Thursday.

The newspaper last week found a security flaw that allowed the public to view the Social Security numbers of thousands of teachers through the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website. The Post-Dispatch alerted the agency and held off on reporting on the problem.

Instead of focusing on the agency's problem, Parson attacked the newspaper, and announced a criminal investigation. Parson then faced criticism for failing to appoint any members to a commission set up three months ago to identify cybersecurity risks in state government.