On Tuesday, the Riverfront Times reported that Republican Missouri Senate candidate Eric Schmitt defied the refusal of a local restauranteur in Kirkwood to allow him to use his business in a political ad — and even went out of his way to pose a staffer in a shirt with the restaurant's logo to look like an employee.
"Spencer's Grill, which has been in the heart of downtown Kirkwood for 75 years, appears briefly in two shots in a spot for Schmitt which debuted last March but is still being seen by Missourians on TV in the final week before the primary," reported Monica Obradovic and Ryan Krull. "In one shot, as Schmitt says in his narration, 'God created this wonderful country which has provided so much for so many,' he is seen shaking the hand of a man wearing a Spencer's Grill T-shirt standing behind the diner's cash register."
All of that, according to the report, was without the owner's permission and over his objections
"Earlier this week when one local man complained on Facebook about Spencer's getting involved in politics, the restaurant said it had explicitly asked Schmitt not to use its diner or logo in any sort of campaign advertisement," said the report. "'Eric Schmitt asked to use the diner for a private event, we agreed as long as our logo wasn’t used or it didn’t appear that there was an endorsement,' Spencer's official Facebook account stated. The post went on: 'Being the stand up guy he is, he put our logo in the commercial against our wishes and took a T-shirt off our shelf and put it on one of his own people and had them act like a staff member.'"
Schmitt, the current attorney general of Missouri, has issued anti-abortion guidance that caused doctors to fear for their ability to treat women with life-threatening conditions, and was also one of the architects of a failed lawsuit trying to force President Joe Biden to continue Trump's policy of removing migrants to Mexico to await their hearings.
He is one of several Republicans vying for the nomination for retiring Sen. Roy Blunt's seat. Others include disgraced ex-Gov. Eric Greitens, who has been accused of sexual assault and domestic abuse; Congressman Billy Long, who has claimed he would use his Senate powers to force Biden to replace Vice President Kamala Harris with Donald Trump, and Mark McCloskey, a personal injury attorney best known for brandishing a firearm at Black Lives Matter protesters walking near his mansion.