Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finance Report for Fake Local Control: How A Right-Wing Idealogue Pays Off Local "Democrats"

Now that the Mayor's office and right-wing multimillionaire Rex Sinquefield have thrown local control activists under the bus and are pushing for a new ballot initiative that would actually decrease accountability and transparency, it might be worth taking a closer look at some of the campaign finance reports for Rex's front group, A Safer Missouri. Rex, if you recall, wants to gut state government and shift the tax burden to the poor, and local "Democrats" who get paid by him conveniently stay quiet on these disastrous ideas, just like they did when Rex pushed a statewide ballot initiative to get rid of the earnings tax. How many local "Democrats" need to be on the payroll of a right-wing ideologue with crazy ideas before St. Louis residents start to worry about our City's future?

First things first for documenting the atrocities: the astroturf local control group is called A Safer Missouri. Only one person has ever donated to the group: Rex Sinquefield.

And who benefits from the amazing generosity of Rex, who graciously took time out of his busy schedule of trying to privatize everything in Missouri to magically start caring about this issue last year? Why, St. Louis "Democrats" of course! One of the biggest beneficiaries was Martin Casas, former President of the St. Louis Young Dems and a current candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives. Casas, if you recall, previously said that he had no position on the disastrous Everything Tax, which should be enough to disqualify anyone from calling themselves a Democrat, asked people to sign a petition from the right-wing front group United for Missouri while working for Rex, and also claimed that he had "no idea" if signing up for A Safer Missouri would help build Rex's email list:

In light of how much Casas was paid by Rex, it's pretty hard to believe this claim was true. And how much was that? Casas got close to a cool $20,000 from Rex Sinquefield in 2011 according to the most recent campaign report:

And this is all in addition to the fact that Casas's wife is also on Rex's payroll, through a different organization.

Another local principled "Democrat" who benefited from Sinquefield's kindheartedness was Gregg Christian, Democratic Committeeman in the 15th Ward. Here's A Safer Missouri's payment to Christian's company Gladius Communications for "graphic design:"

Was Gladius responsible for this beautiful logo? Cause I'd say that's worth about $4,000 just by itself:

Another local Democrat paid off in this campaign is Nancy Rice, but she's paid by Rex for a lot of things (she works for Pelopidas) so I won't bother to document the cash for this situation.

Every politician who has ever taken money from ideologues has claimed that the money has *nothing* to do with their future votes. Yet we know our democracy is broken because the uber-wealthy have far too much influence on our laws via their donations. If St. Louisans are really worried about Democracy being for sale, we're going to have to start paying better attention to what's happening locally. Having "Democrats" in office isn't any better than Republicans, if they're all getting paid by the same people.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the research. Missourians need to know that an initiative that is being billed as equal treatment for St. Louis in regards to its police actually discriminates against the city by carving out exemptions that make effective civilian review impossible and close police discipline records for St. Louis only.