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The mayor's money machine II: how Mayor Francis Slay paid back his contributors by cheating voters.

Mayor Francis Slay has a half-million-dollar reason for working hand-in-glove with the 17 millionaire owners of the St. Louis Cardinals to get taxpayer funding for a new Cardinal ballpark. He is paying off his campaign contributors.

A study by the Coalition Against Public Funding For Stadiums of Mayor Slay's 2001 campaign finance report shows that the Cardinals and their allies contributed $507,000 to Slay. This was 28 percent of his total $1.8 million campaign expense.

The 2002 session of the Missouri Legislature killed the Cardinal effort to obtain $430 million in taxpayer funding over 30 years for a new ballpark. In this campaign, Slay was a leader in raising the fear, and making the threat, that the Cardinals would leave downtown St. Louis if the taxpayers did not buy them a ballpark.

Slay is now leading a second effort to build a so-called privately financed ballpark for the Cardinals. As of deadline, there is no private financing for the ballpark.

But there would be $237 million of public money over 30 years in this deal, and Slay pushed through the Board of Aldermen on Oct. 18 the biggest chunk of this money--$102 million to be left in the pockets of the Cardinal owners through elimination of the 5 percent tax on Cardinal tickets. He had to act quickly, because on Nov. 5 the voters of St. Louis were going to vote on Proposition S.

Proposition S was placed on the ballot by initiative petition signed by 14,000 registered voters in St. Louis. It requires that any public financing for a new Cardinal ballpark must be submitted to a citywide vote. So if the elimination of the 5 percent tax on Cardinal tickets had been passed after Nov. 5, it would have had to go before a citywide vote.

Slay obviously is working very hard to pay off his Cardinal campaign contributors. He will be going back to them for reelection money when he runs again in 2005, so he also is earning his money for the next time around.

Slay's conduct is a classic example of how politicians use their constituents' tax money to buy campaign contributions.

In fact, SJR's headline refers back to a major story about then-Mayor Vince Schoemehi's campaign contributions published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the 1980s. It was excellent journalism spoiled by Editor William Woo's decision to allow the mayor a front-page rebuttal.

The current study was conducted by comparing Slay's contributors to four sources:

Members of the Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA), the Associated General Contractors of St. Louis (AGC) and labor unions, all of which endorsed taxpayer funding of the stadium, and law firms who represented these entities, according to the Martindale-Hubbell law directory.

The study shows that Slay received more than $266,000 from RCGA members, $41,000 from AGC members, $58,000 from unions, $92,000 from law firms, and more than $48,000 from miscellaneous sources.

Included in the miscellaneous category is $5,725 from Cardinal owners, a paltry sum considering how hard Slay has worked for them.

Some of the biggest contributors were Anheuser-Busch, $26,000; the Shaffer Lombardo law firm of Kansas City, $12,375; Guilfoil Petzall law firm, $10,200; Thompson Coburn, $11,100; Charter Communications, $10,700; the TIP Educational Fund (hotel-restaurant workers), $10,000; and Enterprise Rent-A-Car $7,140. The Husch Eppenberger law firm, which drafted legislation benefiting the Cardinal owners, gave Slay $8,275.

RELATED ARTICLE: Union Contributions

Bricklayers' Local No. 1 of Missouri $1,125

Int'l. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers No. 4 $1,000

Teamster Local 600 Drive PAC $2,250

Missouri State Council Fire Fighters' PAC $1,125

TIP Educational Fund, Washington, DC $10,000

Seafarers Political Activity $1,000

Hoisting Engineers Local 513 $2,250

SEIU, Local No. 1001 $1,125

St. Louis Assn. of Retired Fire Fighters $1,625

Missouri/Kansas State Council, No. 29 $2,250

Laborer's Intl. Union, Local No. 53 $1,125

Eastern Mo. Laborers' Educ. Fund $1,125

Operating Engineers, Local No. 2 $1,975

Plumbers and Pipefitters $1,000

Pipefitters Local 62 $1,000

Iron Workers, Local 396 $2,250

Int'l. Assoc. of Firefighters No. 73 $875

Laborers' Local 110 $1,125

Laborers' Local 42 $250

Sheet Metal Workers, Local No. 36 $2,250

Glaziers Local No. 513 $1,900

Missouri State UAW PAC $1,125

IBEW, Local No. 1439 $2,050

IBEW No. 4 $2,000

Asbestos Workers Local 1 $875

Boilermakers, Local No. 27 $1,125

Gas Workers Local 5-6 $1,500

Missouri AFL-CIO $3,375

St. Louis Labor Council AFL-CIO $2,250

International Brotherhood of Teamsters $1,125

Engine Company No. 29 $1,125

Laborers Local No. 42 $2,125

Int'l. Assoc. of Fire Fighters Local No. 73 $1,125

Associated General Contractors Contributions

SM Wilson General Contractors $500

Clayco Construction Co. $2,000

TGB Inc. $5,000

Environment Operations $5,225

Katsinas General Contractors $1,125

HBD Contracting, Inc. $2,000

Spirtas Wrecking Co. $1,125

Albert Arno, Inc. $1,000

Hensley Construction $2,500

Schuster Engineering, Inc. $1,100

Associated General Contractors PAC $1,000

SCI Engineering, Inc. $1,050

HBD Contracting $1,000

Welsch, Flatness & Lutz, Inc. $2,125

Vee-Jay Cement Contracting Co., Inc. $1,000

CDG Eng Arch & Planners $2,500

Anthony Hooper, Instituform Technologies, Inc. $2,125

Sidney Grossman, Jr., Grossman Iron & Steel $4,250

Comp Check Corp. $1,125

Budrovich Excavating, Inc. $2,000

City Design Group, Inc. $500

Joseph Danis, AON Risk Services $1,125

Lawyer Contributions

Husch & Eppenberger $8,275

Reizman & Blitz $6,700

Shaffer, Lombardo, Shurin, Kansas City $12,375

Blitz, Bardgett, & Deutsch LC $1,000

Sonnenschein Nath $1,000

Poisinelli, White, Vardeman & Shalton $2,450

Dankenbring, Greiman $2,125

Schlichter Bogard & Denton $2,250

Guilfoil, Petzall $10,200

Bryan Cave $8,250

Stolar Partnership $6,275

Lashly & Baer $7,325

Thompson Coburn LLP $11,100

Lewis, Rice $250

Fox & Vuylsteke $1,125

Gallop, Johnson $3,000

Herzog Crebs $1,000

Dickstein & Shapiro, Washington D.C. $6,500

Helfrey, Simon $1,025

Regional Chamber & Growth Association Contributions

Johnny Londoff Chevrolet $250

Joseph Sansone $1,075

St. Louis Rams $2,000

Michelson Reality Co. $1,000

Conley Insurance Group, Inc. $1,000

Rothschild Development, Ltd. $1,500

Kaplan Real Estate $4,375

BLL & Associates $6,500

Central Business Communications $1,000

Hamilton & Company, Inc. $3,125

Roach Consulting Corporation $3,500

Harbour Group $2,125

BJC Health Systems $1,125

Grey Eagle Distributors $2,000

Regal Riverfront Hotel $1,000

Horner & Shifrin, Inc. $1,500

Contemporary Group $1,000

Anheuser Busch $26,000

Engineered Support Systems $7,050

Kwame Building Group, Inc. $2,000

Creve Coeur trucking, Inc. $1,500

C. Hager & Sons Hinge Mfg., Co. $2,250

Union Planter's Bank $1,000

Fox Inc. $1,000

S & H Parking Systems, LC $4,625

DCM Management Co. $2,000

THF Realty $3,225

West Gate Partners $1,125

Ramada Downtown at the Arch $2,000

Mehlville Haulers, Inc. $1,500

Crystal Springs Development Services $1,500

DFC Group, Inc. $3,250

Arch Construction Co. $1,000

Vandiver Group $1,100

Geotechnology Inc. $3,225

Southwestern Bell MO EPAC $3,250

Alper Audi $1,000

Independent Concrete Pipe Co. $1,125

HOK, Inc. $4,250

Kowelman Engineering $3,225

Dobbs Tire & Auto $2,625

Maritz $1,125

Ross & Baruzzini, Inc. $4,500

May Department Stores $509

Allegiant Bank $1,000

Mary 1 Enterprises LLC $1,100

Fred Weber, Inc. $1,125

Afram Corp. $2,800

General American Life Assoc. PAC $1,125

Hermann Companies $3,375

Fuse $2,250

Drury Development Corp. $4,500

Waste Management of St. Louis $1,125

Jefferson Bank and Trust Co. PAC $1,000

JS Alberici Construction Co. $1,000

Kozeny-Wagner, Inc. $750

Emerson Electric $1,125

Iron Mountain Trap Co. $1,125

Balke Properties $1,000

AAIC, Inc. $1,050

Eads Center $1,125

Clarence Barksdale, Washington University $1,125

KCI Construction Co. $1,125

Schnuck Markets, Inc. $6,750

Murphy Company $1,225

BSI Contractor $1,000

Imo's Pizza $500

Jotori Dredging, Inc. $1,125

McMahon Ford Co. $3,350

Pasta House Co. $1,275

Laclede Gas Co. $2,600

Edith Spink $1,125

Fischer & Frichtel $1,000

Political Action Committee of Emerson $1,125

Falcon Products $2,000

James B. Becker Consulting $1,075

Fox Associates, LLC $2,000

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. PAC $1,100

The Jones Company Custom Homes, Inc. $4,500

St. Louis Blues Hockey Club, LP $2,250

Central District Alarm $1,125

Guarantee Interiors, Inc. $1,000

AmerenUE PAC $2,250

AMS Automotive $1,125

Keil Center Partners, LP $1,125

McBride & Son $1,000

AMS Distributing, Inc. $1,125

Lohr Distributing $1,125

Richard Baron $500

Jacobs Engineering Group $1,000

Ralston Purina Co. $1,625

Crawford, Bunte, Brammeier $1,600

Enterprise Rent-A-Car $7,140

Charter Communications $10,700

McCarthy Brothers: Contractor $4,500

Development Strategies, Inc. $1,000

Bank of America PAC $1,125

Breckenridge Companies $1,625

Brown & James $8,625

Koplar Communications $1,000

Union Planters Comm. on Gov. Affairs $1,000

Michael Clark $1,125

Don Musick Construction Co. $3,750

Sweet Traditions, LLC $1,000

Parsons, Brinkerhoff, Inc $1,000

Roberts Communications $2,000

KPMG $5,000

Pinnacle, Inc. $2,225

Dean Morgan, Regional Commerce and Growth Assoc. $1,000

Paric Corp. $1,500

Site Improvement Association PAC $1,125

Midland Oil Co. $2,250

Brown & Associates $1,125

Kuhlmann Design Group, Inc. $4,125

St. Louis Assoc. of Realtors PAC $1,750

Environmental Management Corp. $2,084

William Tao & Associates, Inc. $1,225

Raskas Foods, Inc. $1,000

W. Thomas Reeves, Downtown NOW $1,125

Miscellaneous Contributions

Alex Aboussie $1,000

Daly for License Collector $2,010

Raymond Geisman $1,000

Frederick Hanser, Cardinal Owner $1,125

John Bardgett & Associates $4,225

23rd Ward Regular Democratic Org. $4,000

Floyd Warmann $1,000

Gene Warmann $1,000

Barbara Geisman $3,175

Richard Callow, Public Eye, Inc. $3,125

Citizens for Jim Sondermann $1,125

Historic Restoration, Inc., New Orleans $6,725

Michael and Ceil Pulitzer, Cardinal Owners $2,250

James Komorek $2,012

Louis Hamilton $4,150

Building & Construction Trades Council $2,250

Mississippi Valley Bancshares, Inc., Cardinal Owner $1,225

William Dewitt, Jr., Cardinal Owner $1,125

Missouri Sports Radio $1,125

Lyda Krewson, St. Louis Alderwoman $750

James Shrewsbury, St. Louis Alderman $1,000

St. Louis Port Council Education Fund $2,084

Citizens for Buzz Westfall $1,125

May Scheve, State Representative $1,125

(This report is the result of an investigation by the Coalition Against Public Funding For Stadiums. It was conducted by Louis J. Rose and Fred Lindecke, retired reporters for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Anne Little, a volunteer for the coalition.)
COPYRIGHT 2002 SJR St. Louis Journalism Review
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:St. Louis mayor Francis Slay and the Cardianl's baseball team owners
Author:Rose, Louis J.; Lindecke, Fred
Publication:St. Louis Journalism Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Words:1787
Previous Article:Newspaper Guild better financed this time around.
Next Article:Important state races underreported.
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