Saturday, July 08, 2006

Money Laundering or Smart Politics The people have a right to know

By Phyllis Schaltenbrand
and Tony Brockmeyer


When we began our series in early May on “Money Laundering or Smart Politics, The Public has a right to know,” we were told State Representative Tom Dempsey and other leading Republicans were commenting we were just playing politics and we had no substantial information to provide to our readers. Imagine our surprise when a Post article, co-authored by Dempsey on June 15, was brought to our attention.
In the June 15, 2006 edition of the Post an article appeared authored by Charles Shields, R, St. Joseph, Majority floor leader of the Missouri Senate and Tom Dempsey, R, St. Charles, majority floor leader of the Missouri House of Representatives. The headline for the article was, “CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM IS A STEP FORWARD”. Quoting from their article, which can be found on page D11 of that edition, “Even more alarming, more than $34 million was funneled in 2004 to political parties and legislative committees in Missouri. Yet no one seems to know where these incredible amounts of money are coming from.” That is an absurd statement for them to make; in fact, they are part of the attempt to hide the information from the public.

In the May 6th edition of the First Capitol News we introduced our investigative report headlined, “MONEY LAUNDERING OR SMART POLITICS? THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW”. Quoting from their June 15th article, “Every Missourian has the right to know how much money candidates are raising and what the sources of the funds are. These committees engage in a legal form of money laundering. Millions of dollars are donated to these committees and directed to specific candidates, all behind the scenes.”

In their article they also commented about the campaign finance reform bill saying, “This bill passed because it is a step in the right direction toward reigning in the legal forms of campaign money laundering and hidden transactions that plague our elections today. By combining technology, media focus and the public’s attention, the bill would bring transparency and accountability to every political race in Missouri.”

Our investigation uncovered TEN of these questionable and suspicious Republican Legislative Committees headquartered at 320 Monroe Street in St. Charles. City and County records on file show that Thomas W. Smith, a legislative aide to State Representative Tom Dempsey, owns the aforementioned residence. Smith is also listed as the treasurer of all 10 suspicious committees and is evidently responsible for any and all money laundering that is being accomplished through those committees. A political expert close to the situation told the First Capitol News, “Anyone who does not think Dempsey is controlling the millions of dollars that is flowing through those legislative committees is pretty naïve. There is no way they would allow a legislative aide to control that much money alone. The power of the majority floor leader of the House is what controls that money.”

It was only after the First Capitol News began publishing our investigative report on these money laundering legislative committees that Dempsey and Shields wrote their article on how bad they thought the money laundering of the millions of dollars of secret campaign donations was. Had they been sincere in what they now want the public to believe, they could have stopped these money laundering legislative committees at any time, but they waited until their scheme was exposed.

Coming next in our investigative series you will learn who is funding these money laundering legislative committees. Later in our series you will learn where the millions of dollars involved are being sent.
The First Capitol News believes the public has a right to know.