Saturday, March 31, 2007


Connecting The Dots

Mailings Reveal Political Slate
Trying To Take Over City Hall

At deadline, the First Capitol News received a copy of a political attack mailer sent out by Citizens for Responsible Community endorsing a “Slate” of candidates for Mayor and the council. Citizens for Responsible Communty is a front organization comprised of a few officers who don’t even live in St. Charles.

Their Chairman is Carl Maus, the full-time patronage assistant to the controversial Mayor Donna Morrow in O’Fallon. The group funnels hundreds of thousands of dollars from millionaire developers like homebuilders Tom Hughes and Mike Sellenschuetter. They have worked for slates of candidates in St. Peters and O’Fallon, as well as St. Charles County Government.

They are known for their last minute smear attacks and mean-spirited personal attacks. This mailer was true to form with crude caricatures of clowns superimposed with the heads of Councilmembers they were attacking.

On the back, the group revealed the official “SLATE” of candidates they are supporting. The group only supports those candidates they are told to by their big money backers. When some of their candidates turned out to be “too” politically independent of developers in O’Fallon, they ran another slate against them in the very next election. In addition to millionaire homebuilders they are financed by Adolphus Busch and other millionaire duck hunters. Their most recent claim to fame was having Shaun Brown elected as Mayor of St. Peters. Brown is either on the way to or incercated in a federal prision for taking a bribe.

According to those who have seen the mailer, those on their approved slate to try to take over City Hall include, Veit (Ward One), Feldman (Ward Three), Kneemiller (Ward Four), Becherle (Ward Seven), Kielty (Ward Eight), Stivinson (Ward Nine) and Mayor Patti York.

“Their actions are reprehensible and is what adds to the divisiveness at City Hall,” commented Mayoral candidate and Councilman John Gieseke.

“At last the select candidates of the big money special interests and developers have been revealed. Voters will now have a clear choice between candidates who will listen to them and those who are sworn to follow orders from outside our own community,” pointed out Councilman Mark Brown.

Also, on Wednesday mailers arrived in the 3rd and 9th Wards that were nearly identical supporting Laurie Feldman and Ron Stivinson against Councilmen Mark Brown and Joe Koester. The mailers claim to be a comparison of the candidates, but they are anything but a “fair” comparison.

An example is from the mailer for Laurie Feldman against Mark Brown. In big type it says that Mark brown voted to “raise” your taxes. There is then a tiny footnote number one that says he did so in 1994, ten years before Mark Brown was even elected to the St. Charles City Council in 2004.

“I have never voted to raise taxes on the residents of St. Charles and will never do so. In fact, I have voted to cut taxes, lowering the utility tax for everyone and giving Seniors a rebate of utility taxes on gas, electric and phone service,” emphatically stated Councilman Brown.

Every candidate running for the City Council signed a Clean Campaign Pledge. That pledge states that, “I promise by my signature that my campaign, including myself and those who work in support of me, will NOT make untrue statements, either verbally or written, about my opponent in this campaign.” A copy of the pledge bearing Laurie Feldman’s signature is on file with the City Clerk of the City of St. Charles.

“It is a shame that our opponents broke their pledge and engaged in this sort of distortion of the record,” added Councilman Joe Koester, adding, “The fact that identical campaign attacks arrived on the same day, in two different wards, points to a coordinated and well funded effort to try to take over City Hall.

Requests from records from the City Clerk’s Office also give interesting insight into the Secret Slate. Former Councilman Richard Baum, a close political ally of Mayor York, requested records on Councilmen Brown and Koester on February 27th. Brian Audrey, a bodyguard for Mike Kielty, son of Council candidate Ken Kielty, running against Mike Klinghammer in the Eighth Ward, requested documents on Councilman Rory Riddler and John Gieseke on February 26. Previously the First Capitol News reported that Chesterfield based John Hancock & Associates, political consultants for the Missouri Republican Party and ATT, requested information on numerous meetings.

This is the information that later gets distorted and ends up in negative campaign mailings.

Other connections that pointed to a “Secret Slate” of candidates, prior to the revealing o the slate this week, was who was invited to speak before the local Pachyderms Club. Only certain candidates were invited to give presentations. How did they determine whom they were going to hear from except from a slate?


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