Saturday, May 19, 2007

RAMBLING WITH The Editor Tony Brockmeyer


Although Tim Swope refuses to make any comments as to why he accepted the severance package from the city and left his job as Chief of Police, the First Capitol News was able to make some interesting discoveries that may shed some light on this situation.

On April 16 Mayor York notified the police department she would be acting as Chief of Police and would be making any decisions related to the police department. An office was to be made available to her and she would be interviewing all employees.

Mayor York ordered Chief Swope to immediately end the police investigation into the fraud and forgeries committed during the Mark Brown recall effort and to forward whatever information he had to St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas.

Mayor York ordered Chief Swope to stop fraternizing with people he went to high school with and people he had worked with in the St. Charles County Sheriff’s office.

Now if you were in Tim Swope’s shoes what would you do?

The Mayor has been quoted as saying that during her campaign the people were more interested in streets and infrastructure than anything else. If that statement was true why then immediately after the election did she settle down in the police department instead of the public works department? Was it because she lied when she said she was not going to fire Chief Swope and his command staff or was it because she was trying to make him uncomfortable enough to leave on his own so she could satisfy the Fraternal Order of Police? You decide!


The old saying “All politics is local” was coined some time ago. That saying is holding true even today. I say this because the new St. Charles administration, which was elected by 55 percent of 16 percent of the voters, has begun to place pressure on those who support this newspaper. Since the days of Watergate the press has taken on a much larger role. It’s the job of the press to keep the politics and the politicians on an even keel. You might say we are supposed to keep them honest. This paper can hold our head up high because that’s what we do. We do it better than the other papers because we are not beholden to the City of St. Charles for advertising funds to produce or distribute our paper.

The other two newspapers distributed in St. Charles but with headquarters out of town each receive in access of $300,000 in advertising per year from the city. The city is most likely one of the biggest accounts. That being said, their stories are often void of any real controversy or comment that would look negatively on the St. Charles administration.

You can’t say that about the First Capitol News. When we see something that’s not right we report on it. This paper has never edited itself based on who gives us advertising. Lindenwood University and Dr. Spellmann was an advertiser and we ran stories when we believed they were doing wrong. Council President Rory Riddler was a contributing columnist and we told him he was wrong with the way he was handling the Frenchtown redevelopment.

Why would a small number of people want to see us go? Simple, control of the press as well as the city gives them total control. If nobody is there to tell you what’s really going on he or she can cheat, steal, and act anyway they want. It’s really simple; they don’t want their actions aired in public because they don’t want the taxpayers to know.

In a recent editorial, written in another publication, the editor attempted to explain why they don’t use anonymous sources in the stories they print. While this was brought to my attention I had to laugh. The biggest stories in our countries recent history have been from anonymous sources. The real reason a paper would refuse to use a source that insists on remaining anonymous is they are afraid to make those in power angry. Sources who refuse to be named usually have a job that can be affected, family to protect or a business that would be in jeopardy. The fact that they have criteria is admirable, most people learn most of that in J-School in the first ten minutes.

Papers who refuse to use or place such scrutiny on why not to use anonymous sources in reality are the cause for the distrust of the current press. They are unable to provide a fair and balanced representation of the truth. Case in point is the fact that Mayor York held a press conference telling people that she did not say she would fire Chief Swope if re-elected. The other papers lack of editorial ethics did not allow for them to print the truth as relayed to them by sources that wished their identities to be withheld. Those voices would not be heard. They only reported what the mayor said. This type of press is much more dangerous than any other. This type of press is not free.

The First Capitol News does keep our sources confidential when they request it. We will continue to do so as we bring you behind the scene news that you won’t find anywhere else. We thank you for being a reader of the First Capitol News and hope that you continue to enjoy our publication.


We were told that the Mayor recently sent out a couple of hundred e-mail invitations for a “Burn The Debt” party to be held at Bogey Hills Country Club. Our sources told us about 60 people showed up and that nine of the invited 10 councilmen were also present. Councilman Erv Ermeling was not there. Some of the people told us they thought the money was going to the Mayor’s campaign but later found out that any extra would go to TR Hughes in an attempt to pay him back the $58,000 he spent on the recent elections of the mayor and city councilman and his attempt to discredit this newspaper. Maybe he needs the money. An article in the March 23-29 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal reported that T.R. Hughes, Inc. saw its revenue drop about 32 percent last year. T.R. Hughes reported revenue of $59.8 million in 2006, down from nearly 88.8 million in 2005.

The councilmen were told if they had any campaign debt to see Buddy Harden and he would see it was paid. Several councilmen apparently took Hughes up on the offer.


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