"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

“Wake Up Call” Asks: Campaign Contributions-What does the Money Get You?

November 8th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Wake Up Call blog:

There is no better example of what big money will get you than in St. Charles County, Paul McKee’s home base. While the Post-Dispatch has recently decided to focus on McKee’s influence over elected officials it has all but ignored the story as it relates to St. Charles. McKee and other builders such as McBride & Sons, TR Hughes, Tom Johnson as well as other businesses have poured millions of dollars into political races in St. Charles County. As an example, take a look at the THE REGIONAL ST CHARLES COUNTY LEADERSHIP FUND which was formed in March of 2006 by employees of TR Hughes. Within months the group had raised over $200,000.00 dollars. The money poured in from developers, builders, businesses and their employees, lawyers and family members. The group did even better in 2007 and this money does not include the vast sums of money paid through direct contributions or other PACs.

Up until the recent slow down in the housing market, St. Charles County was exploding in growth with new houses going up faster than the infrastructure to support such growth. So what kind of “economic development policies” were these big money candidates supporting? Here is a partial list of what you got in O’Fallon:

  • “Voluntary” annexations with predetermined zoning (illegal) and millions in taxpayer financed giveaways (illegal) such as free tap fees.
  • Instructions to staff not to enforce certain ordinances against favored builders/developers.(illegal)
  • Underfunded and understaffed building inspection departments.
  • Favorable treatment from some building inspectors. (illegal)
  • Payments of money to builders in excess of $100,000 without approval of aldermen. (illegal) Read more…
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