Committee to Restore the Pride submits campaign finance report to county panel

Updated Saturday, April 9, with committee contributors, expenses.

By EVAN YOUNG

The St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners last week received the post-election finance report from the committee that campaigned for the Mehlville School District’s unsuccessful tax-rate increase proposal.

The election board received on March 29 the Committee to Restore the Pride’s report detailing campaign finances through 30 days after the Nov. 2 election.

Mehlville voters that day rejected the Proposition C, a proposed 88-cent tax-rate increase billed as the funding vehicle to make roughly $106 million in districtwide capital and operational improvements.

In the report, dated March 18, the committee stated it raised $22,305 and spent $58,210.77 during the period of Oct. 22 through Dec. 2.

The committee reported total contributions of $46,285; total expenditures of $60,985.77; $33,254.31 cash on hand and $44,955.08 in outstanding debt.

Among the contributions to Restore the Pride during the reporting period: $5,000 from Dickinson Hussman Architects; $3,525 from the Mehlville Principals Association; $2,500 from I.E.C. Inc. in Lakewood, Colo.; $1,500 from HVAC company Trane in Bridgeton; $1,000 from the district’s law firm, Kohn, Shands, Elbery, Gianoulakis & Giljum and $1,000 from Electrical Workers.

Also: $500 from former Mehlville school board member and former Mehlville Fire Protection District board member Dave Gralike; $500 from Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local 36; $500 from Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562; $500 from Waterhout Construction; $500 from Building Trades Political Education Fund; $500 from Goodwin Brothers construction company; $250 from the Point Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization; $250 from Point School Mothers Club; $200 from Goltermann & Sabo Inc. construction company; $200 from Assistant Superintendent-Human Resources Lisa Counts; $150 from Executive Director of Special Services Scott Hayes; $150 from C. Rallo Contracting Co. Inc. of St. Louis and $125 from Andrea Keller, who co-chaired Citizens Protecting Our Investments, the committee that advocated for the passage in 2006 of Proposition A, the district’s 97-cent tax-rate increase proposal that voters rejected.

Restore the Pride paid $8,757 with Concordia Publishing House for direct mail ads; $2,690 to Call Newspapers for advertising; $1,550.41 to ERB Industries for T-shirts and $149.58 to Domino’s Pizza for pizza for volunteers.

The election board received the committee’s post-election finance report nearly four months after the state-mandated Dec. 2 deadline.

The delay has prompted someone to file two complaints against the committee with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The complaints, dated Feb. 1, contend the Committee to Restore the Pride has violated state law by failing to file post-election and January quarterly campaign finance reports with the MEC.

While Jack Jordan is listed as the committee’s treasurer, Mehlville Board of Education President Tom Diehl has been handling the group’s finances.

Diehl has attributed the post-election report’s tardiness to misplaced and sloppy paperwork. He told the Call on Monday that the group’s finances now largely are in order.

The committee’s outstanding debt, Diehl said, is related to bills from public relations firm UNICOM•ARC that hadn’t been received when the report was filed.

Restore the Pride incurred $44,806 in fees from UNICOM•ARC for consulting, graphics and printing. The committee’s next report, a quarterly statement due April 15, will show most of that expense has been paid, Diehl said.