Crestwood candidates learn that cash doesn’t translate into victory

By BURKE WASSON

Sometimes money does not win an election. Just ask former Crestwood aldermanic candidates Charles Berry, Tom Ford and Darryl Wallach.

Berry spent more than any other Crestwood candidate this year — $4,410.47 reported May 2 — including $2,372 in campaign contributions toward a losing cause. Ward 4 Alderman Steve Nieder defeated Berry April 4 with roughly 11 percent of his opponent’s campaign expenditures on hand. Nieder reported April 18 that he spent $500 on his campaign — $400 of which came as direct contributions.

The Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2655 also learned that its money does not translate into victory when it endorsed Ford and Wallach. The group reported April 30 to the Missouri Ethics Commission that it pumped $2,408 apiece into election efforts for former Ward 1 candidate Wallach and former Ward 2 candidate Ford. No money from the firefighters was specifically given to the personal campaign funds of either Wallach or Ford, so neither man is legally required to report the funds as campaign contributions. But the firefighters group did report spending $2,408 apiece on their behalf.

By comparison, no other candidate besides Berry reported collecting that amount in their election efforts.

Ironically, the candidates who had the least amounts of money spent on their behalf — Ward 1 Alderman Richard Bland, Ward 2 Alderman Chris Pickel, Ward 3 Alderman Gregg Roby and Nieder — all were elected April 4.

Final personal contributions in campaign finance reports, which were due May 4, for each of this year’s Crestwood’s aldermanic races were:

• In Ward 1, Bland reported April 18 that he received $1,735 in monetary and in-kind personal campaign contributions. Wallach reported April 28 that he was given $623.25 in contributions to his campaign fund.

• In Ward 2, Pickel reported April 29 that he received $1,629 toward his campaign. Ford reported April 9 that $485 was given to his campaign committee.

• In Ward 3, Roby was unopposed and did not file a campaign finance report. Only candidates who collect or spend $1,000 in preparation for an election are required to file campaign finance reports.

• In Ward 4, Nieder reported April 18 that he received $400 in campaign contributions. Berry reported May 2 that he had $2,372 donated to his campaign fund.

Berry reported that he received a total of $3,723.38 in campaign contributions. Of the funds Berry raised, $1,042 came from 20 people at a March 14 gathering at the Brick Bistro and $880 was donated from 60 people at a Jan. 30 event at Malone’s Grill & Pub.

Besides the aldermanic candidates in Crestwood’s election, a group supporting Proposition S — a successful tax-rate increase proposal of 20 cents per $100 of assessed value — indicated it received more personal campaign contributions than any candidate but Berry and Bland.

The Citizens for Prop S committee reported April 13 that it received $1,630.10 in campaign contributions. The largest donations included $250 from the Perma Jack Co., $125 from the Baywood Realty & Construction Corp., $104 to Sean O’Gorman to pay back the expense for the group’s filing fee, $100 from Crestwood Police Cmdr. Frank Arnoldy, $100 from Crestwood Police Capt. Rick and Catherine Downs, $100 from Citizens for Prop S Treasurer Char Braun and $100 from Joan Robinson, wife of Mayor Roy Robinson.

The Prop S group also reported $1,495.10 in expenditures.The Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri’s Political Action Committee also reported that it spent $1,000 toward the passage of Prop S, which was approved April 4 by Crestwood voters.

Ford reported that he paid $309.34 for printing, cards, meeting items and expenses for his Web site. Ford also reported contributing $100 to the Kirkwood Police Department, paying $99.24 for additional printing expenses and a St. Louis County mailing list and spending $49.63 for printing at Office Max.

Of the expenditures Berry has made in his election bid, he incurred $1,164.79 to Benz Press Works for printing, incurred $1,038.71 to the Goodson Co. for printing, paid $855.59 to Benz Press Works for printing, paid $343 to the Brick Bistro for a fund-raiser, paid $336 for postage, made separate payments of $208.76 and $206.62 to Kinko’s for printing, paid $178 to Malone’s Pub & Grill for a fund-raiser, paid $105 to the secretary of state to register his campaign group, paid $74 to the county election board for mailing labels and paid $5 to the city for his candidate filing fee.

The Crestwood candidate with the second-most amount of campaign contribution dollars — Bland — spent $1.594.66 toward his campaign.

His campaign committee’s expenditures include $748.38 to the Goodson Co. for signs, $154.97 to Shamrock Raisdletter for printing, $150 to Survey St. Louis for phone service, $150 to St. Louis Direct Response Marketing Inc. for direct mail drop, $107.72 to Office Max for printing, $85 to the county election board for filing fees, $53.52 for office supplies and printing, $20.52 for postage and $16.70 to St. Louis County for a check charge.

Pickel, who along with Berry and Bland was the only other Crestwood candidate to report more than $1,000 in direct campaign contributions this year, spent $1.484.67 toward his election bid and has also taken out $555.56 in loans at businesses like Office Max and Commerce Bank to start his account for a campaign fund. Pickel paid the loans back in full. Pickel’s campaign money on hand as of his April 29 report was $144.33.

Pickel’s campaign committee paid $424.87 to LIPIC’s Inc. for yard signs, $182.95 to Shamrock Raisdletter and Printing Co. for printing, $105.61 for office supplies, $87 for postage, $75.81 to SBC for a phone bill, $40 for voters’ records and $5 to the city for a candidate’s filing fee.

Since March 23, Pickel reported spending $330 on advertising with the Call, $133.20 for election night expenses, $70.43 for advertising and $29.80 for phone service.

Nieder reported spending $500 — $100 of which was a loan from himself — toward his Ward 4 race with Berry. Of that spending, he reported separate payments of $261.72 and $189.88 to Mark’s Quick Printing and $48.40 for office supplies.

Wallach reported spending $623.25 toward his campaign. Separate payments of $122.64, $121.95, $78.52 and $62.54 went to Office Max for printing and supplies, $126.91 was paid to MQP for shirts, $84.61 was paid for postage and $26.08 was paid for office supplies and printing.