Despite contributions, Local 1889 hasn’t formally endorsed Klund

While Mehlville Local 1889 has contributed more than $70,000 in support of Michael Klund’s campaign for the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors, the union’s board president says it hasn’t formally endorsed him.

The International Association of Fire Fighters and its Mehlville shop have given nearly $90,000 to committees supporting Klund, according to campaign finance reports submitted this week.

The two committees — Mike for Mehlville Fire and Friends of the Mehlville Fire District — combined have raised $93,405. Of that amount, the IAFF gave $14,700 and Local 1889 contributed $73,000. The committees collectively have spent $80,606.25.

But while Local 1889 has contributed money to both groups, Capt. Nick Fahs, the union’s Executive Board president, told the Call Thursday that the union has not formally endorsed Klund for election.

Asked if the union planned to do so before the election, Fahs said, “No … We have union meetings this weekend, but it’s not really on the agenda though.”

Fahs deferred additional questions about the campaign to Ed Rhode, Friends of the Mehlville Fire District committee spokesman. Rhode, however, referred the Call on Friday back to Fahs, who was not immediately available for comment.

Klund formally was endorsed this week by the Greater St. Louis Labor Council’s Committee on Political Education. He significantly has outraised and outspent his opponent, board Chairman Aaron Hilmer of Oakville, heading into the Tuesday, April 5, election.

Klund is challenging Hilmer’s bid for re-election to a second, six-year term on the board.

State-required campaign finance reports were due Monday, eight days before the election, to the county Board of Election Commissioners and Missouri Ethics Commission.

Mike for Mehlville Fire, Klund’s candidate committee, reported raising $26,305 and spending $14,022.76 during the reporting period of Feb. 1 through March 24. The committee said it had $12,282.24 cash on-hand.

Among the contributions to the committee during the period was $14,700 — doled out in three $4,900 installments — from the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington D.C.

Single contributions in excess of $5,000 must be reported within 48 hours of receipt.

In addition, the committee received $6,000 — two $3,000 payments — from Mehlville Firefighters Local 1889.

Also: $1,200 from the Missouri State Council of Firefighters; $500 from attorney and former MFPD board Chairman Tom O’Driscoll; $500 from the Fenton Union Fire Fighters Relief Fund and $300 from the Maryland Heights Fire Fighters Shop Fund.

The committee paid $10,387.43 to Show-Me Victories in St. Louis for literature and printing; $2,690 to Call Newspapers for advertising; $750.25 to Diablo McGee’s restaurant for a fundraiser and $102.96 to Trio Graphics in Arnold for printing.

Meanwhile, Friends of the Mehlville Fire District, a campaign committee formed to support Klund, reported raising $67,100 and spending $66,583.49 during the reporting period of Feb. 22 through March 24. The committee said it had $22,961.01 cash on-hand and $22,444.50 outstanding debt.

Local 1889 was responsible for nearly all of the committee’s contributions. The shop contributed $67,000 — 15 payments of $4,000 and two $3,500 installments — during the reporting period. Also, committee treasurer Mike Pollihan contributed $100.

The committee paid $39,181.96 to Pelican Printing in Florissant for printing, addressing and postage; $25,500 to Rhode for phone polling, graphic design and campaign management and $1,820.28 to Trio Graphics in Arnold for yard signs.

Re-Elect Aaron Hilmer reported raising $10,370.38 and spending $12,733.99 during the reporting period of Feb. 19 through March 24. The committee reported having $1,625.39 on-hand and $4,029 outstanding debt.

Among the contributions to Hilmer’s campaign during the reporting period: a $2,000 in-kind donation from the Committee to Elect Mike Leara; $500 from Real Estate Investment and Design; $400 from MFPD Board Secretary Ed Ryan; $300 from former Republican state Rep. Cathy Enz and $150 from the Tesson Ferry Republican Club.

The committee paid $7,961.07 to City Graphics in St. Louis for mailers; $4,029 to Call Newspapers for ads and $783.92 to Mark’s Quick Printing in Olivette for signs.