St. Louis Oracle

St. Louis-based political forecasting plus commentary on politics and events from a grassroots veteran with a mature, progressive anti-establishment perspective.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Developers, Callow bankrolling Reed

The 8-day campaign finance report and a 48-hour supplemental report for aldermanic president challenger Lewis Reed show that he had raised about $375,000, much of it from developers, allies of Mayor Francis Slay, and supportive politicians. That puts him within $100,000 of the man whose job Reed wants, incumbent Jim Shrewsbury.

Among the notable donors on Reed's 8-day report are Paul McKee ($1K) of the controversial developer Blairmont, which is quietly assembling (and then neglecting) parcels in Old North St. Louis. Well, it would be quiet but for watchdog preservationist Michael Allen over at Ecology of Absence, and his blog.

Other major developers pouring funds to Reed this period include Rothschild Development, McCormick Barron Salazar and several employees (including Richard Barron), Tom Barta of Fred Weber, Bill Bruce of Bruce Development, and McAvoy Realty. Other contributors include over a dozen companies whose names sound like they are developers.

Another notable (and long suspected) supporter of Reed is Richard Callow, Mayor Slay's public relations guru who is married to Barbara Geisman, Slay's deputy mayor for development. Callow donated a thousand bucks on January 29, just after the close of the prior reporting period. Flint Fowler, city school board member supported by Slay, also pitched in, joining another former Slay school board member, James Buford.

Richard Mark, chief apologist for Ameren prior to Karen Foss' arrival, donated a thousand bucks to Reed, as did the St. Louis Rams and the Chase Park Plaza. A PAC for AT&T also donated.

The two largest contributions surfaced after the 8-day report, disclosed by a special 48-hour filing and first reported at Paul Weissman of New York City donated $35,000, and George Kruntchev of University City made a late $10,000 contribution that raises his total in this campaign to $16,250. Does anyone know these guys, or why they would be interested in investing that kind of dough in this campaign?

The 8-day report was filed late, for the stated reason of illness on the part of the campaign treasurer. But that's what deputy treasurers are for. The tardiness has been successful, so far, in diverting most news reporting sources from reporting what I have mentioned above.

The 8-day report also failed to list addresses for seven corporate contributors, including the Anheuser Busch Credit Union. Does the Reed campaign have a phone book?

Perhaps more serious, the report merely listed "employer requested" for 34 separate contributors, including the controversial McKee and Callow. One wonders whether the campaign consciously attempted to conceal McKee's connection to Blairmont. In any event, the Missouri Ethics Commission takes the position that contributions over $25 which are received from donors not disclosing their employers (or occupations if self employed) must be returned. Reed also listed "employer requested" for several contributors on the 40-day report filed in January, but never supplemented that report to disclose any of those employers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geisman and Callow are not married.

March 5, 2007 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger John said...

It's all a scam. Reed and his allies will all go down in flames. especially Kruntchev and his New York boy, who have Reed in their pocket and employ 2 of Reeds siblings... you guys are asleep at the wheel not knowing this stuff.

February 11, 2009 at 8:59 AM  

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