Boy, are the political consultants and the local TV stations making out in this campaign!
According to a finance disclosure report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission on Tuesday, the Committee for Research, Treatments and Cures had paid three local consultants or groups nearly $100,000 as of Sept. 30.
In addition, the committee, which is pushing a proposed half-cent sales tax for “translational medical research,” had spent a whopping $353,000 for TV ads.
Tuesday was the due date for the first full, campaign disclosure reports for committees working for and against Jackson County Question 1.
The research and cures committee reported having raised slightly more than $1 million as of Sept. 30, the ending date for the Oct. 15 report.
But we know that they have raised at least $1.4 million because contributions of $5,000 or more must be reported within 48 hours of being received.
The vast majority of the proponents’ campaign funds are coming from people and businesses associated with the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, which consists of the leaders of the area’s largest businesses and law firms.
With the help of its veteran consultants (political gunslingers for hire) the civic elite are trying to slip this bloated and risky plan past the public in a Nov. 5 special election. The tax would extract $40 million to $50 million a year from taxpayers, or about $1 billion over the initial 20 years’ duration.
The election qualifies for “special” status because it is the only issue on the ballot everywhere except in Blue Springs, where a half-cent sales tax for parks is also on the ballot.
The cost to Jackson County taxpayers to simply conduct the election is $1 million. (Thanks a lot to the Cowardly County Legislature for rolling over for the civic big shots and putting this on the ballot without any serious public discussion.)
The names and amounts for the major contributors (see “Big Bucks” post on the Committee to Stop a Bad Cure’s website) did not change significantly in today’s report.
This did mark the first time, however, when the public was able to see how the tax advocates are spending that boatload.
The local consulting companies that had received significant sums as of Sept. 30 were:
Axiom Strategies (Jeff Roe), $47,000
O’Neill Marketing and Events Management (Pat O’Neill), $22,700
Glorioso Resources (Steve Glorioso), $17,000.
Cambridge Consultants of Prairie Village (Pat Gray), $10,230.
In addition, the campaign committee paid Groundswell Public Strategies, Des Moines, $18,000. Roy Temple, chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, is a Groundswell partner. He lives in Lee’s Summit.
Most gifts to the cures group during the first period were above $1,000.
The smallest contribution, by far, was $5, from a woman named Mindy Mazur of Ashland, Mo. She might be one of the few grassroots supporters of the tax proposal.
And, finally, one other contribution note…Roe’s Axiom Strategies, which, as I said, received $47,000 from the committee, made a contribution to the committee:
:: The Committee to Stop a Bad Cure, which I registered on Aug. 27, reported raising $4,307 and spending $4,010 during the first period. I contributed $4,000 of the $4,300. Our biggest expense was $3,000 for four billboards.
:: Another opposing committee, Citizens for Responsible Research, led by Brad Bradshaw of Springfield, reported raising $113,506 and spending $97,425. Bradshaw contributed $57,000 to his committee; he loaned it $50,000; and he contributed another $6,306 in the form of “in-kind services.”
He had only one outside contributor, a Springfield lawyer named Eric Belk, who contributed $200.
Of the $97,000 that went out, Citizens for Responsible Research paid The Borich Group of Kansas City $60,000 for a variety of work.
The company is headed by a young man named Shawn Borich, who is an MU graduate. Two other Borich Group employees are working on the campaign.
Bradshaw, a physician and lawyer, favors a statewide tax for medical research,
To see various committee reports, go to the Missouri Ethics Commission website. Then…
– Under “Resources For,” click on “Candidates/Committees”
– Click on “Ballot Measures by Election”
– Select the 11/05/2013 election date from the drop-down box
– Click “Search“
At that point, you can select the committee whose report you would like to review.
Click the “Reports” tab at the top of the page, and you’re on your way.
The Citizens for Responsible Research’s report is difficult to find, but you can get to it by entering the committee name on the “candidates and committees” link.