Campaign Finance
10:17 am
Tue February 26, 2013

A Week Out From The Primary, Slay Maintains Spending Spree

Chart updated at 2:24 to reflect most recent 24 and 48 hour campaign filings.

A week out from the Democratic mayoral primary, incumbent Mayor Francis Slay is maintaining his large financial advantage over challenger and Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed.

According to campaign finance reports filed Monday evening, in a month long span from Jan. 20 to Feb. 21, Slay spent $479,291. During that same amount of time, Reed spent only a fraction of that at $88,470.

Slay still has over a half million dollars in cash on hand. Reed has almost $100,000 but also has a $26,000 debt.

As we reported when the previous campaign finance reports came out, Slay front-loaded his campaign by spending a large chunk of cash on reserving TV time, and it seems that that spending has continued. He spent another $175,000 to a firm in DC that reserves television and radio time. Slay also spent another $50,000 on mailers, bought from a Texas business.

Slay also spent a noticeable amount (nearly $17,000) on "public records review," also known as opposition research. During the month, $4,000 of that went to Shield Political Research, a business started by a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter.

Slay also spent over $8,000 on advertisements in the St. Louis American, an African American newspaper.

You can compare Reed and Slay's spending below. Hover over an area to see what the portion represents. Click on Reed to see his spending.

Reed appears to have gone with the 'you have to spend money to make money' mentality, as he spent over $3,000 on travel expenses. But it seems to have worked as he also took in over $35,000 from businesses in Louisiana.

Reed also spent $5,000 on television ads to air on Charter. He also gave $3,200 to the Lizz Brown Show and nearly $6,000 total on radio ads.

Both candidates spent money on print advertisements. Slay spent over $17,000 on them and Reed gave $1,000 to the Northsider, a monthly newspaper.

St. Louis Public Radio has kept a running tally of the largest donors in the mayoral race. Both sides have taken shots at each other over donors -- Reed's camp has criticized Slay for taking too much money from Republicans ($200,000 from libertarian billionaire Rex Sinquefield and $45,000 from Sam Fox).

Slay supporters have shot back, saying Reed has also taken money from Sinquefield in previous campaigns, and, in turn, points out Reed's largest donor is Robert Romanik, the so-called "Grim Reaper of Radio."

The two candidates are also joined on the March 5 ballot by former Alderman Jimmie Matthews. He has maintained throughout the campaign that he will not accept donations, and it seems to have been true. Matthews filed a report yesterday saying his contributions have not exceeded $500.

You can see the largest donors below.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel