Regional Business Council biggest final donor in Nov. 3 election
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 26, 2009 - The Regional Business Council, a consortium of the top executives of 100 area companies, has kicked in $75,000 to help supporters of E-911, the sales-tax proposal to raise money to revamp the public-safety communications in St. Louis County.
The proposal to create a 1/10 of one-percent sales tax to pay for the new system and equipment is on St. Louis County's Nov. 3 ballot.
The council's donations amount to more than a quarter of the $218,700.16 that the proposal's campaign group, Citizens in Support of E-911, reported raising as of Friday. The group's reports, filed Monday, showed that it had spent $93,103.38, and had $125,596.78 in the bank. (The figures combine two reports, one of which detailed the council's latest $25,000 donation.)
The E-911 group earlier had collected even more generous contributions -- totaling $100,000 and given in September -- from Civic Progress, the local organization of the region's top chief executives.
The E-911 group's other big donations include $10,000 apiece from AmerenUE, Anheuser-Busch Cos. In., and BJC Healthcare, and $5,000 from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Business Council chief executive Kathy Osborn said the council's donations reflect the fact that its members have been impressed by the arguments put forth in favor of E-911 by area police and firefighters, and by the professionalism of their campaign.
The E-911 group has no organized opposition, but it has raised far more than the two warring sides in the other measure on the Nov. 3 ballot -- Proposition N, which would ban smoking in most public places.
The pro-Prop N group, County Citizens for Cleaner Air, reported raising only $12,336, spending $2,502.59, with $9,833.50 on hand.
The opposition, Citizens Against Proposition N, reported raising $5,000, spending $11,867, with $104.85 on hand, and a debt of $11,972.
(The numbers on campaign reports often don't add up, generally because of unpaid bills and money carried over from previous campaigns.)