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Slay spends almost $1 million in one week as he prepares for blitz against Reed

In Backroom

8:04 pm on Thu, 01.24.13

Updated at 10:00 am on Fri, 01.25.13

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has spent almost $1 million in one week as he prepares for the final six-week campaign blitz leading to the March 5 Democratic primary and his quest for a fourth term.

Slay’s latest report, filed Thursday, showed that he had spent $987,654 since Jan. 1. Most of it was just within the past week. The mayor had filed an optional report Jan. 15.

Lewis Reed
Lewis Reed
Francis Slay
Francis Slay

(UPDATE) The mayor’s chief rival, Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, filed his report early Friday, after failing to meet Thursday’s filing deadline.

Reed's report, which is his first submitted since Dec. 10, shows that he has spent only $77,719 since then — and raised $39,731. Overall, Reed has raised $534,863 and spent $395,011.

Reed has $94,345 still in the bank, and a debt of $26,741. And according to his report, his latest expenses include $8,200 on campaign advertising, and $5,083 for production of internet videos that may be converted into TV ads. (End of update)

Meanwhile, Slay still has $615,321 to spend, his report shows. And he has no debt.

St. Louis Public Radio has a chart demonstrating the mayor's huge fiscal advantage, when it comes to raising money.

About 80 percent of Slay’s spending, according to this report, went for ads — TV, radio and mailers. The largest bloc of cash — $500,000 — went to Buying Time LLC of Washington, which handles TV and radio ads. Another $300,000 went to Gold Communications, a Texas firm that specializes in campaign mailers and fliers.

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, said in an interview Thursday that he believed he would be featured in some of Slay’s ads or mailers. The congressman has endorsed the mayor.

Most of the remaining money also went for campaign activities or personnel, from $10,000 for a "video narrative" to spending on "public-records research.” The latter included $500 for Shield Political Research LLC, a firm created by former Post-Dispatch political reporter Jake Wagman and based in South Bend, Ind., where he currently lives.

Meanwhile, the mayor raised $103,551 during the last week, which raises his overall tally to $2.995 million.

The major donations during the past week included $10,000 from the law firm of Husch Blackwell LLC, $10,000 from the law firm Thompson Coburn LLC, $10,000 from the pharmaceutical supplier Express Scripts, $10,000 from new state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed's campaign fund, and $50,000 from Missourians for Excellence in Government, a group funded solely by financier Rex Sinquefield.

Missourians for Excellence also gave Slay $50,000 on Dec. 31.

Sinquefield had sided with Slay in last fall's effort to win local control of the St. Louis Police Department. Sinquefield also has been seeking to eliminate Missouri’s income tax and replace it with a higher sales tax.

(UPDATE) As for Reed, his report shows one $10,000 donation, from Local 73 of the International Association of Firefighters.

Reed campaign manager Glenn Burleigh said the report was filed late, because the staff had been searching for the required addresses for donors and for recipients of campaign spending, including workers.

There were still missing addresses in Friday's submitted version, which means Reed may be filing amended follow-up reports.

Reed's biggest individual donor is Robert Romanik of Belleville, who gave two $5,000 donations ($10,000 total). Romanick is the former police chief in Washington Park, Ill., and a businessman who's been involved in strip clubs and radio.

Reed's spending includes $5,900 in payments to former campaign manager Matt Teter (and former state Democratic Party executive director) and $2,250 to a firm affiliated with former state Sen. Robin Wright-Jones, who earlier was paid $1,500. (End of update)

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