Follow the Cash

27 Aug

I have written a few posts about the ongoing battle in the county GOP between the establishment and the Ron Paul/Tea Party outsiders. Recently, a source passed on to me a little inside baseball that pertains to this fight.

There are 23 people on the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee (JCRCC). By my count, five “Liberty” candidates from the Ron Paul faction of the GOP were elected to the committee in the August primary; several more of them ran unsuccessfully. While this is far short of a majority, it is surely enough to shake things up a bit.

But the establishment didn’t take this fight lying down. My source tells me about some money that passed from JCRCC member, former state representative, current member of the Jefferson College Board of Trustees and the county’s 911 dispatch board of directors, and county council district 4 candidate George Engelbach to a political action committee (PAC) and then to a printer to purchase mailers for incumbent JCRCC candidates running for re-election. This is documented in state campaign finance filings. Here is a timeline of events:

  • On April 16, the JCRCC PAC had $5,571.79 in the bank. It filed a limited activity report with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) in July, which means it neither spent nor raised more than $5oo from April to July. It filed no other reports before the primary.
  • On July 26 (12 days before the primary election when committee seats were voted on), Engelbach personally donated $3,400 to the PAC Voters for Good Government (VGG), which previously only had $232.40 on hand and had raised no money this election cycle (it got $1,000 from another group in July).
  • Tw0 days later, VGG donated a total of $3,351.25 to pay for mailers and postage for the establishment candidates for township committeeman/woman (one of whom was Engelbach). This worked out to $123 to $324 per person.

Now, according to Revised Missouri Statutes 130.011.22, a PAC cannot be formed, controlled or directed by a candidate. The donation from Engelbach to VGG, followed by VGG’s immediate expenditure for JCRCC candidates, certainly looks as if some coordination took place. One also wonders why Engelbach wouldn’t have just spent the money himself instead of going through the committee. It’s also interesting that he would shell out this much money to help his committee comrades, who apparently didn’t chip anything in.

Another interesting note is that a PAC by the interesting name of Jefferson County Organization to Reinforce Citizens Awareness (JCORCA) was established July 25 of this year (that’s the day the form was received by the state – the form is dated July 14). The PAC shares an address with…George Engelbach. The committee also has the same treasurer, Leslie Hanson, as the JCRCC. However, a committee must be in existence 60 days before an election to participate in it, so JCORCA was not eligible to act to aid the establishment members of the JCRCC.

This all has the feel of a sleight of hand. It will be interesting to look at the 30 Day After (due Sept. 6) and the October quarterly (due Oct. 15) reports of VGG, JCORCA, and JCRCC to see if they have anything else to report.


3 Responses to “Follow the Cash”

  1. Mark September 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Here they are. Nothing that is unexpected in these reports except for all the election mailing expenses incurred by Janet Engelbach, looks like the money that went to Voters for Good Government from George….Wow.



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