The 2014 Pevely alderman election was quite contentious, and the aftermath has spilled over to the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC), which polices campaign finance laws. No fewer than five of the six candidates in that election have been subject to MEC complaints and subsequent fines for failures to adequately complete the required “paid for by” statements correctly. The sanctioned candidates, the dates of the rulings, and their fines are as follows:
- David Young, May 22, $100
- Ed Walters, June 10, $100
- Dave Bewig, June 24, $100
- Don Menkhus, September 3, $100
- Steve Markus (and his committee), September 30, $700 ($160 if paid within 45 days). This complaint includes a count of “failure to timely report.”
The first three people on the list above won the election and now sit on the board of aldermen. Given the recent dates on the last two complaints, I would not rule out the existence of a complaint against the sixth candidate in the Pevely election, Russ Shackelford. He is mentioned in the latter two candidates’ rulings, because they all shared the costs of some candy and door hangers.
I don’t get too riled up about these fines. Campaign finance law can be difficult for newbies and non-politicians (although some of the above candidates have more experience than others). And campaigns often watch closely for, and report, violations on the other side to score points. Which is not to say that the violations did not occur – hence the MEC rulings. I just think this is a measure of the bitterness of Pevely politics, and it would be an interesting exacta if every candidate in the election received an MEC fine. Maybe it would be some sort of record.