Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clerk's Mailings Concern Commissioners Attorney General's Opinion Sought on Use of Fliers to Alert Registered Voters

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clerk's Mailings Concern Commissioners Attorney General's Opinion Sought on Use of Fliers to Alert Registered Voters

Article excerpt

Jefferson County Clerk Eleanor Koch Rehm plans to mail fliers to registered voters for this year's primary election instead of the traditional and less expensive postcards - a move that has upset county commissioners who say she has exceeded her budget.

The commissioners say Rehm, who is running for re-election this year, is using the flyers and a tax-supported campaign gimmick to get her name before voters instead of raising campaign funds privately to pay for mailers.

The County Commission last week instructed County Counselor Ben Cytron to seek an opinion from the state attorney general on what Rehm should be allowed to include in a mailer.

The commission, which oversees county spending, balked when Rehm's office submitted expenses of $115,000 for the primary election Aug. 2. Rehm then submitted reduced expenses totaling $86,000. But the commission has refused to pay, saying the budget allocated Rehm's office just $55,000 in each of three county-wide elections this year.

"It won't get my vote," said Presiding Commissioner Elizabeth Faulkenberry of the Rehm's expense voucher. She said Rehm was using the mailing as a way of campaigning. "It's unfair to the other candidates who don't have access to taxpayer money to use in their campaigns," she said.

One of the paragraphs in the flier prepared for 87,403 registered voters particularly rankled the commissioners. It said: "Please let us know of any suggestions you may have for further improving the voting process. We strive to give the very best service possible to Jefferson County voters."

Rehm, who is often at odds with the commission over budget matters, dismisses the complaints, saying: "It's just politics." She said the fliers include information voters need, such as what's on the ballot and a form to get an absentee ballot. She said that absentee voting has greatly increased because of the form. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.