County Dems spend big on ESL committeemen

Ann Knef Feb. 4, 2005, 2:31am

Steve Reeb (left) and Mark Kern during a pre-election debate.

Approximately one-fifth of the money raised by the St. Clair County Democratic Central Committee during the last campaign disclosure reporting period was spent on East St. Louis precinct committeemen, days before the general election, Nov. 2.

Between July 1 and December 31, 2004, the committee raised $308,582.84 and spent $69,700 on 42 of the city’s 44 Democratic precinct committeemen. The organization lists total expenditures for the last half of the year at $348,256.59.

In amounts ranging from $1,200 to $2,000, all but two committeemen received payments for election expenses on Oct. 30 and 31.

The East St. Louis Democratic Central Committee received $20,447 from the county Democrats for supplies and headquarters expenses.

By comparison, the St. Clair County Republican Central Committee raised a total of $28,015 during the same reporting period. It spent $15,909.54 on election expenses and transferred $15,700 to Republican candidates, mostly to St. Clair County Board Chairman candidate Steve Reeb.

Reeb, who lost the election to Democrat Mark Kern, received $13,500 from the county Republicans. In East St. Louis, where election results are tabulated by a separate election board, voters tipped the outcome in Kern’s favor. Kern defeated Reeb in a landslide, 83 to 17 percent of the vote in the city.

But outside East St. Louis, Reeb captured 52 percent of the vote.

A grand jury investigation was recently launched based on voting irregularities in East St. Louis.

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