The Post-Dispatch has a fine editorial explaining a basic irony of Carl Beardon’s new 501(c)4 group United for Missouri, namely that he refuses to disclose the donors for his “grassroots” group–and yet:
Mr. Bearden vowed that his groups will be “focusing on state and local issues,” particularly the issue of “transparency.”
You read that correctly. This utterly opaque organization will focus on government transparency.
His first target will be municipal employee, fire district and school district salaries. “We believe that information the public is paying for should be made public,” he said.
The P-D agrees that those salaries should be public knowledge, but asks: “how much more important is knowing who’s paying to elect people to office and influence debate on issues?”
Well said. But wait. There’s one more dot the Post forgot to connect in this picture. Why should Beardon want to focus in particular on the salaries of low level public employees? Since he and his favorite donor, Rex Sinquefield, subscribe to Grover Norquist’s philosophy about government and bathtubs, Beardon is perhaps furthering a two pronged attack, to wit: get rid of the earnings tax in St. Louis and Kansas City, then help those cities balance their budgets by encouraging voters to insist on paycuts for the people who provide necessary services. That would make sense for a billionaire who sees the Gilded Age as far, far too generous to the middle class. Sinquefield won’t be happy with anything less than serfdom for you and me.
And Carl Beardon plans to be knighted in Sinquefield’s Missouri.