It was noted in most of the state's newspapers Wednesday that retired billionaire Rex Sinquefield donated half a million dollars to "Let Voters Decide," a group which has been formed to fight for a repeal of the earnings taxes in Kansas City and St. Louis.
The group, of course, and no secret has been made of it, is entirely a Sinquefield operation, fronted by the people who have been doing his business with the state legislature the past few years.
Missouri Ethics Commission documents show Let Voters Decide was entered Tuesday with Stephanie Bell listed as treasurer. Ms. Bell is a lawyer with the firm of Blitz, Bardgett, and John Deustch. Bardgett, of course, is one of the most powerful lobbyists in St. Louis. Ms. Bell at one time was an assistant to former Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons, now a lobbyist.
The deputy treasurer for Let Voters Decide is Mandy Studer, grass roots director for Americans for Prosperity and chief of staff at Pelopidas, the organization formed by Sinquefield lobbyist Travis Brown.
On the incorporation documents filed Jan. 13 with the Missouri secretary of state's office Jan. 13, Brown is listed as an incorporator.
The registered agent for Let Voters Decide is Marc H Ellinger, Cole County presiding commissioner and a partner with Blitz, Bardgett an Deutsch.
In addition to the half million dollars Sinquefield has pumped into Let Voters Decide, another indication that the retired billionaire is going on an all-out blitz to get his way with this proposal, the fair tax proposal, and his other pet issues, is the beefed up lobbying staff at Pelopidas.
When Pelopidas formed, it had three lobbyiists, Travis Brown, his wife Rachel, and former Rep. Carl Bearden. In addition to Travis Brown and Bearden, Pelopidas' team of lobbyists has six others for a total of eight, including two, David Barklage and Brad Bates who have been added this month.