Thursday, June 14, 2007

St. Louis American examines Gambaro appointment

The St. Louis American places the credit (or blame) for Governor Matt Blunt's appointment of voucher supporter Derio Gambaro to the State Board of Education with Blunt's chief of staff Ed Martin.

Martin was formerly the treasurer for All Children Matter, the pro-voucher group which has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Missouri elections:

Speaking of progressives and "Mr. Gambaro’s educational philosophy and qualifications," the Missouri Citizen Education Fund reports that Gambaro received $600 in direct contributions from All Children Matter for his failed state Senate bid and that All Children Matter also spent $7,577.12 in independent expenditures on his behalf. All Children Matter is a school choice advocacy organization; Martin previously served as its treasurer.

Frowning big-time on Gambaro’s appointment, Greg Shufeldt, political director for the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition. "Our Board of Education needs people committed to improving public education not selling it off to the highest bidder."

What is left out of the St. Louis American article is that the money that can be specifically linked to All Children Matter is far from being the only cash poured into Gambaro's unsuccessful state senate campaign by voucher supporters. One of All Children Matter's top contributors, Rex Sinquefield of the Show-Me Institute, managed to legally launder all kinds of money into the Gambaro campaign by donating it to campaign committees, which earmarked it for Gambaro.

That information was featured in the June 11 Turner Report:

In 2006, Sinquefield virtually bankrolled Gambaro's unsuccessful candidacy for the state senate seat eventually won by Gambaro's Democratic primary opponent Jeff Smith.
Smith, the senator who blocked Ms. Whitmore-Smith's appointment, may do the same to Gambaro, but the former state representative will be able to serve until the Senate is in session next January.

Though a contribution limit of $675 was in effect at that time, Sinquefield contributed $20,700 into Gambaro's account during its final quarter, by placing $6,500 donations into three committee accounts, which then turned the money over to Gambaro. No pretense was made otherwise, since those were the only contributions those commttees received during that time period. Sinquefield and his wife each chipped in with $600 directly to Gambaro to account for the other $1,200.

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