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CoMo CANDIDATE CASH: Developers, bankers rain dollars on Kelly for Mayor campaign

Donors use old trick to disguise contributions

COLUMBIA, Mo 3/31/19 (Beat Byte) --  Bankers, developers, construction magnates, and partners of billionaire real estate giant Stan Kroenke have contributed thousands of dollars to the Chris Kelly for Columbia Mayor campaign.

But donating in their own names has made the cash harder to trace, giving Kelly an opportunity to tout how many "individual, non-corporate contributions" he's received
 
Current and retired bankers from Commerce Bank, Central Bank, Columbia Bancshares and others have donated nearly $4,500 to the Kelly campaign so far. 
 
Tom Atkins and Bob Pugh -- among Columbia's largest subdivision developers through their St. Charles Road Development Group -- donated $6,000 in their names and through family members. 
 
Kroenke partners who donated $5,500 include Parkade Mall owners the Burnam family, who with Kroenke, a Columbia local, also own StorageMart; and Kroenke Group special projects director Otto Maly, of Maly Commercial Real Estate

The Burnams were front-and-center on a recent development controversy of their own.  Business Loop CID director Carrie Gartner tried to gerrymander a vote to establish the CID, a taxpayer-funded development incentive which directly benefits Parkade Mall, the CIDs largest enterprise.  The gerrymander ignored a lone voter, Jennifer Henderson, living in the district.   The CID vote case is still in court
 
Through various businesses, partners, and family members, downtown developers John Ott and Dave Baugher donated nearly $2,700 to Kelly's campaign.  One contribution, through a company Baugher owns with Columbia media magnate Al Germond, illegally donated $950, right before Germond's business magazine, the Columbia Business Times, ran a story criticizing Treece for corruption. 

Realtor-developers including ReMax president Richard Mendenhall donated over $2,500. The Columbia Tribune criticized Kelly's opponent, Brian Treece, for taking money from Mendenhall's brother, Tom. 
 
Thornbrook developer Shannon Sapp, caught up in a "potentially-illegal" vote-buying scandal over a controversial new subdivision with 4th Ward Councilman Ian Thomas, donated $1,000 to the Kelly campaign. 

Coil Construction founder and president Randy Coil used his middle name -- William -- to make a $500 Kelly contribution.

Broadway Hotel TIF recipient David Parmley gave $260.  Treece harshly criticized Parmley for refusing to guarantee jobs in return for the TIF incentive. 
 
In two ironic twists, retired radiologist Robert Churchill and former State Representive John Wright gave $1,000 and $500 to the Kelly campaign, respectively. 

Churchill stepped down as Mizzou medical school dean amid a 2012 Medicare billing fraud investigation that engulfed other members of his radiology department.  Wright allegedly attempted to bribe his Democratic primary opponent, Nancy Copenhaver, into leaving the race. 

Kelly has relentlessly criticized his opponent, a lobbyist,  over a client Treece dismissed later caught up in a Medicare fraud probe.  He has also tried to paint Treece as a corrupt politician taking too much money from developers and real estate interests. 
 
Other Kelly donations include:
 
$250 from Boone County Assessor Tom Schauwecker, whom Treece campaigned against in 2008, as Schauwecker faced charges he was making sweetheart property tax deals for the County's largest developers, including Kroenke's infamous $350 tax bill for 133 prime development acres across from Mill Creek Elementary School.
 
Former Mayor Bob McDavid family:  $100.
 
Chester Edwards, only Columbia City Councilperson ever recalled:  $500.
 
Family of former Tribune owner and publisher Hank Waters, $200.
 
Republican Lt. governor Mike Kehoe, $500.
 
And Treece's first opponent Skip Walther, $500.
 
 
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