Better Together Lands Second Big Check in Push for STL Merger

By on April 14, 2019

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  The group campaigning to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County received its second big money contribution Friday.

John McDonnell, the former chairman of McDonnell Douglas Corp., wrote a $300,000 check to Unite STL, which is the committee formed to help finance the Better Together merger campaign.

That follows a March contribution of $125,000 from a coalition of Carpenters Union locals in Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois.

The latest contribution is significant after retired financier Rex Sinquefield, who financed much of Better Together’s early work, had said he would not support the campaign if he were its only donor.

It also is the first six-figure contribution following the announcement of a federal investigation into the administration of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, who would have become the automatic mayor of the combined city under an earlier version of Better Together’s plan.

Following news of the probe, Better Together inserted new language calling for an election to fill the post.

McDonnell, who retired as chairman of the aerospace company in 1997, has donated to both Republican and Democratic causes. In the 2016 election, he backed Democrat Chris Koster for governor and Republican Mike Parson for lieutenant governor. He also gave $1,500 to Sen. Bill Eigel, who is a member of a conservative bloc of senators in the Missouri Legislature’s upper chamber.

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