Follow the Money

Readers call out Paul McKee and Prince Joe.

News Real, June 21, 2007

McKee issues: I would like to thank you for your great piece exposing a person such as Paul McKee, a person who likes to remain behind the scenes. I'm a former alderman for the city of O'Fallon, and Paul McKee has been financing campaigns, getting his stooges elected and working behind the scenes for years, much to the detriment of our city and taxpayers.

Although not reported, allegedly Paul McKee had connections to the recent land-grab debacle that Bob Lowery Jr. tried to pull off in O'Fallon, Missouri. Rumors were that Paul McKee wanted to build a sewer plant and needed a piece of the wildlife area. Allegedly a land swap might also have been in the deal where the city of O'Fallon would trade a piece of marginal park ground it owns in the area for a piece of the wildlife area. (I guess similar to BJC's recent Forest Park land-grab.) I also find it interesting how Paul McKee's companies can do work for BJC when he's on the board. I see a conflict there.

One reason so many builders want to annex into O'Fallon is because they know many of the elected officials and staff can be bought and will give away taxpayers' money to fund their developments, plus they will ignore city ordinances if it benefits their campaign contributors. This has been going on for years. To be honest there is a huge story that could be told about O'Fallon, like the $2.7 million in a state tax rebate that disappeared a few years ago. If you ever wanted to do a big story tying a lot of this together, I know people who would love to talk to you.

In closing thank you for taking this story on. Unfortunately your counterparts in St. Charles County would not touch a negative story about Paul McKee or any homebuilder with a ten-foot pole. Also there is a Web site (www.ofallonwatchdog.org) that you might find interesting. These folks have broken several stories, although Paul McKee isn't mentioned much. I feel he has been the benefactor of much of the corruption that has gone on in O'Fallon which is discussed on the site. Terry L. Busken, St. Peters

Ask a Negro Leaguer, June 14, 2007

Simple as black and white? I was really astonished at this Ask a Negro Leaguer column — that blacks in baseball history have been given far less than their due respect. It's fact, but Mr. Henry goes far beyond that, seeming to be in a place where "if you're black, you can do no wrong; if you're white, you can do no right." That Barry Bonds is black doesn't change the fact that he's a jackass and a cheat, and for Mr. Henry to assault Henry Aaron for having the honesty and character to not stand by and pretend otherwise is a real pity.

Mr. Henry expresses outrage at Tony Hawk being the "Babe Ruth of skateboarders" while giving no reason, leaving one to assume the obvious: Babe Ruth was white and, therefore, a bad person. He says, "Babe Ruth would never disappear from white history." That's an absurd and racist comment. Babe Ruth will never disappear from history because he was and is the greatest baseball player ever. There is no white history or black history involved; it's just baseball history. So will Josh Gibson, Henry Aaron and, yes, Barry Bonds. Not black history. Just history.

I'm sure that there'll be those claiming that Ruth's records are sullied because of segregation in the game, yet statistically the numbers were more of an achievement than the stats of today. The game's been watered down far more by expansion than it was by segregation. Segregation was a moral outrage, but it doesn't render all baseball accomplishments prior to Jackie Robinson irrelevant. Would Prince Joe Henry have us believe that Walter Johnson and Cy Young accomplished nothing of note, either?

Those who want there to be more respect for blacks in baseball, past and present, have an excellent point. Unfortunately, that point shouldn't include blind dislike or disrespect for anyone who isn't black. Babe Ruth was the greatest player ever, and nobody's skin color has a thing to do with that. Darren Hellwege, Columbia, Missouri

 
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