A harsh new editorial in the Post-Dispatch takes a look at Carl Bearden's new organizations, United for Missouri and United for Missouri's Future, which are funded (at least in part) by uberconservative financier Rex Sinquefield. The editorial is mostly concerned with the the lack of disclosure required of 501(c)4 and 501(c)3 organizations, but it also includes this helpful reminder to anyone who might be persuaded by Bearden's populist tea party rhetoric:
To paraphrase the immortal Chico Escuela, politics has been very, very good to Carl Bearden.
Since 1993, he’s gone from representing the Harvester area on the St. Charles County Council to representing rich people who want to influence elections and public policy in Missouri without the public knowing who they are.
Along the way, he served seven years in the Missouri House while simultaneously building his lobbying business. Despite the massive potential for conflict of interest, it’s become common for lobbyists and political consultants to serve as legislators. Mr. Bearden was one of the pioneers.
He resigned from the House in 2007 to join a new lobbying firm, Pelopidas Inc., a major client of which is Rex Sinquefield, the retired financier and free-market crusader.
Mr. Bearden also became director of the Missouri office of Americans for Prosperity, one of many pro-industry astroturf front groups linked to billionaire industrialist David Koch of New York.
In July, having studied stealth politics from the masters, Mr. Bearden founded United for Missouri, organized under Section 501(c)4 of the Internal Revenue Service Code (for “civic welfare groups”), and a sister group, United for Missouri’s Future, organized as a Section 501(c)3 “charitable organization” under the IRS code.