Missouri Governor Mike Parson is going to Australia and meeting with a company that had an interest in privatization of St. Louis Lambert Airport. Billionaire and privatization advocate Rex Sinquefield’s Dimensional Fund Advisers owns 4% of the company. Sinquefield is also a mega donor to Governor Parson. Most of us thought the company no longer had an interest in privatization here. The company hired lobbyists, including former legal counsel to St. Louis City Board of Aldermen, but dismissed them this year. It was assumed the company no longer had an interest in privatization here. We could be very wrong.
Here are the facts.
In March 2017, as he was leaving office after 16 years as mayor, we found out St. Louis City Mayor Slay was working on airport privatization in private. By June 2017, Slay was at Spencer Fane, same law firm that hired 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar, and acquired a lobbyist gig for Ferrovial Airports, a potential bidder on airport privatization.
Beginning in May 2017, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Estate, a division of Macquarie Group, began hiring prominent Jefferson City and St. Louis lobbyists, including Gamble & Schlemeier and Lewis & Rice attorney David Sweeney, former chief legal counsel to City’s Board of Aldermen.
In May 2019, Macquarie Infrastructure dropped its lobbyists. This led to speculation that Macquarie was no longer interested in securing a privatization deal here.
What most of us did not realize at the time, Macquarie Bank of Australia, also a part of Macquarie Group, acquired different lobbyists in December 2018. The company hired land use and economic development law firm Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes of Kansas City. Among Macquarie’s lobbyists is former Jackson County Executive Mike White. The firm is legal counsel on Kansas City Airport’s new terminal. Missouri Ethics Commission lists Macquarie at c/o civil engineering company SK Design Group of Overland, Kansas. Among the company’s clients is Kansas City Airport.
Also in December 2018, Rex Sinquefield donated at total of $1 Million to Governor Parson’s United Missouri PAC. $850,000 and then $150,000.
In May 2019, we found out Rex Sinquefield’s Dimensional Fund Advisers owned 4% of Macquarie and he was bound to make money off an airport privatization deal.
July 31st 2019, we found out Governor Parson was going to Australia and his itinerary included a meeting with Macquarie.
What does Governor Parson want from Macquarie and/or what does Macquarie want from Governor Parson?
If not privatization of St. Louis Lambert Airport, is the mutual interest some other privatization of State or local asset(s) and, if so, what?
Feel free to contact Governor Parson and ask him what’s up. Phone: 573-751-3222.
And while we’re on the Rex Inc Airport Privatization Scam, here’s the latest pay outs to the scam consultants. Nearly $10 Million in consultant fees.
Grow Missouri, one of Rex Sinquefield’s nonprofits, pays the consultants. Grow Missouri would be reimbursed for the payments and its role in the privatization effort should a privatization deal be delivered. The volume of conflicts of interests in the privatization process is mind blowing.
And receipts aren’t necessary. In the event a privatization deal is struck, Sinquefield’s Grow Missouri gets paid without proving what was done for the work. That’s not allowed in government procurement anywhere but this scam, to the best of my knowledge. It should be a particular concern considering one of the consultant’s is Andrew McKenna.
— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman