Tuesday, September 22, 2009


From the Tuesday, September 22 St. Louis Business Journal:

St. Louis County lobbyist Cline to resign

St. Louis Business Journal

Darin Cline
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Darin Cline plans to resign as St. Louis County’s chief governmental lobbyist.

Cline’s duties include acting as liaison to the state of Missouri.

Cline also was County Executive Charlie Dooley’s campaign manager in 2006.

“He had an opportunity to get back into full-time political consulting, and it was an opportunity too good to pass up,” said Mac Scott, Dooley’s spokesman. “The county executive wishes him well.”

Cline did not return a request for comment.

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Here's the story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Curiouser and curiouser...

09.22.2009 9:18 am

As the rumor mill turns: Dooley aide resigns amid political frenzy

St. Louis Post-Dispatch



As our St. Louis County beat reporter Paul Hampel reports in today’s paper, there was intrigue out of Clayton last night, where an aide to County Executive Charlie A. Dooley abruptly resigned.

His departure has nothing to do with persistent rumors of a federal probe into county government, Darin Cline, Dooley’s director of intergovernmental relations said.

Nor, Cline added, was he leaving because of a pending IRS inquiry into his personal finances, though that at least is real, Cline acknowledged.

“My attorneys and my accountant are handling that matter on my behalf,” Cline told Hampel.

Welcome to St. Louis politics, circa August/September 2009.

Since the guilty pleas of two state lawmakers that straddled the city limits — former State Sen. Jeff Smith represented St. Louis, ex-State Rep. Steve Brown calls Clayton home — suspicions have run rampant among Democrats across the region.

Adding to the frenzy is that Smith was caught on a wire worn by Brown, who in turn was busted with the help of recorded conversations he had with now-jailed Democratic strategist Milt “Skip” Ohlsen III.

In other words: You never know who is listening.

Cline’s departure may have more to do with politics than justice — with Dooley gearing up for what could be a tough re-election campaign, he does not need any distractions on the Ninth Floor.

That’s not to say the feds are done with their crackdown of political corruption. But it’s anybody’s guess if the next conviction, should there be one, will finally temper speculation — or add to the paranoia of who might be on deck.

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I've written about this gentleman many times before in this blog, and from everything I've been able to ascertain, this is the person behind the embarrassingly amateurish and woefully unsuccessful campaign to add a one half cent sales tax in St. Louis County to fund mass transit. The campaign was run out of St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley's office because Metro, as a public agency, can't conduct a political campaign.

Cline seems to have been the henchman, I prefer the term HACK, charged with running the campaign, and his efforts were so horrid that a freshman PolySci student would have been sent home with his tail between his legs after having proposed a campaign that so underestimated the needs of the people and the importance of the issue. In a real business, this guy would likely have been fired for blowing the campaign, endangering the economy of the entire St. Louis region, and not carrying out his duties on behalf of the people of St. Louis County.

I don't know Darin Cline, but not for lack of trying. I've tried to link to him on Facebook and LinkedIn, but clearly this man wants nothing to do with me. I've written him asking to meet to discuss how I can help the disaster that is mass transit in St. Louis County. Not a word in reply. Maybe its the whole thing about me caring about the St. Louis region. Whatever the reason, it looks like Cline's days are numbered and he might be taking up residence in lovely Terre Haute, Indiana.

As of now, a tax to help raise money for mass transit in St. Louis is due to go on the ballot in April of 2010. County Executive Dooley is in for a major battle for re election, as he has proven once and for all that he is no Buzz Westfall, someone who would have NEVER let Proposition M fail in 2008.

Dooley, and EVERYONE in St. Louis, needs someone with an understanding of the importance of public transit, the economic value to the future of the St. Louis region that comes from a complete transit system, and the ability to communicate a message that will get people to vote for a small tax increase in April. Darin Cline is all but gone, what's the chance Dooley and his cronies can do better and actually get the ballot measure passed?

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