Scare tactics for jail renovation swaying public opinion?

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by Chris Stanford / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 18 at 7:17 AM

(KMOV.com) - An opponent of Tuesday’s public safety referendum in St. Clair County says “scare tactics” are being used to sway public opinion.

Post cards have been sent out in the county promoting the referendum, asking voters to approve a .25% sales tax increase to fund a $37-million renovation for the overcrowded county jail.

“They’re scare tactics.  They’re scaring people into voting for this,” said St Clair County board member Nick Miller (R-Lebanon).

Miller is referring to the wording on the mailers referring to weekly prisoner release that says “better in our house, than yours!”

The mailers were put together by Citizens for Public Safety in Favor of Sales Tax Referendum. That group recently received a $20-thousand contribution from the Committee to Elect Mark Kern, the St. Clair County Board Chair. O’Fallon resident Dave Willmont said Kern shouldn’t be funding such a group.

“I don’t believe so at all,” Miller said.

News 4 attempted to contact Mr. Kern about his contribution Monday, but he wasn’t available at his office and he didn’t return our messages.

“I just wish (Kern) would be upfront about it and say I'm spending this, and supporting it to the tune of $20-thousand,” Miller said.

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