Three weeks after Creve Coeur's new city council was seated following April's elections, allegations concerning dirty campaign tricks boiled back to the surface Monday night when one councilmember invoked the words of an invocation to recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Ward 4's Jeanne Rhoades referenced "the price of staying silent," part of an invocation used last month by B'Nai Amoona Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose. She did so in speaking out about a last minute campaign flier which colored the end of the Ward 1 race between Cynthia Kramer and David Caldwell, won by Kramer.
The flier, paid for by an employee of the printing firm Kramer's campaign used, accused Caldwell of being a bully, mirroring an allegation leveled at Caldwell by a neighbor. Kramer has denied any connection to the mailer.
The same firm and the same person paid for a last-minute campaign mailer in the 2012 Mayor's race.
Rhoades, who did endorse Caldwell's campaign, said if she had been in the race, she would have denounced the tactic. She referenced recent editorials posted to Caldwell's website which take Mayor Barry Glantz and the council to task for not doing enough to call out or otherwise ostracize Mark's Quick Printing, the Overland printing company tied to both mailers.
Rhoades' reference to the Holocaust Remembance Invocation drew quick condemnation from Kramer.
"My grandmother was liberated from Auschwitz, my Rabbi gave the invocation regarding Holocaust Remembrance Day and I am surprised that this was used in a manner you just saw," Kramer said.
She again denied any connection to the mailer and said that as her grandmother suffered "atrocities beyond compare, I could not be silent." Kramer also fired back at Rhoades for not addressing the issue with her prior to discussing it during the council meeting. She linked the mailer in this case to Caldwell's neighbor, however, and not Donna Dill, the woman identified as having paid for the material.
Ward 3 Councilman Dr. Robert Hoffman, who said his family lost more than 100 relatives, including 77 first cousins to the Holocaust, angrily chimed in at the end of the meeting.
"Warping the words of Rabbi Rose to be compared to an election issue was simply appalling and I would like to go on record saying that I am appalled by what was said earlier and find it quite inappropriate for council business to be discussed like that and I’ll leave it at that," he said. Ward 1's David Kreuter added, "Amen."
Rhoades had left the meeting prior to Hoffman's comments.