Like flipping a switch, Ferguson suddenly calmed down in a stark demonstration of the importance of leadership.
Governor Jay Nixon zipped in from the state fair in Sedalia. He spoke to a crowd in a way in which he hadn’t days earlier. That previous speech had been rhetorical – “building bridges, not burning them,” blah, blah, blah, like a speechwriter aiming for lofty verses when the mood demanded down-to-earth immediacy. Yesterday he spoke to the people.
Nixon promised a shift. He then delivered by yanking command from the County Police and deploying the Highway Patrol, but in particular with the appointment of Captain Ronnie Johnson. Johnson, previously unknown to the political watchers, became an overnight favorite as he showed a genius for defusing the volatile situation.
Whereas the previous regime had decided that blocking the peaceful protests with tanks and teargas, (and clearing McDonalds, those hotbeds of hooliganism, of national journalists) was the smartest method of crowd control, Johnson showed empathy. And like the snap of fingers, the Us vs. Them was gone.
On the other side was the “still don’t get it crowd.” Town and Country’s Rep (and soon-to-be speaker) John Diehl oddly inserted himself into mix with some strategery for Nixon, telling the governor to call up the National Guard and impose a curfew. Was Marshall Law the next option? And County Prosecutor Bob McCullough who thought Nixon was “denigrating” the County Police force by going to the bullpen after they blew the few five innings of the game.
It’s Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal on MSNBC complaining about Nixon. See it here.
Pull Quote: “The governor has been absent from the minority community his entire political career…”
City to County: Not Our Kind of Policing
Top St. Louis City copper Sam Dotson kept his police away from the County’s “militarized” tactics. (Read it here.) It was the latest in a continuing change in relationship between the City and the County.
For decades the County has viewed the City warily. But the past few years have seen a substantial shift in the prospects for the two partners of the St. Louis region. St. Louis County is now struggling with problems which the City has dealt with for years.
Poverty, aging housing stock, declining population… Whereas the City has developed a certain expertise in once intractable problems – a top-notch homeless program, success in ridding itself of lead poisoning, and progress in attracting young families – the County largely in denial.
The recent Democratic primary for County Executive didn’t address any of their structural issues, but instead was largely a reminder that the circus-like politics which used to define the City seem to have migrated to the County as well.
KC BJ on KS Tax Cuts
The cover of today’s Kansas City Business Journal… To Grow or Not to Grow: Kansas Tax Cuts Are Meant to Increase Jobs But Could They Cause Brownback To Lose His. See it here.
Pull Quote: A year after Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature pushed cuts in pass-through and income taxes, proponents pluck out statistics to show that the grand experiment is right on schedule. But early numbers show little evidence that the policy has created jobs — and worries about a looming state budget shortfall could cost Brownback his job come November.
Scott Dickenson, attorney at Lathrop Gage and Republican Township Committeeman, is the treasurer for a new campaign committee… Missourians For Sporting Pursuits. Dickenson is also the treasurer for soon-to-be-Rep. Shamed Dogan.
MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Republic Services.
MO Leadership Committee - $10,000 from Engler for Missouri.
Committee to Elect Dearing - $13,600 from Missouri Democratic Party.
CWA District 6 Political Education Committee - $35,150 from CWA COPE.
MADA Dealers Interested in Government - $15,000 from MADA Services Corporation.
Committee to Elect Jeff Roorda - $19,850 from Missouri State Democratic Committee.
Happy birthdays to former Rep. Pat Yaeger (72).
Saturday: Rep. Sue Meredith (68), and Missy Pinkerton-McDaniel.
Sunday: Cork Swarens.
Amy and Travis Fitzwater on the birth of their daughter Eliza Jane (8 lbs, 3.5 oz; 19 and ¾ inches).