Monday, August 18, 2014

Ferguson

The initial Kumbaya of Captain Ron Johnson’s reign as the new keeper of the peace in Ferguson deteriorated over the weekend.  Initially with the Ferguson police chief’s possibly intentional inflammatory press conference, and then last night followed by news of the autopsy report of Michael Brown.

 

That autopsy showed that Brown was shot six times, twice in the head.

 

After midnight, Governor Jay Nixon order the National Guard to Ferguson.  See the executive order here.

 

Statement: “Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk.  I join the people of Ferguson, and all Missourians, in strongly condemning this criminal activity that included firing upon law enforcement officers, shooting a civilian, throwing Molotov cocktails, looting, and a coordinated attempt to block roads and overrun the Unified Command Center.  These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory, and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served, and to feel safe in their own homes. Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard to assist Colonel Ron Replogle and the Unified Command in restoring peace and order to this community.”

 

And

Former state senator Jeff Smith writes on Ferguson in the New York TimesRead it here.

 

A Thought

Not to take away from the present tragedy with some rambling but what I’ve been thinking about…

 

When I was younger and ran with in different circles, there was a young preacher, Osagyefo Sekou, who maintained that the most radical thing African Americans could do in the present culture was to “build strong families.”  He married Cbabi and Reine Bayoc.  They, like me, are now middle-aged.  They run a business, Sweet Art, not far from where I live.

 

Yesterday on Facebook Cbabi wrote: “If you want to be real gangsta, take your ass back to school, go to the police academy and serve the community you grew up in. Trust comes from sincerity. Your homies got a better chance of listening and respecting you than a stranger.”

 

It made me think about Ron Heifetz’s book, Leadership Without Easy Answers, in which he suggests that there are technical solutions and adaptive solutions.  The metaphor he uses is a doctor’s prescription.  When the doctor says, I’ll perform surgery X and you will be well, that’s a technical solution.  When the doctor says, stop smoking and exercise, that’s an adaptive solution.  It requires a change in behavior.

 

Heifetz says that the hardest problems require adaptive solutions.  Yet people gravitate toward technical solutions.  They’re easier to understand and implement. Politicians, in particular, promise technical solutions.  For example, “We will pass law Z to improve education.”  And perhaps failing schools require an adaptive solution on the parts of teachers, parents, community, not a technical solution from the lawmakers.

 

For the problems that vex the African American community, Sekou and Bayoc are contemplating adaptive solutions.  It seems to me we need that sort of soul-searching inside police establishments as well.

 

Gephardt for Turkey

From Politico’s Influence: Greenberg Traurig and the Gephardt Government Affairs will represent the Republic of Turkey on a lobbying contract. The work, beginning this month, is to help Turkey with U.S. relations during a particularly volatile time along its southern border. With ongoing violence in Syria and Iraq, and uncertainty surrounding the Kurdistan region in the area, Turkey is seeking more connections to Congress and the White House. The lobbying firms will work on legislation that promotes Turkey’s interests, set up meetings with lawmakers and the administration and engage the Congressional Caucus on Turkey and Turkish Americans, among other activities.  According to the agreement, Greenberg Traurig will be a subcontractor to Gephardt. Greenberg Traurig also represents the Kurdistan Regional Government, the governing body of the autonomous region in northern Iraq that borders Turkey. The contract is worth $26,194 per month…

 

Shoe to Lucas: I’m No Terrorist

From the Missouri’s Food for America press release: Wes Shoemyer “called on Protect the Harvest to denounce and apologize for a comment their founder and biggest funder, Forrest Lucas, made recently in telling an audience at the Missouri State Fair that opponents of Amendment 1 were ‘like terrorists.’ The report of Lucas’ comment at the Aug. 7 opening day of the MO State Fair was first noted by the Sedalia Democrat.  In the report, Lucas says “We as Americans should not even have to worry about having people out here to fight us, it’s like they’re terrorists.”  Shoemyer denounced Lucas’ comment, and called for him to apologize. As well as calling on Senator Mike Parson, present at the joint press conference to do the same…”

 

Find Lynn Messer Update

From the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page:

It has been 41 days since I last saw Lynn. It has been 41 days since I last touched my bride’s hand. On all but one day we have searched for her in the regions surrounding our home. Each day we have stretched our search further and further away. That’s 40 days of focused searching without a single item found to give us any direction or understanding of her disappearance. This is a painful message to post, and the reality is almost too overwhelming to admit. I knew this day would come if Lynn were not to be found first… As the numbers have dwindled and the pace has slowed, there was one day this past week in which no one was able to come help. On that day I had to face the reality of what I already knew, but was not willing to face. Our daily open invitation searches have come to an end after today. Weekends will continue to be dedicated to searching. (Of course I am only talking about the ground grid search of farms and forests in this region. Our efforts to make the general public aware, posting flyers and targeting communities, will remain active at all times. SEARCHES BY APPOINTMENT AND WEEKENDS WILL CONTINUE.)  This next week the unseasonable rainy weather is expected to persist. Together with the waning number of folks who are available to continue on a hit and miss schedule, leads us to face the fact that we will no long be staging open invitation searches each weekday moving forward…

 

Bits

Maybe we should all spend a little more there over Veto Session, whatdoyathink?… Jeff City politico watering hole, Pfenny, had a tax lien filed last week, see it here.

 

St. Louis Business Journal reports that former secretary of state Robin Carnahan has joined the technology initiative, LaunchCode, as a strategic advisor.  Read it here.

 

The Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed a complaint against Mavis Thompson for having staff distribute campaign material.  See it here.

 

The pro-Medicaid expansion protesters who disrupted the Senate last session were charged obstructing government operations and first-degree trespassing.  See it here.

 

Auditor Tom Schweich’s audit of New Madrid County’s sheriff suggests that law enforcement there has “lost” money, cellphones and rings that are taken from prisoners. Read it here.

 

Help Wanted

KIPP St. Louis seeks Talent Recruiter.  “The Talent Recruiter will lead the recruitment and cultivation efforts of the Talent Team with an emphasis on recruiting teachers. The Talent Recruiter will screen candidates, manage the talent data system, support cultivation efforts, and contribute to the regional strategy for recruiting and selecting outstanding educators. The Talent Recruiter reports directly to the Director of Talent Acquisition…”  See the ad here.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Noah Reandeau added Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

Richard A McIntosh added AllianceOne Receivables Management Specialists, Merchandise Pickup Services Inc, Control Technology and Solutions, Missouri Dump Truckers Association, Edison Schools, MBIA, World Wide Technology, Populex, Medical Transportation Management, AOC Solutions Inc, Larry Rohrbach, Cisco Systems, Missouri Coalition for Fair Competition, Waste Remedies LLC, The McIntosh Company, Allen C Harper, Missouri Association of Health Plans, and Adam Puchta and Son Wine Company.

 

$5K+ Contributions

MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Republic Services Inc.

Schupp for Senate - $25,000 from Missouri State Democratic-Legislative.

No on Amendment 5 - $81,428 from Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Inc.

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $36,016 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $5,651 from Friends of Caleb Jones.

Robb Hicks for Senate - $9,750 from Robb Hicks.

 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Munzlinger’s Pat Thomas, and former Rep. Charles Denison (79).