Monday, June 22, 2015

Missouri Political Impact from the Charleston Shooting

Confederate Flag

The New York Times has a front page story today looking at how the Republican presidential candidates are dealing with the symbolic problem of the confederate flag, a flag still flying in some Southern states, but a flag largely associated with a racist world view at this point.   See it here.

Meanwhile back in Missouri, the Columbia Daily Tribune has an article about a group of Missourians “gathered to dedicate a gravestone to several Confederate guerrillas who lost their lives near the area on May 24, 1865, after they were attacked by Sgt. Robert Digges of the Howard County Volunteer Missouri Militia. Although the war had ended, the soldiers had not gotten word… Michael Mauzy Basye allowed the five soldiers to be buried on his land…The event was the idea of Jim White, who has been a re-enactor for more than 10 years... White contacted Michael Mauzy Basye’s great-great-grandson Randy Basye, who bought the land in 2001…” See it here.

Pull Quote: “I think it’s important that we respect our history,” said Republican state Rep. Chuck Basye, who is Randy’s brother. “I know a lot of it isn’t pleasant. A lot of people did some pretty bad things at the time, but it’s history, and it shouldn’t be changed. We should respect it and learn from it.”  The ceremony included a prayer from the Rev. John Spilman of Higbee, the Pledge of Allegiance and a salute to the Confederate flag. “Lord, we know they died here over 150 years ago, probably far from home without their loved ones,” Spilman said. “They died for the cause they were fighting for. It’s our prayer you would honor this effort to remember these men and their lives.”

Ben Basye, Randy’s father, stood on a walnut tree log and told some of the family’s history…

“Some people say it’s not fashionable today to honor Confederates,” Basye said. “I reject that view. Anybody that says we’re doing something wrong by honoring these Confederates, I’ve got a message for them — we don’t agree with you.”


Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Statement

“As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, it’s incredibly disheartening to read that a fellow member of the General Assembly, Rep. Chuck Basye, took part in a misguided ceremony to lift up treasonous Confederate guerrillas and even saluted the Confederate flag. Rep. Basye’s participation in this celebration of the Confederacy was hurtful and wrong.

The massacre of nine innocent Americans during a bible study last Wednesday should remind us all that the Confederate flag remains a symbol of hate, and racism is real. That is why wise leaders from across the political spectrum are calling for South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from its place of dishonor.

I encourage Rep. Basye to think about what his celebration of the Confederacy and salute to the Confederate flag says to his constituents, and invite him to join with us in confronting the racism and mistreatment of our fellow Americans.”

State Rep. Brandon Ellington

Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Chairman

22nd District



New York Times also reports on campaign contributions from a white supremacist group to Republican politicians including former Congressman Todd AkinSee it here.


Prepping for the ObamaCare Decision

With the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision coming soon, advocates are preparing to spin the news.

Missouri Health Care for All have rallies and press conferences teed up across the state should the decision come down.  Columbia, Festus, Joplin, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis and West Plains all have events in the cue.


Follow-Up on Young’s Jeff City Story

There was varied reaction to Virginia Young’s story on the police investigation from April into a possible sexual assault involving Brittany Burke.

Some felt that the Post should have not named Burke as it creates a disincentive for women in the future to report possible sexual assaults.  The Riverfront Times stakes out this position. See it here. Some felt Young was hypocritical to write the article… One such note I got: “I like Virginia. But the righteous indignation tone of her article is a bit excessive, particularly given her almost parallel path.”

Most reactions were that was article was terribly accurate in conveying the nonsense that a minority of legislators engage in during session.  With one person asking why no one close to John Diehl didn’t grab him by the lapels and tell him to get control of himself.


I had a chance to read the police report over the weekend.  I re-read it a few times because it reads curiously in parts.  One bit from it… Young didn’t name the Democratic lobbyist that Burke mentions as making advances on her earlier in the year.  Burke names him in the report: Phil LeVota.  Together with the ongoing Senate investigation (InternGateII), this could add to general woes of the LeVotas. Or not.  We’ll see…




The St. Clair Fire Protection District was fined by the Missouri Ethics Commission for use of public funds as well as other violations.  See the consent order here.


At the mid-point in the month, state revenues are showing double-digit gains, with individual incomes tax receipts looking solid.


St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is making a habit of going it alone.  While Mayor Francis Slay pursues a minimum wage increase for the city, Stenger says that won’t happen in the county.  See it here.  The story is by the mighty Jason Rosenbaum, by the way.


Senator Claire McCaskill tweets... @clairecmc: 10 plus hours this weekend in @shockcitymusic studio recording my book #PlentyLadylike for @SimonAudio Out in Aug!


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Travis Fitzwater Golf - Tanglewood Golf Course – Fulton – tee at 1PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Dawn Nicklas deleted all her lobbyist registrations.


This appears to be the first step in Nicklas hanging out her own shingle.  She deleted all her registrations with Burton-Liese where she’s been for years.  Look for the debut of Nicklas Lobby soon.


$5K+ Contributions

United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund – $6,493 from UFCW Local 655.

Hanaway for Governor Inc - $25,000 from Kansas City Power & Light.

Progress LC PAC - $12,000 from Sly James for Mayor.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Margo McNeil (67), Ann Auer, and David Poger (46).