Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Meaning of Umar Lee?

Here’s a video from Tuesday night’s St. Louis County Council meeting.  Umar Lee, a cab-driver, says that a vote for Steve Stenger is a vote for Bob McCulloch.  He gets Amens from the crowd and says that he will be writing in Michael Brown in November.

To what extent does this passion and determination to hold someone accountable permeate the African American community in North County?  Can Stenger hold off Republican Rick Stream without their votes?


In a potential coalescing of black leadership around this movement, the Post-Dispatch reports that County Councilwoman Hazel Erby and Mayor Ted Hoskins have formed a coalition to demonstrate their anger at the polls.  Read it here.  And in the crazy racial-political see-saw of St. Louis County professor/pundit Terry Jones see some benefit to Stenger… “It may make him more sympathetic among some white Republicans, particularly so in South County but probably not as much in West County.”


eMailbag: On St. Louis County Council

Observer: Sam Page is probably like, wtf did I get myself into?


Schweich to Audit Munis’ Ticket Machines

Jo Mannies reports that in an address to the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Auditor Tom Schweich announced he’d enter the Ferguson fray (Read it here)… [H]is office soon will “start picking five of the most suspect courts in the state each year and checking to see if they are complying with this new law -- whether they are mistreating any person of a different race or religion and also whether they are refunding money to the state or illegally keeping money for themselves…"  The issue has been resurrected by the unrest in Ferguson and neighboring municipalities in north St. Louis County.  Schweich said he suspects some of those local courts are violating the state law.  Schweich said in an interview that he’s not ready to identify which local courts will be targeted first, but he hinted that Ferguson’s court may be among them. Schweich told the chamber that his office can probe local court systems without first being petitioned by local residents. His office can’t audit the city of Ferguson, he said, without petitions signed by at least 982 of the community’s registered voters.


Anti-Gay Attorney Tired

Springfield News Leader reports about a ridiculous letter from “prominent” Springfield attorney Dee Wampler complaining about being tired of “promo attempting to cram homosexuality and lesbians down our throats…”  Read it here.

It’s like the dude is stuck in 2004….


Legislature To Cut Fees

The press release: Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced plans for legislation to cut fees paid by Missouri businesses to the overall lowest in the country. The proposal will be pre-filed by Sen. Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau) and will seek to reduce or eliminate numerous fees for new and existing businesses that must file paperwork with the secretary of state… The goal of the legislation will be to only charge a processing fee for the majority of filings in the secretary of state’s office.  The Business Services Division of the secretary of state’s office handles the creation and maintenance of the over 500,000 business entities doing business in Missouri. Kander’s proposal will apply to several types of business entities, including corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs) and nonprofits.


Gephardt Picks Up Lyft

Politico’s Influence reports, “Ridesharing startup Lyft has enlisted Gephardt Group Government Affairs to fight policies that inhibit its operation, according to Senate lobbying disclosure records. This is the company's third federal lobbying registration since it came to Washington earlier this year… The company has expanded rapidly this year despite a variety of policy battles in state and local markets and a growing rivalry with competitor Uber. Three Gephardt lobbyists will represent the company: Scott Brenner, formerly of the Department of Homeland Security and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Kyle Mulhall, former counsel for House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt; and Robert Epplin, a former Senate aide. Lyft spent $20,000 on lobbying in the first half of the year, according to Senate records.”


Yay for Civics?

Yesterday a bipartisan group of politicos held a conference call to announce a legislative initiative to require a citizenship test of all high school students.

It’s a national movement called the Civics Education Initiative. Missouri co-chairs are: former Missouri Governor Bob Holden; MO Chamber’s Dan Mehan; former state senator Glen Klippenstein; former state representatives Mike Talboy and Shane Schoeller; MO BIO’s Kelly Gillespie; Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark; Republican consultant Tony Feather; and rumored political aspirant Eric Greitens.

Here’s the press release: According to the Pew Research Center, only about one-third of Americans can name the three branches of the United States government, much less say what each does.  Further, studies of high school students in Oklahoma and Arizona showed less than a four percent passage rate on the Unites States Citizenship Civics test – the test all immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship must pass… The Missouri Civics Education Initiative will promote an active and engaged citizenry by requiring all Missouri high school students and those seeking general educational development (GED) equivalency pass the 100-question civics test administered by USCIS.  The state legislation will allow students to take the test any time during their high school career, and to take the test as many times as necessary to pass. By using the well-established USCIS test, there will be no need or expense to create a new test or study materials, as these materials are already available online and for free.  The legislation will allow individual schools to administer the test in a way the school as deems adequate to meet the requirements….


Fundraising Calendar

Today’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Sen. Ron Richard event – location TBD – St. Louis – 5:30-7 p.m.


Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Zachary Brunnert added Central Baptist Theological Seminary.


$5K+ Contributions

Robert Butler Campaign Fund - $13,600 from Missouri Democratic Party.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $10,000 from Hermann Companies Inc.

Hanaway for Governor - $10,000 from William Knapp III.

Dempsey for Missouri - $9,500 from Missourians for Excellence in Government.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to former Reps. Chris Carter (33), and Don Calloway (35), and GovWatch’s Chris Galloway.



To Mike and Amy Pridmore on the birth of their daughter, Lydia Margaret Pridmore (8 lbs, 15 oz, and 21").