Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Quota-gate

Outrage gripped the twitterverse as a St. Louis television’s news investigation on a St. Louis County municipality’s policy on traffic tickets spread.  KMOV reported that Bellefontaine Neighbors required their police officers to hit targets for traffic tickets and other activities or face “disciplinary action.”  See it here.

Pull Quote: The mandate was put in writing. It requires officers to take a specific number of “self-initiated activities” each month. [Officer] St. Clair gave News 4 Investigates copies of spreadsheets used by the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department to track those activities. It identifies seven different activities that officers are required to do. Those include writing ordinance violations, traffic arrests, uniform traffic tickets, parking violations and traffic warnings. St. Clair had to do 50 of them every month. The spreadsheet shows that Traffic Arrests represented up to 15 percent of the required activities for Bellfontaine Neighbors cops, an equivalent of up to 8 arrests per month, and that Uniform Traffic Tickets were up to 60 percent, or about 30 tickets per month.

 

Sen. Eric Schmitt reacted quickly…

"This is a damning report that raises very serious questions about the actions of public officials in Bellefontaine Neighbors and we need to know immediately whether any laws have been broken," said Senator Schmitt.  "This investigation clearly uncovered that public officials threatened and coerced law enforcement with their jobs if they did not meet ticket and arrest requirements.  The traffic ticket requirements are bad enough, but arbitrary arrest requirements raise new questions.  I am urging Attorney General Chris Koster to investigate this report so the public can know the truth about whether public officials are exploiting, threatening and coercing law enforcement to fund their bloated budgets… I am also establishing a new whistleblower hotline in my office with the hope that police officers and anyone with any information about these tactics will come forward and help advance this investigation.  Anyone with any information about the coercion of law enforcement should contact my office at (573)

751-2853 and we will ensure this information is thoroughly reviewed."

 

Should be a fun day for Kack Haslag on the phones….

 

Pre-Lincoln Days Talk

Josh Hawley’s coming out to happen this weekend?  While this source says don’t expect a formal announcement or even buttons with an “AG” on them, Hawley will have a substantial presence at Lincoln Days this weekend.  And Hawley is hosting a Saturday morning “Breakfast Reception and Discussion on Defending Liberty.”  Furthermore, Hawley has lined up to keynote a number of the smaller Lincoln Days gatherings around the state.

 

Sen. Eric Schmitt’s suite is being dubbed “Schmittfest.”  Go get your German on folks!

 

Look for John Brunner to be making the rounds.  However it’s said that he’s sharing a suite with some other “freedom-ish” organizations.  Is the lack of his own suite is an indication that 2016 isn’t a Brunner year?  One angle of the talk has Brunner looking at 2018 for a US Senate run. The early forecast (I mean we’re only three and half years away, right?) is for a crowded Republican primary (again) in that race – UNLESS Congresswoman Ann Wagner decides to take a shot.

The theory on Wagner’s brain is: if she feels secure in her “leadership track” in the House, she stays in the House.  If not, she jumps for the Senate seat.  AND then we get a true free-for-all for her congressional seat.

 

Finally the Party Chair job…  Those counting think it’s between John Hancock and Eddy Justice, with Nick Myers running third.  But remember my motto in all matters political: we’ll see…

 

Bits

Missourinet reports that the Senate will debate the student transfer proposal this week.  Read it here“The transfer issue should focus on those students in unaccredited districts, and I do think version that came out of the Senate Education Committee goes beyond that, and I think it’s almost an open enrollment for virtual schools for the entire state,” said Pearce. “That’s probably something that we will take a look at as we debate on the floor.”

 

Former Rep. Jeff Roorda gets benched as the Police spokesperson on the issue of the civilian review board.  Read it here.

 

On the Missouri Supreme Court’s docket this week… State of Missouri v. Santonio L. McCoy, an appeal from St. Louis city involving the constitutional validity of an unlawful possession of firearm statute.  McCoy was a felon and says the recently revised gun law statutes should overturn his conviction.

 

New Committees

Rob Stewart started a campaign committee to run for Council Person Ward 1 City of Columbia.  It is a non-partisan office.

 

Today’s Events

POSTPONED… Missouri Restaurant Association’s “Taste of the Rotunda” is cancelled due to the weather and rescheduling details will be forthcoming…

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Whitney O’Daniel added Whitney O’Daniel.

Dwight Scharnhorst added Dempsey Sales LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Pat Jakopchek (32) and HRCC’s Jon Ratliff.