Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Meet New Normandy District, Same as Old Normandy?

The State Board of Education created a “new district” with exactly the same footprint of the old Normandy District.  The new name is Normandy Schools Collaborative, and it will be run by a board of three appointees: Dr. Charles Pearson, Richard Ryffel, and Reginald Dickson

The board also declared that the new district will be without an accreditation status, placing it beyond the legislative mandates of the student transfer law.

See the Board of Education’s announcement here.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

The actions drew immediate rebuke from reformers, and from Sen. Maria Chapelle-Nadal who championed the student transfer bill last session.

Chappelle-Nadal Twitter Reactions

New school district name + Same teachers = SAME FAILURE!

And what happens when SLPS becomes unaccredited? Will SBOE rename that district too. #BANDAID

PREDICTION: In 2ys new Normandy entity will be attached to neighboring school districts, just like Wellston! The cycle of failure continues.

Most Important Fact: SBOE has no history of success in turning around the outcomes of failed school districts. Zero success record!

71 renewed contracts from failed Normandy District. And who thinks in 2 years the new entity will succeed? Where's the proof of success?

Next year I will be filing a bill to take some control away from the state board of education!

Let's not forget, Nicastro plans to be gone w/in 2 yrs. She won't have to deal with multiple unaccredited districts in the state. Then what?

SBOE treats children in high poverty areas the way people in substandard nursing homes are treated. Visualize that! [Just change the name]

Latest on Noranda Ameren Fight

From AP’s David Lieb… The new public counsel, former Nixon staffer Dustin Allison, is taking no position.  Not exactly profiles in courage material….  Read it here.

Pull Quote: The case heard Monday is unusual, in part, because Noranda is essentially asking the PSC to set its electricity rate based on its ability to pay rather than on Ameren's cost of providing service.

Dustin Allison, who recently was appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon as the state's official consumer advocate in utility cases, took no position on whether Noranda should be granted a rate reduction. But if it is, Allison said Ameren should bear the costs instead of shifting them to other customers. If Noranda is granted a lower rate, Allison also suggested that the aluminum company should be required to maintain certain employment levels, make at least $100 million of annual capital improvements to the smelter and agree not to pay dividends to investors.

Consumer advocates expressed sympathy both toward Noranda's financial plight and that of other Ameren customers who could have to pay more if Noranda pays less.

House 78: Vowell’s Non-Registration was a Protest

Natalie Vowell, who was disqualified from the ballot, is appealing her plight.  Vowell filed to run against Rep. Penny Hubbard in the House 78 Democratic primary.  However the secretary of state’s office bounced her because she hadn’t been registered by the required two year period.

Vowell’ statement…

Vowell has been a resident of St. Louis since July 2010. Since her arrival, she has been engaged with non-profits and worked to advance social justice. But, despite her interest in politics, Vowell has also long been frustrated with an electoral process she felt was dominated by entrenched interests and stacked against ordinary citizens. She has protested that broken system since 2004 by choosing not to vote or update her voter registration information.

In early 2013, Vowell’s work to help citizens communicate with their legislators led friends and colleagues to encourage her to improve the system by running for office herself. Inspired, she registered to vote last July, and in March declared her candidacy to serve the 78th District in the Missouri House of Representatives…

In the midst of her campaign, Vowell received a letter from the Secretary of State’s office stating that her name would not be on the ballot. The reason cited was that when the November 4 election is held, Vowell will only have been a registered voter for sixteen months….

When the Secretary notified her that she would not be certified for the ballot, Vowell enlisted the help of constitutional experts Dave Roland, of the Freedom Center of Missouri, and Tony Rothert, of the ACLU to help her fight the decision in court. With Roland as her attorney, Vowell filed a lawsuit to vindicate her right to serve the 78th District...

The case was heard in the Cole County Courthouse on May 16, 2014. The trial judge dismissed the case and refused to address Vowell’s First Amendment arguments. Vowell immediately appealed, and on June 18, 2014, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, will hear arguments in her case… The Court of Appeals is expected to issue a decision by June 24, 2014.

House 76: Clay and Carter Camps Scuffle?

Rumors of raising tensions between Congressman Lacy Clay and Alderman Chris Carter were making the rounds yesterday.

One tipster said that after Carter informed Clay he couldn’t canvass in his ward for Rep. Josh Peters – former Clay staffer running against Carter’s father – “calls to the police were made because the argument got so heated.”

Here’s PR wag Gentry Trotter’s tweet on the matter: “#Listened 2 @ChrisCarter3 who doesn't take poop off any1, and Sat. his clan got locked in political tension w/ @LacyClayMO1 @JoshuaPeters76”

Who knows if it’s all or any true….

House 102: Labor Republican Primaries Bahr

Rep. Kurt Bahr’s primary opponent has strong labor ties.  Mike Swyers is a representative of the Carpenters’ union. 

A recent posting on their website asked for volunteers to walk in a 4th of July parade with Swyers.

This is a continuation of previous efforts by organized labor to cultivate friendly voices within the majority caucus.  Whether this specific race pays off or not, it portends a trend of the ever-increasing Republican House majority having splinter groups on specific issues – education or  labor, for example – while retaining their core identity through guns and abortion.


Read for National GOP Committeeman

Rep. Paul Curtman’s former legislative assistant, Annette Read, will run for Missouri's Republican national committeewoman.  The election takes place on Saturday, June 28th in Columbia, MO.


She writes: There are always naysayers, which has simply been comments such as we need someone with a "bigger" name, longer political resume, access to "the" GOP donors, and someone who can "afford" the required trips to D.C. each year. Well, as it stands now with big names and long resumes, the GOP infrastructure and coffers isn't a whole lot to brag about.

I would humbly say that a person like me, with a lot of energy, moxie, fresh experience & ideas, and a strong record of working on winning Republican campaigns for the "good guys" should hold more weight if we really care about the future of this party.

Nothing changes if nothing changes…




U-City Brouhaha

St. Louis County continues to loudly replace St. Louis City as the center ring of the political circus… Read the Post-Dispatch article here.


Pull Quote: After weeks of escalating conflict at City Hall, a frustrated and impassioned crowd of more than 200 people packed council chambers for more than two hours Monday night to chastise city officials for proposals some said would “silence voices” of residents and the minority faction on the council.  Some accused the city officials of acting like preschoolers. Others said the officials were eroding basic principles of democracy, including free speech. Many in the crowd held bright green signs saying “Let Every Voice Be Heard.”  The audience shouted loud boos at city officials, and some speakers got standing ovations.




Help Wanted

SLU Law is seeking applicants for a full-time Health Law and Policy Fellow and Instructor in the Center for Health Law Studies.  The position is a one year, non-tenure-track faculty appointment at the rank of Instructor.  It is funded through a contract with the Missouri Foundation for Health.

The Fellow prepares and presents a variety of “plain language” legal and policy analyses on priority health access issues identified in collaboration with Missouri consumer health advocates, including Health Insurance Marketplace implementation and enrollment, and Medicaid expansion.  The Fellow helps teach the Grassroots Health Policy and Advocacy course, mentoring law students doing story banking, community education and grassroots advocacy.  The Fellow serves as a liaison with national organizations monitoring emerging issues and long-term strategy, providing analysis and translation of information for advocacy coalition members’ use.  The Fellow also provides written and oral testimony at legislative and administrative hearings, and assists coalition members in preparing their testimony for such hearings…

Fundraising Calendar

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

MCTA Golf – Old Hickory, St. Peter’s.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

J Scott Marrs deleted Multistate Associates Inc on behalf of Lifetouch Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

Friends of Tom Schweich - $25,000 from Roy Pfautch.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $10,000 from Ronald Sprouse.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $10,000 from Snyder Construction Company.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $50,000 from Kiewit Infrastructure.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Rep. Lincoln Hough (32), Sam Licklider (70), Jason Smith’s Matt Phillips (23), and Barbara Fraser.