Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It’s just bits today, but…. if you have the time, this is pretty interesting.  Read it here.  It talks about Bill Gates, a smart fellow with the most money and good intentions.  It strikes me as interesting, not so much as warning against big money – though that is the thrust of the essay – but in that there is no consensus on what works in public education.

“Bill Gates had an idea. He was passionate about it, absolutely sure he had a winner. His idea? America’s high schools were too big. When a multibillionaire gets an idea, just about everybody leans in to listen… So, without a great deal of thought, one school district after another signed on to the notion that large public high schools should be broken up and new, smaller schools should be created. This was an inherently messy process…Which schools would get to use the science labs, or the gyms? How would the cafeterias be utilized? And who was responsible for policing the brawls among students from rival schools? But those were not Gates’s concerns. He was on a mission to transform American education, and he would start with the high schools, which he saw as an embarrassment, almost a personal affront… Gates felt obliged to break up America’s high schools because they were so bad. Smaller schools were supposed to attack the problems of low student achievement and high dropout rates by placing students in a more personal, easier-to-manage environment. Students, teachers and administrators would be more familiar with one another. Acts of violence and other criminal behavior would diminish as everybody got to know everybody else. Academic achievement would soar. That was Bill Gates’s grand idea. From 2000 to 2009, he spent $2 billion and disrupted 8 percent of the nation’s public high schools before acknowledging that his experiment was a flop…”


Rumorville: Nixon To Employ Some Spot Help?

Here’s a rumor no one will believe… One Dem says he thinks we’ll see the governor come in and help in House 44 with a media buy.  Incumbent Republican Caleb Rowden faces a challenge from Democrat Tom Pauley.


Relentless Roorda

Rep. Jeff Roorda reports that last night’s candidate forum was his “first evening since I don't know when that I haven't knocked doors…”



Over in Senate 24, Rep. Jill Schupp appears equally relentless.  She announced yet another fundraiser yesterday.  This one is October 16 at the home of Terry Crow and Tom Peters, featuring a host committee of Gerry Greiman and Susan Carlson, Linda Locke, Joan Bray & Carl Hoagland, AJ Bockelman & Jeromie Jarreau, Susan Block, Joan Suarez, Steve Stone, Sheila Greenbaum, Colleen and Bob Millstone, and Nancy Cross among others.


Better Columbia

For those wondering about yesterday’s $70K in the large contributions headed to a committee named Citizens for a Better Columbia.  That committee was organized to oppose Proposal 2 next month, “Shall The City Of Columbia Replace The Current Development Charge For Construction Of Collector & Arterial Streets Of .50 Per Square Foot Of Total Floor Area Of New Construction/City Of Columbia.”  The treasurer of the committee is Yancy Williams.


15th Ward Special in STL

The 15th ward in the City of St. Louis held a special election yesterday.  The former alderwoman, Jennifer Florida, had been appoint to Recorder of Deeds.  Missy Pinkerton was the Democratic nominee.  She was trounced.  She received 11% of the vote, placing third behind two Independents.

It is an example of the withered Democratic machine in many city wards.  The voters have progressive values, but are no longer beholden to Democratic candidates for jobs or services which have been largely divorced from the Democratic machine of generations ago.

More immediately, the election has two consequences.  First, if there were any truth to the rumors of various swaps, those rumors are flushed away.  Some thought that Pinkerton would yield the aldermanic seat back to Florida if her bid for Deeds next month was unsuccessful.

Others suggested that Pinkerton – who previously indicated she’d be running for Rep. Mike Colona’s House seat when he’s termed in 2016 – would let Colona run for alderman as she prepared for that race.

All this talk is now is moot.


Chappelle-Nadal: Love Me or Hate Me, You Know Me

In a fundraising email to supporters, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal reflects on her Ferguson experience…

Since Day One, the afternoon Mike Brown was killed, I have been on the frontlines – calming down angry crowds, consoling hurt mothers, hugging grown men crying and protesting alongside peaceful St. Louis County residents. I even started a civic engagement class that I teach twice a week to help empower the next generation of social and political activists… My activism has not been an easy task. The long days, the confusion, the inadequate response from our governor, the limits on our 1st amendment rights and the 3 hours of teargas I endured on August 11th on a one-way street in which I could not escape.

All of this has taken its toll on many. But I am committed to fighting for what is right and standing up for the issues you elected me to draw attention to for the long hull. Now, at times, we have received pushback for our work. The critics and complainers would rather we just move on and go back to business as usual. Some have yelled profane words, thrown water bottles or stayed silent for the majority of the time as peaceful protestors were trying to be heard.

Love me or hate me, one thing is for sure: You will always know where I am coming from and that I will fight for what is right regardless of the popularity of the issue.

Please, stand with me and fight for what is right by donating to my campaign today…


Ferguson Voter Registrations Not So Robust

AP reports that far fewer people have been registered as a result of the registration drives in Ferguson than previously reported.  Read it here.

Pull Quote: “County elections director Rita Heard Days said Tuesday that an additional 128 people registered to vote in Ferguson from Aug. 11 through Monday. St. Louis County originally had said 3,287 people registered to vote in Ferguson since the Aug. 9 shooting death of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer.”



Preparations are being made in case riots re-erupt when the grand jury announces its decision on the Darren Wilson case.  Read it here.


Jami Birthday Fundy

One week from tonight, Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s “birthday bash.”  No presents please… just checks…  Wednesday October 15, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m at Barnett on Washington, 3207 Wash Ave, Downtown STL.


Help Wanted

Deaconess Foundation seeks Director, Advocacy and Communications.  “Deaconess Foundation is a faith-based grant making organization devoted to advancing health and hope for all St. Louis children… The Director of Advocacy and Communications stewards strategic communications for the foundation. The position’s primary responsibility is for the promotion of the foundation’s public policy agenda for child wellbeing.  The Director will establish and maintain relationships with policymakers, researchers and media through personal contact and media platforms. S/he will support the CEO in development and implementation of the organization’s annual communications plans.”  See the ad here.


eMailbag on Maxwell

Democrat attorney: “There is no doubt Joe Maxwell would receive an outpouring of support from the legal community if he chose to run for AG. He is seen as an attractive outstate candidate, farming background and has impeccable Democratic credentials. Plus he is a proven winner statewide as a well-liked former LG.”


Fundraising Calendar

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

Senate Dems & Mo Democratic Party – Sen. Paul LeVota’s home, Kansas City – 6-8 p.m.


Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Katie Demko deleted Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics.

Timothy McDonald deleted Missouri State Highway Patrol.

David Barklage deleted American Traffic Solutions Inc., and Ameren UE.


$5K+ Contributions

Dempsey for Missouri - $5,500 from Missourians for Excellence in Government.

Dempsey for Missouri - $15,000 from Ameren Missouri.

MO Democratic State Committee - $9,900 from Robert Butler Campaign Fund.

MO Democratic State Committee - $9,900 from Frame For the House.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Mallard LLC.

Dempsey for Missouri - $6,000 from Chipp Political Account.

HealthPAC - $6,100 from Midamerica Division Office.

Taxpayers Voting for Draig Hodge - $7,043 from Dean Hodge.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Rep. Pat Conway (67).



Dorothy McCullough, administrative assistant at Schreimann, Rackers, Francka & Blunt, L.L.C. retires today.