Webb Charged with Stealing from Political Fund
Rep. Steve Webb was charged yesterday with a felony of using his campaign funds for personal use. See the Post-Dispatch article here.
“The felony charge alleges that on Sept. 19, 2011, Webb solicited a $3,000 donation from Community Loans of America to sponsor a black caucus reception in Washington. Instead, according to court documents, Webb deposited the money in an account in the name of the Missouri Black Caucus and then transferred it to a personal account for his own use.”
Minority Leader Jake Hummel issued a statement: “"Misappropriation of political donations for personal use cannot be tolerated, and, if guilty of the charges against him, Representative Webb will have to answer for his alleged actions. Representative Webb has told me he intends to resign his House seat later today. Given the seriousness of the charges, we believe that is the appropriate decision for himself, his family and, mostly importantly, his constituents."
The statement was, in one reader’s mind “throwing Webb under the bus... the statement of resignation is Webb’s to make, not Hummel’s.” Of course if they’ve got the bank records, it does sound like an open-and-shut case. In other words, Webb had pretty much already been smacked by the bus.
And another reader summed up the Dems’ general sense of disappointment: “You got Reps who are working two real jobs, and trying to get more Ds elected in their spare time and these clowns ruin it…”
Follow-Up on KC Research Tax Rout
The day off the unbelievable research tax rout, folks were still trying to make sense of how things got so badly messed up.
I lot of the blame was levied at KC’s Civic Council. Here’s one subscriber’s harsh assessment: “Wow that was an ass trouncing… that plan had so many holes so they used the memory of Adele Hall to rally business community then they took the attitude of screw your questions or concerns… Pretty fucking stupid and reckless. They should seriously gut the civic council staff or blow the thing up. No way they have any credibility anymore.”
The comments seem to echo another anonymous politico quoted on the Tony’s KC blog: “That was such an arrogant display by the Civic Council and their leadership. The architects Jewel Scott, Jason Dalen and Pete Levi should never be able to direct anything again. The plan was flawed from the start but to ignore everything and tell everyone they knew better and we should all just listen to them while roping people into doing this in the memory of Adele Hall is just awful. They should all be out of a job today.”
The frustration was compounded by the unbelievable margin of defeat. First off, people feel deceived by the updates they were receiving. There had to be warning signs of the trouncing far in advance of only winning 18% of the vote.
Second, there are deeper questions about the civic leadership. Who do they represent after all? Do they have any constituencies that they can pull to the polls? The results of this issue make them look completely out-of-touch and disconnected to the reality on the ground.
60-40 losses (also known as losing by 20 points) are whoppers in politics; 18-81 is ridiculous, especially after spending $1.6 million.
From the Pelopidas website:
Richard M Aubuchon, Rodney Gray, Tami Holliday, and Susan Moore added American Cancer Society Action Network.
Sarah Felts deleted Office of State Treasurer.
Matt Hill deleted Consumer Electronics Association.
Citizens for Steve Stenger - $5,001 from Citizens to Elect Mike O’Mara.
Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc. - $7,258 from Associated General Contractors of St. Louis.
Notes on Money
This is the third $5K+ in as many days for Steve Stenger. This one is from his fellow council member Mike O’Mara. The flow of money is a good sign in his challenge to incumbent Charlie Dooley though it’d be even better if it signaled an expansion in his circle of his allies.
Happy birthdays to Tim Warner’s Jarad Falk and former Rep. Doug Ervin (47).
My big email change experiment has been put off one more day, but trust me when you get tomorrow morning’s email, you’ll be thoroughly underwhelmed…