Is Rex Sinquefield Funding Prop 1 GO Bond Issue?

Today on Missouri Ethics Commission website, “Contributions over $5,000” featured three donations totaling $55,000 going to theLOUpac.

theLoupac

What’s it for?

Is this the committee that will fund the Prop 1 GO Bond Issue campaign?

If this just another PAC to (legally) launder money to Steve Stenger?

Is this another Rex ballot issue committee or a PAC to fight off a public vote on Rex Sinquefield’s Airport Privatization Scam or re-vote on ward reduction?

Who is theLOUpac?

The Treasurer is Patrick J. McCarthy, attorney; former Treasurer, 28th Ward Leadership Committee; former Treasurer, Leadership for a Stronger City (also see FEC v. Freedom Inc). The filing statement is not up yet, so we don’t know if it has a ballot issue connection.

Whose money did theLOUpac accept? Kelley Group PACs are involved so there is more to this than the contributing PACs.

Citizens for a Safer St. Louis is a Kelley Group PAC that financed and ran the 2017 St. Louis City Prop P campaign to raise sales taxes for police salaries. The Treasurer is Claire Gates, Mayor Lyda Krewson’s fundraiser and Deputy Treasurer. July 6th, the PAC amended its status to include Support for Prop 1 GO Bond.

April 17th, Citizens for a Safer St. Louis received the remaining $19,552.06 in the account of STL Citizens for Safety, the Kelley Group PAC that financed and ran the 2017 St. Louis County Prop P campaign to raise sales taxes for police salaries.

March 23rd, STL Citizens for Safety received $100,000 from Great St. Louis, a  Rex Sinquefield PAC. That donation allowed the PAC to pay off the Kelley Group for its work on the County campaign, the remainder went to Citizens for a Safer St. Louis, and the committee terminated.

Regional Progress PAC is a Kelley Group PAC. It received $12,500 from Anheuser-Busch on July 10th and two days later gave it to theLOUpac.

STL Citizens for Responsible Government is also a Kelley Group PAC. It received $12,500 from Anheuser-Busch on July 10th and two days later gave it to theLOUpac.

We have Rex Sinquefield and Anheuser-Busch money going into a PAC for what? It looks like theLOUpac is a ballot issue account. But Citizens for a Safer St. Louis has already declared it is the Prop 1 advocate. And Sinquefield’s Show Me Institute is not a fan of GO Bonds being sold as No Tax Increase. So maybe it’s just a laundry for Stenger.

We’ll need to monitor Contributions Over $5,000. Everyone keep an eye on that to see what additional money is moving around to and thru the above mentioned committees. Also be on the lookout for large contributions from St. Louis Police Foundation, a nonprofit that donated heavily to St. Louis County’s Prop and has ties to Sinquefield

For anyone interested, 7th Ward Independent Democrats Pro & Con on Prop 1, which we will now link to this post until shown there is no connection.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

 

 

 

 

 

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Whatever Happened To The Citizens Advisory Committee for Capital Expenditures?

revenueexpensesPer Ordinance, the Citizens Advisory Committee for Capital Expenditures, with representatives from all 28 wards,  provides input to the City Capital Committee.

Bond Issues for Capital Improvements are first approved by City Capital Committee, then debated and voted on by Board of Aldermen.

Sounds like a good process.

Except the City of St. Louis has been ignoring the requirement for citizen input on Capital Expenditures via Advisory Committee for four years.

Earlier this year, I set out to obtain information on who sat on the Citizens Advisory Committee for Capital Expenditures and what went on at their meetings.

January 10th, I requested the Last Meeting Minutes of the Citizens Advisory Committee.

January 16th, the City Counselor sent Meeting Minutes for the wrong committee.

January 17th, I requested the correct Meeting Minutes.

January 23rd, the City Counselor’s Office replied the earliest that I would get the copy was February 15th and they would let me know the copy and research cost by February 12th.

January 31st, I sent another Sunshine Request for the Minutes. I suggested that the City Counselor’s Office contact City Budget Director Paul Payne, who had mentioned the Advisory Committee during a Capital Committee meeting on the 2018 GO Bond proposal. That follow up did the trick.

February 2nd, the City Counselor sent me copies of so-called Minutes from the 2014 Meetings of Citizens Advisory Committee. I use “so-called” because the Minutes do not list names of Committee members present and votes, both required by Missouri’s Sunshine Law. When members pose questions or state opinions, they are noted merely as “Citizen.” This does not qualify as Minutes under Sunshine Law.

I have posted all the 2014 Citizens Advisory Committee for Capital Expenditures documents sent to me here. These are, of course, public records that should have been available all along on the City’s website.

The documents were all sent in PDF format.

PDF Properties for the 06/19/2014 Comments & Recommendations on Proposed 2014 GO Bond Issue show the file was created 6/23/2014 by Budget Director Paul Payne.

However, PDF Properties for the 5/28/2014, 06/04/2014, 06/12/2014, 06/18/2014 so-called Meeting Minutes show the files were created 1/18/2018. That’s the day after I resent my request for records and 15 days before I received copies. So, apparently, the Advisory Committee never saw or approved any Minutes, also a Sunshine Law problem.

Some takeaways from the documents:

  • The Advisory Committee failed to follow Missouri Sunshine Law.
  • Based on the 5/28/2014 Minutes, the only document with some member names and ward identification, it appears the Advisory Committee consisted mostly of South City residents.
  • The Advisory Committee discussed improvements to City Workhouse- including air conditioning- but they were not included in 2014 GO Bond Issue. It was noted that it was not something appealing to voters. Two years later City Treasurer Tishuara Jones called for shutting down the Workhouse. Four years later, we have a campaign to shut down the WorkhouseClose The Workhouse. The 2018 GO Bond Issue includes funding for improvements at the Workhouse. But you have to wonder if that would have happened had the hell hole that is the Workhouse not received protests and elected officials speaking out on conditions.
  • The Advisory Committee was tasked with helping pass the 2014 GO Bond Issue more than providing input. It appears they were assembled to be steered to certain recommendations.

The City Capital Committee met several times this year without advice of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Capital Expenditures as required by City Codes 5.35.020.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

 

3 Opportunities This Weekend To Help Elect Cori Bush To Congress

Cori26 pm Friday, July 13, 2018
Cori Bush for Congress
Postcard & Wine Party
Cori’s HQ, 904 S 4th
Facebook Event
Write some notes to voters and enjoy some wine

10 am to 2 pm Saturday
Cori Bush for Congress
GO CORI GO! Barnstorm Rally and District-Wide Canvass
Meet @ Cori’s HQ, 904 S 4th
Facebook Event
Canvass Your Neighborhood

1-4 pm Sunday, July 15, 2018
Cori Bush for Congress
Benton Park Canvass
Meet @ Save-A-Lot parking lot, 3427 S Jefferson
Facebook Event
Wear your purple Cori shirt or other purple shirt

Join Rasheen & Marie For 5th & 7th Wards School Supply Happy Hour

schoolsupplyhappyhourPlease Join Us 2-5 pm Sunday, July 22nd at 314 The City Bar, 1137 Washington for our Mighty 5th & 7th Wards School Supply Happy Hour to benefit Expect US Supply The Block July 28th event.

Hosted by Rasheen Aldridge 5th Ward Democratic Committeeman, 7th Ward Committeewoman Marie Ceselski7th Ward Independent Democrats and the great folks at 314 The City Bar

Bring School Supplies & Backpacks. St. Louis Public Schools Supply List

Prize Drawings for Donors.

Enjoy 314 The City Bar Specials.

Check back on Facebook for more details and to RSVP.

Supply the Block

The Myth Of Black Support For Ward Reduction

Petition 28We are told over and over again that voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition R in 2012. It. Is. Not. True.

It is true that the Charter Amendment to reduce St. Louis City’s wards from 28 to 14 received a total of 61.5%, slightly more than the required 60% needed for adoption. That’s not overwhelming. That’s passing.

It is true that 17 of 28 Wards voted 60% or better to approve Prop R.

But it is also true that Prop R failed in 11 of the City’s 14 Black majority wards. Black St. Louis rejected ward reduction.

Of the three Black majority wards that supported Prop R, one ward was represented by a White alderman. Today, two of the three have White aldermen. Concerns about representation after ward reduction and redistricting are warranted.

Of the eleven aldermen who sponsored Ordinance 69185 (Board Bill 31) to place Prop R on the ballot, ten were White and represented White majority wards.

It is true that the enabling legislation for Prop R was adopted by the Board of Aldermen on a 21-7 vote, which included some Black Aldermen representing Black majority wards. It is incorrect, however, to equate support for a public vote to support for a ballot issue.

Similar to signing an initiative petition, you may or may not support the issue but you sign to allow a public vote. The initiative petition signature equals support is a myth perpetuated by Rex Sinquefield campaigns and, before Rex Inc., Civic Progress charter reform efforts. And now it has evolved into a ward reduction myth.

There were three previous votes to reduce wards-
Failed 2004: Reduce 28 to 15
Failed 1983: Reduce 28 to 16 (by initiative petition)
Failed 1957: Reduce 28 to 15

I would bet a paycheck that those ward reduction efforts also did not receive majority support in Black majority wards.

One of the arguments raised against voting a fifth time via an April election is the notion of a Sacred November Vote- more people vote in November presidential/statewide elections than in an April municipal election.

Important issues must be decided in big turnout elections, Prop R supporters say. Never you mind that the City appropriated Use Tax funds resulting from April 4, 2017 Prop 1 North/South Metrolink Sales Tax to fund a November 7, 2017 Special Election for Prop P Sales for Police. Ignore the hypocrisy.

Ward reduction supporters don’t mind April and single issue special elections to raise taxes. That’s a red flag about the current reform movement because Rex Sinquefield would replace income/earnings with sales taxes.

It is true that more people vote in Presidential elections than any other election. It is also true that eight White majority wards voted less than 75% for the re-election of Barack Obama. Three of those wards- 12, 16, 23 – voted less than 60% for President Obama.

There were also hot partisan contests for U.S. Senate (McCaskill v. Akin), Governor (Nixon v. Spence), Lt. Governor (Montee v. Kinder), Secretary of State (Kander v. Schoeller), Treasurer (Zweifel v. Cole McNary), and Attorney General (Koster v. Ed).

The 2012 statewide races produced 40%-28% voting for many Republican candidates in wards 12, 16, 23, 24, and 13.

And there were three GOP red meat issues on the ballot to help jack up turnout.

Prop A for local control of St. Louis Police Department received 44.73% in 12th Ward, 47.26% in 13th Ward, 50.82% in 16th Ward, 52.64% in 23rd Ward, and 56.85% in 24th Ward.

Prop E Anti-Obamacare
 received 54.96% in 12th Ward, 50.94% in 13th Ward, 50.77% in 16th Ward, 48.94% in 23rd Ward, and 46.67% in 24th Ward.

Prop B to raise taxes on tobacco was also on the ballot.

So when Prop R supporters or revote opponents speak of turnout, know that Prop R was at the very end of the ballot. Nearly 14,000 of the 144,537 people who voted in St. Louis City that election didn’t vote on Prop R.

80,301 voted for Prop R and that likely includes around 23,000 voters who chose Mitt Romney for President and a Republican for 1st Congressional District.

Ward reduction did not drive voters to the polls. It benefited from Republican, anti-government, and anti-Obama turnout.

60% of Black voters did not support ward reduction. We need to be vigilant and correct ward reduction supporters when they say a majority of voters support cutting 28 wards to 14.

If ward reduction proponents want to say a majority of White voters approved Prop R and therefore it should not get another vote, fine. Let them own it.

Ward reduction is about power and paternalism and race. We are long past due making that the conversation.

2012PropRchart

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Walk A Little This Weekend For Dana Kelly-Franks & Cori Bush

dana1-3 pm Saturday, July 7th
Dana Kelly-Franks for Licence Collector
Lit Drop
Meet @ 2757 Wyoming
Facebook Event
Really impressed with Dana’s openness to consolidating License Collector with Collector of Revenue, protecting employees from patronage indentured servitude, growing revenue, and, from her own small business experience, being a small business advocate.

Cori22-5 pm Sunday, July 8th
Cori Bush for Congress 
Canvass in 79th District with State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr
Meet @ Cori’s HQ, 904 S 4th, Suite 210
Facebook Event
Cori is the fighter we need in Congress. She was in a car accident recently, injured badly, but that has not stopped her fight to be our representative. She does not accept PAC or corporate money. She is the People’s candidate.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman