Monday Drinking Liberally Happy Hour With State Rep. Bruce Franks

May20186:30-9 pm Monday, May 21, 2018
Drinking Liberally St. Louis Chapter
Nadine’s, 1931 S 12th in Soulard
Host: Marie Ceselski
Guest Speaker: State Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr.
RSVP mtceselski@aol.com

We’ll go around the tables and ask Bruce questions, similar to past two happy hours.

We’ll play Rex Bingo. Prizes will include kale and collards seedlings.

Please bring single serve packaged food donations for Lafayette Park United Methodist Church Brown Bag Meal Program serving our unhoused neighbors 
(Only Items Needing NO Refrigeration, Cooking, Assembly)
Cans of Vienna Sausages
Packages of Tuna/Chicken & Crackers
Packages of Peanut Butter Crackers
Single Serving Boxes of Raisins
Single Serving Fruit/Applesauce Cans
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My Email Tonight To Central Committee On 28th Ward Candidates

Dear Central Committee Colleagues: Yesterday on St. Louis Public Radio, we found out Missouri Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard (R-Joplin) would carry the ball for Rex Inc.’s anti-St. Louis Agenda, including selling off St. Louis Lambert International Airport and forced re-entry of St. Louis City into St. Louis County.

Rex Inc. is negotiating privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport with no input from aldermen or public. The pro-privatization website by Rex Inc. appears to be saying this is the greatest thing ever and nearly a done deal.

We need to know who are our friends at every level of government, who we can depend on to stand with us against Rex Inc. That includes the Board of Aldermen.

We have an opportunity to vet 28th Ward Alderman candidates and find out where they stand on issues, including Rex Inc. related issues. We should take it. I am asking, again, that St. Louis Democratic City Central Committee invite all candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for 28th Ward Alderman to our Thursday meeting to answer our questions.


One candidate will get the nod from Central Committee and one or more rejected candidates will file as Independents. By vetting each of the candidates now and making this information known to the public, we would be providing a public service– information on citywide/regional issues that likely might not even come up within 28th Ward-only forums.

We should find out where each of the 28th Ward Alderman candidates stands on, as examples,…
1) Forced re-entry of City into County
2) Privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport
3) Privatization of City Refuse services
4) Privatization of City Water Department
5) Re-Vote on Ward Reduction
6) Maintaining our County elected offices as elected

I understand this is hard for many of you, breaking with tradition, the idea that we not merely nominate the chosen alderman candidate of the ward’s committeeman and committeewoman. But this is an opportunity to find out where candidates (plural) stand on issues important to our future as a party, a City, and a region. I think that is our responsibility here, not rubber stamping a nominee.

Also, I have consolidated the Rex ballot issues information to a new Say No To Rex blog and Twitter account @SayNoToRex to keep track of Rex-related news.

Marie Ceselski
7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman
313-630-7599

What Do Zombie Hunter Chris Loesch and Paul McKee Have In Common?

Today in corporate welfare news, St. Louis City’s Board of Aldermen HUDZ Committee  approved Tax Increment Financing and a sales tax increase to benefit Developer Paul McKee’s car wash, gas station, and grocery store development.

The committee vote on this was 4-3, with 5 aldermen absent or not voting.

Voting for the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and a sales tax increase to fund a gas station, car wash, and grocery store were 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar, 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy, 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis, and 28th Ward Alderwoman Lyda Krewson (also a candidate for mayor).

Voting against the two bills were 15th Ward Alderwoman Megan Green, 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer, and 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French (also a candidate for mayor).

Absent or not voting on the measures were 3rd Ward Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr., 4th Ward Alderman Sam Moore, 8th Ward Alderman Steve Conway, 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy, and 27th Ward Alderman Chris Carter.

Wait. There’s More. Paul McKee’s mega gas station project needs a small business loan and that will come tomorrow from the St. Louis Local Development Corporation: Item #7.

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St. Louis Local Development Corporation is a nonprofit created by statute with no accountability to voters.

In addition to Item #7, note Item #4, a loan to Triumph Systems. This was on the September Agenda and the meeting was canceled the morning of the meeting.

Triumph Systems makes Zombie and Terrorist shooting targets.
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Triumph Systems is not just any old zombie target company. It has celebrity connections. On staff is Chris Loesch, husband of right wing talk show host Dana Loesch. They are former 7th Ward St. Louis City residents, now of Dallas.

Mr. Loesch previously benefited from corporate welfare as an owner of Shock City Studios on Gravois in the Benton Park Neighborhood. That project received Brownfield tax credits and TIF from the City of St. Louis.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Whatever Happened To Lyda Krewson’s Reduce & Reform Committee?

city-hall3When I first saw the initiative petition to change municipal election dates, I thought maybe Reduce & Reform STL was behind it. It appeared to reduce the number of elections. I have long been an advocate of moving all our elections together to increase turnout and reduce costs. Finally some reform I could support, or so I briefly thought.

Reduce & Reform STL was the ballot issue campaign committee created by 28th Ward Alderwoman Lyda Krewson and 8th Ward Alderman Steve Conway to support passage of Proposition R, the November 11, 2012, Charter amendment to reduce the number of wards from 28 to 14.

I opposed that amendment but did not actively work against it at the polls. I thought then, and still do, that doubling the number of constituents, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions requiring an alderman’s attention is creating a big mess. But, I had just been elected a committeewoman that August, my alderwoman sponsored the board bill to put it on the ballot, and I had yet to form a ward organization or raise any money.

According to reports filed with Missouri Ethics Commission, Reduce & Reform STL raised $8,230.16 and spent $7,301.00 on the successful effort. Most of the money came from aldermen:

$3,000 from 28th Ward Alderwoman Lyda Krewson
$2,500 from 13th Ward Alderman Fred Wessels
$1,000 each from 7th Ward Alderwoman Phyllis Young and 8th Ward Alderman Steve Conway
$750 from 24th Ward Alderman Scott Ogilvie
$500 each from 14th Ward Alderwoman Carol Howard, 15th Ward Alderwoman Jennifer Florida,16th Ward Alderwoman Donna Baringer, 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy, 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn

Other donors of note:
$1,500 from Chameleon Integrated Services (government IT contractor)
$1,000 from St. Louis Police Officers Association
$1,000 from EMB Development Group
$500 from 4th District State Senator Joe Keaveny
$500 from realtor Jerome Glick
$200 from attorney Jane Dueker

After the election, Reduce & Reform STL filed with Missouri Ethics Commission to convert the account to a political action committee. It transferred $929.16 from the old committee to the new one, kept the same name, and kept Krewson as Treasurer and Conway as Deputy Treasurer.

Reduce & Reform STL reported only Limited Activity to Missouri Ethics Commission in 2013, 2014, or 2015.

On March 29, 2016, just days before the April 5th municipal election, Reduce & Reform STL received a $10,000 check from Civic Progress PAC.

With that money, on March 30th, it paid $4,000 to Jobs With Justice for a literature drop. Reduce & Reform STL did not report to Missouri Ethics Commission a printing bill or direct expenditure for a ballot issue or candidate relating to that literature drop.

With that money, on March 30th, it also made a $6,000 donation to Citizens to Elect Jamilah Nasheed. Nasheed was not on the municipal election ballot. She did, however, spend $11,900 on Proposition E (earnings tax renewal) radio ads.

On April 5, Mike Owens, husband of Krewson, replaced her and Conway as Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer.

On April 8, Mayor Francis G. Slay announced he would not seek re-election.

On June 14, Krewson declared she was a candidate for mayor.

On July 18, Reduce & Reform STL terminated and its remaining $537.16 was donated to Billionaire Rex Sinquefield’s Better Together.

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On August 2, Rex Sinquefield and 5th District State Senator Jamilah Nasheed joined forces on the Police Body Cam Scam initiative petition. 

In September, Better Together began its initiative petition drive to move some municipal elections to state election dates but leave ballot issues, school board, and community college trustee elections as Spring elections with dramatically reduced turnouts. This is the petition to game the system in Rex Sinquefield’s favor, reduce turnout for charter amendments toward getting rid of the earnings tax and implementing other changes. It is one of three local initiative petitions Sinquefield is presently funding.

Krewson has some explaining to do. When she talks about being a champion for reform, what does she mean? Rex Sinquefield’s Agenda?

I hope not. I like Krewson. I volunteered for her Board President campaign, went door to door in the 23rd Ward for her. And, I don’t have to agree 100% with a candidate in order to vote for her or him. But…

This City needs a champion for big change and one who will stand up to Rex Sinquefield and the consultants getting rich off him. I will vote for the candidate that I believe will do both the best.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Note: There will be a meeting 6 pm Monday, October 3, 2016, to discuss launching an initiative petition drive for a Re-Vote on reducing the number of wards.