What’s Governor’s Privatization Agenda In Australia?

Missouri Governor Mike Parson is going to Australia and meeting with a company that had an interest in privatization of St. Louis Lambert Airport. Billionaire and privatization advocate Rex Sinquefield’s Dimensional Fund Advisers owns 4% of the company.  Sinquefield is also a mega donor to Governor Parson. Most of us thought the company no longer had an interest in privatization here. The company hired lobbyists, including former legal counsel to St. Louis City Board of Aldermen, but dismissed them this year. It was assumed the company no longer had an interest in privatization here. We could be very wrong.

Here are the facts.

In March 2017, as he was leaving office after 16 years as mayor, we found out St. Louis City Mayor Slay was working on airport privatization in private. By June 2017, Slay was at Spencer Fane, same law firm that hired 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar, and acquired a lobbyist gig for Ferrovial Airports, a potential bidder on airport privatization.

Beginning in May 2017, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Estate, a division of Macquarie Group, began hiring prominent Jefferson City and St. Louis lobbyists, including Gamble & Schlemeier and Lewis & Rice attorney David Sweeney, former chief legal counsel to City’s Board of Aldermen.

In May 2019, Macquarie Infrastructure dropped its lobbyists. This led to speculation that Macquarie was no longer interested in securing a privatization deal here. 

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What most of us did not realize at the time, Macquarie Bank of Australia, also a part of Macquarie Group, acquired different lobbyists in December 2018. The company hired land use and economic development law firm Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes of Kansas City. Among Macquarie’s lobbyists is former Jackson County Executive Mike White. The firm is legal counsel on Kansas City Airport’s new terminal. Missouri Ethics Commission lists Macquarie at c/o civil engineering company SK Design Group of Overland, Kansas. Among the company’s clients is Kansas City Airport.
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Also in December 2018, Rex Sinquefield donated at total of $1 Million to Governor Parson’s United Missouri PAC. $850,000 and then $150,000.

In April 2019, Rex Sinquefield had lunch with Governor Parson at the Governor’s Mansion.

In May 2019, we found out Rex Sinquefield’s Dimensional Fund Advisers owned 4% of Macquarie and he was bound to make money off an airport privatization deal.

July 31st 2019, we found out Governor Parson was going to Australia and his itinerary included a meeting with Macquarie.

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What does Governor Parson want from Macquarie and/or what does Macquarie want from Governor Parson?

If not privatization of St. Louis Lambert Airport, is the mutual interest some other privatization of State or local asset(s) and, if so, what? 

Feel free to contact Governor Parson and ask him what’s up. Phone: 573-751-3222.
Email:
governor.mo.gov/contact-us

And while we’re on the Rex Inc Airport Privatization Scam, here’s the latest pay outs to the scam consultants. Nearly $10 Million in consultant fees.

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Grow Missouri, one of Rex Sinquefield’s nonprofits, pays the consultants. Grow Missouri would be reimbursed for the payments and its role in the privatization effort should a privatization deal be delivered. The volume of conflicts of interests in the privatization process is mind blowing.

And receipts aren’t necessary. In the event a privatization deal is struck, Sinquefield’s Grow Missouri gets paid without proving what was done for the work. That’s not allowed in government procurement anywhere but this scam, to the best of my knowledge. It should be a particular concern considering one of the consultant’s is Andrew McKenna.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

 

 

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Airport Privatization Updates & Action Alerts

St. Louis Lambert Airport Privatization News Feed has been updated.

The Board of Aldermen is on summer break and will return on September 13th. Board Bill 19 and Board Bill 77 by 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer for a public vote on St. Louis Lambert Airport Privatization are stalled in the BOA Transportation Committee.

Transportation Chair 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis also serves on the City’s Airport Commission and is a non-voting member of the Airport Privatization Working Group.

ACTION: Text Transportation Chair Davis @ 314-680-9168 and ask her to support Board Bills 19 and 77 for a public vote on Airport Privatization. At a recent meeting, Davis gave out her cell phone number and invited everyone to text her. But be aware she is using the phone for public business, so your texts are just like emails, public records that can be Sunshined.

ACTION: Contact your Alderperson and urge them to support Board Bills 19 and 77 for a public vote on Airport Privatization.

The last meeting of the Transportation Committee (video) was very confusing. Beginning around 13.20 is a discussion started by 22nd Ward Alderman Jeffrey Boyd on whether Airport Privatization requires approval by the Board of Aldermen. We don’t know where this idea came from. Alderman Boyd only said at the meeting that he had heard something.

Alderwoman Spencer has since secured an opinion from City Counselor Julian Bush that indeed Airport Privatization requires approval by Board of Aldermen.

In a bizarre twist, the City Counselor Bush also informed that he, not the Board of Estimate & Apportionment (Mayor, Comptroller, Board President), entered into the contract with Airport Privatization consultants.

A Sunshine request for a copy of the opinion from the City Counselor to Alderwoman Spencer was rejected.
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We got it anyway.

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Opinions issued by the Missouri Attorney General are all posted online. “State legislators, statewide elected officials, state department heads, and county prosecuting attorneys may request opinions—but only on topics relating to the duties of their respective offices.” The City Counselor should do the same for opinions issued to City elected officials and department heads. Make these documents public.

stlnotforsalelogoSt. Louis Not For Sale continues to collect Prop V initiative petition signatures to place a public vote on Airport Privatization on the ballot.

ACTION: Sign the Prop V petition and/or volunteer to collect petition signatures from 6-8 pm Wednesdays @  3406 Roger Place.

The Federal Aviation Administration is accepting public comment on St. Louis Lambert Airport Privatization.

ACTION: Make your voice heard to the FAA. Post your opposition to Airport Privatization here. Read comments to the FAA here.

20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer has introduced Board Bill 93 for the City to apply for a grant to secure a consultant for the Board of Aldermen to assist them on Airport Privatization.

ACTION: Contact your Alderperson and urge them to support Board Bill 93.

The next meeting of the Airport Privatization Working Group is 1 pm Wednesday, July 24th at City Hall West, 1520 Market and is open to the public.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

 

Airport Privatization Updates

stlnotforsalelogoProp V Initiative Petition for Public Vote on Airport Privatization
You can sign Prop V Petition…
Noon-2 pm Saturday @ St. Louis Not For Sale HQ, 3202 S Grand, upstairs
1-4 pm  Sunday @ 7th Ward School Board Candidate Forum, Nadine’s patio, 1931 S 12th
6-8 pm Wednesday @ St. Louis Not For Sale HQ, 3202 S Grand, upstairs

You can also volunteer at HQ on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday evenings to collect Prop V Petition signatures from your friends and neighbors. 

Board Bill 93 for Public Vote on Airport Privatization
Upcoming Hearings
10 am Saturday, October 13th BOA Transportation Committee Public Hearing on Board Bill 93 @ St John the Baptist Parish, 4200 Delor – Public Transit #10 Gravois + 5 block walk
6:30 pm Monday, October 15th BOA Transportation Committee Public Hearing on Board Bill 93 @ Greater Pentecostal Church, 6080 West Florissant – Public Transit #74 Florissant

Past Recent Hearings/Meetings…
Video of Wednesday/October 3rd BOA Transportation Committee Hearing on Board Bill 93
Video of 9/25 Meeting of BOA Transportation Committee and Airport (Privatization) Advisory Working Group

Members of the BOA Transportation Committee: 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene E Davis, Chair; 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn, Vice-Chair; 2nd Ward Alderwoman Lisa Middlebrook; 4th Ward Alderman Sam Moore; 14th Ward Alderwoman Carol Howard; 21st Ward Alderman John Collins-Muhammad; 23rd Ward Alderman Joseph Vaccaro. Board President Lewis Reed is a voting member of all committees. Contact Information for Members of Board of Aldermen and Board President.

Airport (Privatization) Advisory Work Group
Upcoming Meeting…
1 pm Tuesday, October 9th Airport Advisory Working Group Meeting @ 1520 Market. Open to the Public.

Most Recent Meeting…
Video of 9/25 Meeting of Airport Advisory Working Group without BOA Transportation Committee

Airport Advisory Working Group – Voting Members & Contact Info
Mayor Lyda Krewson
Comptroller Darlene Green (member of Airport Commission)
Board President Lewis Reed (member of Airport Commission)
City Budget Director Paul Payne
Advisory Working Group – Non-Voting Members & Contact Info
Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge (works for mayor)
19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis (Chair of BOA Transportation Committee)
City Counselor Julian Bush (works for mayor)

Lambert Airport Commission
Next Meeting…
2 pm Wednesday, November 7th @ Lambert Airport, Lindbergh Conference Room
Previous Meeting…
Video of 9/5 Meeting with Airport Privatization presentation not on Agenda

Federal Aviation Administration
You can make comments on Airport Privatization to the Federal Aviation Administration here.
You can read previous comments here.

Lambert Airport Privatization News & Commentary Feed (2017-Present)
Updated with three local news stories this week.

Airport Privatization News Feed Updated

The Airport Privatization News & Commentary Feed has been updated with three news stories.

You can sign the St. Louis Not For Sale Prop V Petition for a Public Vote on Airport Privatization

10:30 am to 2 pm Saturday @ Soulard Market. Look for people with clipboards.

11 am till ? Saturday @ Fiesta Patrias on Cherokee. Look for the booth.

Noon to 2 pm Saturday @ St. Louis Not For Sale HQ, 3202 S Grand, upstairs

10 am to 1 pm Sunday @ Nadine’s, 1931 S 12th. Ask for Marie. She’ll also have Voter Registration Applications.

6-8 pm Wednesday @ St. Louis Not For Sale HQ, 3202 S Grand, upstairs

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