The City Wants $40.15 To Make Me Paper Copies Of Emails

0f17fd2b197f0ea69688f292fe66f060--louis-brandeis-coffee-quotesA simple request. Emails sent to an Alderwoman between two dates relating to Rex Sinquefield’s Plan to privatize St. Louis Lambert Airport.

The City has Gmail accounts. The Alderwoman should not be using private email for public business. The Sunshine request should have involved the Alderwoman’s secretary (shared with several other Aldermen) going through the emails and forwarding them to me.

Easy Peasy.

But not for the City of St. Louis. Instead, the City, at the direction of the Mayor Lyda Krewson and/or her City Counselor, former Circuit Court Judge Julian Bush, has dragged out this request for over a month, now wants $40.15 in fees, has a three day waiting period after I’ve paid, and appears to be giving me paper copies of emails instead of just forwarding emails by email.

It’s 2018 and the City of St. Louis still doesn’t know how to use Gmail yet.

Let’s start from the beginning. On the evening of Monday, February 19, 2018, I used the City’s online form for Sunshine requests to request Airport Privatization emails received by 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis (Chair, Transportation Committee, Board of Aldermen) between January 22, 2018 and February 16, 2018. That’s right, I’m interested in specific emails during a less than one month period.

DavisSunshine
The auto-response said I would receive a response in three days, by Thursday, February 22, 2018. Three days to find the emails and send them to me. Fair enough.
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Stop Rex! Send Your Comments On Airport Privatization To FAA

rexcYou can comment to the Federal Aviation Agency on St. Louis City’s Application for Lambert Airport Privatization here.

Posted Comments are found here.

Lambert Airport News & Commentary Feed

My comments to the Federal Aviation Agency on Lambert Airport Privatization sent today, February 21, 2018. #1k2-91ml-i487

The People of St. Louis have been left out of the official discussions on privatization of Lambert Airport. Nothing in the future of this process can undo that damage or the overwhelming conflicts of interest in this terribly flawed process.

Neither current St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson, nor previous Mayor Francis Slay, asked the public if we are interested in privatization and under what scenario and process. This happened once before recently, with our Water Department. The people loudly said, No! It was stopped in aldermanic committee. That is why privatization proponents have kept Lambert Airport Privatization away from the Board of Aldermen, to avoid public involvement.

Privatization is spearheaded by billionaire, and Ozarks not St. Louis resident, Rex Sinquefield, known as Rex Inc. here. He’s the man trying to bankrupt St. Louis City by throwing his money around to try and force us to get rid of a major source of income- our earnings tax. He was a major donor to the former Mayor. The current Mayor recently passed a ballot issue with Sinquefield’s funding; donated remaining funds from a political action committee that she controlled to one of Sinquefield’s groups; was alderwoman of the ward that landed Sinquefield’s World Chess Hall of Fame.

Rex Inc. paid for the privatization Application, runs the privatization public relations machine, ran the privatization consultant application process, and, now, to no one’s surprise, is being hired by the Mayor to be the official consultant on privatization. Insult to injury, the Board of Aldermen recently passed a resolution placing Rex Inc. in charge of transparency for the privatization process. 

The previous Mayor unveiled his secret privatization plan on the way out the door and just after the St. Louis Democratic Primary. In St. Louis City, our municipal Democratic Primary is the main election, not the general election. In announcing the City was pursuing privatization after the Primary for his successor, he denied voters an opportunity to query candidates for mayor on what may be the most important decision of this century for St. Louis. Subsequently, distrust of the process has been there from the beginning.

Rex Inc will never say privatization is a bad idea. The current Mayor does not care what the public opinion is on this issue. Full steam ahead. I suspect that the only way to stop this is by initiative petition ballot, a vote by the people that bypasses elected officials. What would the FAA do if on the eve of finalizing privatization of Lambert Airport, the voters said, No? I would rather not find out. I would rather that the FAA told Mayor Krewson to start over or, better yet, just stop entirely, enough damage has been done and there is no recovering from it.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Know Anything About Debt Service? Explain This Airport Legislation

lambertI don’t understand Airport Money, as in #BB208, which is being heard in Board of Aldermen Transportation Committee on Thursday.

If I have this correct, $13.7 Million is being moved (or borrowed) from Debt Service Fund and moved to Airport Development Fund, but is then going back to Debt Service Fund by end of Fiscal Year.

The legislation says there’s an emergency. Anyone know what that might be?

If anyone can make sense of this, or even has a good guess, please post.

The only thing I know is going on is Lambert Airport Privatization. The next meeting is 2 pm Tuesday. They are hiring consultants without any input from the Public or Board of Aldermen. 

Mayor Wants Taxpayers To Pay For Rex Sinquefield Lobbyist

Thanks to Gerry Connolly, we know who has been hired as Mayor Lyda Krewson’s lobbyist today.

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Today’s meeting was not posted to the City’s Online Calendar. It was taped to an elevator at City Hall. I’m glad Gerry took time out from his busy day to go and get the information for us.

hearingmayor

And the winner of the Mayor’s Lobbyist Contract is… Jeff Aboussie’s Regional Strategies (business consulting and government relations per LLC filing), of Wildwood MO. The Selection Committee vote was 4-1 with Board President Lewis Reed being the lone opposing vote (cast by Tom Shepard, Reed’s Chief of Staff).

As if there had been any doubt this would happen.

Aboussie represents Rex Sinquefield’s Great St. Louis, which paid for the Prop A Body Cam Scam and Prop B Election Date Scam ballot issues last April, and works with The Kelley Group.

Clare Gates Hudec, of The Kelley Group, is Deputy Treasurer of Mayor’s Krewson’s campaign committee and Treasurer of April’s Proposition P campaign- Citizens for a Safer St. Louis, a sale tax for police and fire fighter raises. The Kelley Group also ran St. Louis County’s Proposition P sales tax campaign.

Meg Shackelford, of The Kelley Group, is Treasurer for 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar’s campaign committee and STL Citizens for Responsible Government, one of Kelley Group’s political action committees that accepts money from one source and regifts it to candidates who could not legally accept it from the original source.

Aboussie’s current Labor Union clients include International Union of Operating Engineers Local 101 in Kansas City and Locals 148 & 513 in St. Louis. In 2016, Aboussie resigned as Executive Secretary and Treasurer for St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, a post he held for 7 years, to became a lobbyist/consultant.

His other clients include…
American Concrete Paving Association, Lenexa KS
Arch Fiber Networks, Edwardsville IL
(pro-nuclear) Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future, Jefferson City MO
(hemp greenhouse) Noah Arc Foundation, Chesterfield MO
St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission

The Selection Committee first met on October 2nd to begin drafting the Request for Proposal. As of October 16, 2017, Kiel Center Partners and SC STL of #mls2stl fame were no longer Aboussie’s clients.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

 

 

 

 

Previous post on Mayor’s Lobbyist.

 

Did Rex Sinquefield Just Donate To Prop P Campaign?

yTkejEGTEAs previously blogged (and, yes, that will get updated with the late reports info)…

Consultants have conned Civic Progress into believing November 7th’s Prop P has a chance at passage. The Kings of Status Quo donated $125,000 on October 12th to the Kelley Group‘s Citizens for a Safer St. Louis, a campaign committee for Prop P, the November 7th Sales Tax Increase Special Election.

Kelley Group’s STL Citizens for Safety is carrying a $82,397.52 debt from the April St. Louis County Prop P Sales Tax Increase Election. Keeping an eye on that one to see if the City Prop P money from Rex Sinquefield, who donated to the County Prop P campaign, goes to that account.

Kelley Group’s Show Me Victories gave $10,000 to their Regional Progress PAC On October 16th. This is also a committee to monitor for activity on Prop P. Check with the previous blog post on where all the Regional Progress PAC money has gone.

And now the money to stuff mailboxes with Prop Propaganda is rolling into Kelley Group’s Citizens for a Safer St. Louis.

October 17th: $50,000 from St. Louis Police Foundation (Clayton)
October 17th: $100,000 from Regional Business Council (Clayton)
October 18th: $100,000 from Centene Management Corporation (Clayton)

Total as of Wednesday afternoon, $375,000 so far for Kelley Group to spend on Prop P.

I went back and looked at the Civic Progress October campaign finance report. They also paid $16,750 to Kelley Group’s Show Me Victories for polling.

Then I looked for information on St. Louis Police Foundation. My first thought was, is this the organization that you are asked to donate to by rounding up your bill at the grocery? The money is supposed to go to buying equipment for police, not on a political campaign to raise sales taxes.

The St. Louis Police Foundation website was easy to find.

Finding out who runs the Foundation not so much. The website states, “The Foundation’s leadership consists of 25 volunteer board members and one executive director,” but no where provides the names. There hasn’t been a Newsletter posted there since October 2015.

In trying to find information on who runs the organization, I came upon who are major funders. Look at the Sponsors pages and you’ll see Rex Sinquefield is an important part of this 501(c)3.

Now it seems odd to me that a charity that buys equipment for police would spend $50,000 rolling the dice on a ballot issue. It makes more sense to me that someone donated $50,000 to the Foundation and it was earmarked Prop P. And it makes sense to me that Kelley Group would want to keep Sinquefield’s name out of this campaign and that he was the donor. Sinquefield donated up front to the Prop P campaign in the County last April. But he is a lightning rod for opposition to anything he supports here in the City.

If not, if rounding up at the grocery for this charity is actually donating for political purposes, then my grocery is asking for a boycott.

I hope news media ask questions and get answers. Who is really funding Prop P?

—Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

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

Vote No On Prop A Body Cam Scam

PropAballot2Proposition A is Rex Sinquefield’s unconstitutional proposal to abolish the Recorder of Deeds and spend alleged cost savings on police body cameras. Proponents contend that monies mandated by state law for records preservation at the Recorder’s Office will be available for body cams. It won’t. Proponents contend that monies mandated for technology services and hardware for the Recorder’s office will be available for body cams. It won’t. Proponents contend that a sitting elected official can be transferred to a civil service position under the Assessor and her duties transferred to the Assessor without giving the Assessor the title of Recorder. It cannot happen. This ballot issue is a wet hot mess that needs to be defeated.

More on Prop A
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— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman