Gov. Mike Parson (r) appoints Sen. Mike Kehoe (r) as Lieutenant Governor

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This afternoon, via Twitter:

Governor Mike Parson @GovParsonMO
Honored to appoint Mike Kehoe as the next Missouri Lt. Gov — This is an important position, not just because of duties assigned by MO law & the state constitution, but also to reassure Missourians that all operations of state government will continue. #MissouriForward
[….]
1:38 PM – 18 Jun 2018

Interestingly, there’s no announcement (as of this posting) on the Governor’s web site.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): And…

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Where’s Roy?

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) [2018 file photo].

This morning, from Senator Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill @clairecmc
What she said.

Laura Bush @laurawbush
I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.

10:31 AM – 18 Jun 2018

Previously:

At this point even a Truth and Reconciliation Commission can’t save the American experiment (June 17, 2018)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): Keep those calls coming… (June 17, 2018)

The price of all our souls was a tax cut for billionaires (June 17, 2018)

The price of all our souls was a tax cut for billionaires

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You know it’s bad when even a satirical Twitter account just shows you the image.

An ICE processing/holding facility for children:

Gen JC Christian, Presidential Advisor @JC_Christian
#BeBest @FLOTUS
[….]
7:07 PM – 17 Jun 2018

Previously:

At this point even a Truth and Reconciliation Commission can’t save the American experiment (June 17, 2018)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): Keep those calls coming… (June 17, 2018)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): Keep those calls coming…

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And while you’re at it, call Senator Roy Blunt (r), too.

The phone numbers:

Senator Roy Blunt (r) – Phone: 202-224-5721 [Washington]

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – Phone: 202-224-6154 [Washington]

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) [2017 file photo].

This morning, from Senator Claire McCaskill (D), via Twitter:

Claire McCaskill @clairecmc
To assert that you must rip children from their family to secure the border is just not true.
8:49 AM – 17 Jun 2018

Uh, we already knew that. Tell Donald Trump (r) and Jeff Sessions (r).

Some of the responses:

Sign up to end this Senator!

She just announced that she is signing!

Talk is cheap. I respect you as our Senator, but we need action, and we need it now!

Then cosponsor the #KeepFamiliesTogetherAct . Otherwise your tweet is empty rhetoric like @JeffFlake handwringing about the GOP.

Claire, its more than not true. It is evil incarnate, and its ok for you to use the big girl adjectives for this. Call it what it is.

Fight

Children in cages #trumprepublicans

He’s using the children as ransom to get money for his wall. It’s inhumane and cruel. He must be stopped.

We must have some brave Republicans to sign on. But their cult won’t support that.

Did you hear that, Roy?

And:

Claire McCaskill @clairecmc
Yes. I will be on the bill and will be doing more follow up work with CPB and HHS as ranking member on Homeland Security Committee.
[….]
8:55 AM – 17 Jun 2018

Call anyway.

Previously:

At this point even a Truth and Reconciliation Commission can’t save the American experiment (June 17, 2018)

At this point even a Truth and Reconciliation Commission can’t save the American experiment

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“Not this time” – Trump Muslim ban protest at Kansas City International Airport – January 29, 2017

Do you ever recall reading about a period in history rife with injustice and wondering why people didn’t do anything and what you would do if you were alive during those times?

Well, it’s been that way for a while now. You have been confronted with who and what you are.

Can anyone be confident in the vast well of awareness and empathy on the part of a significant portion of the American populace? Right.

I’m going to try. See you at the polling place…and in the streets.

Is the fix in for Lambert airport privitazation?

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Two days ago (6/14) St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson published a guest column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch entitled “Turning our airport into a stronger reagional asset.” It was all sweet nothings and tippy toes. Sweet words because the spectre of privatization, first raised by Krewson’s mentor, Mayor Slay, has properly raised hackles elsewhere in city government. As St. Louis Comptroller put it:

… . Currently, the airport is in a strong financial position showing 31 straight months of passenger growth, two credit-rating upgrades, and added international flights.

Privatization would disrupt this growth. Our airport is an asset for the city, and a private entity beholden to shareowners, not consumers, would put bottom-line profit over public service.

But clearly Mayor Krewson has  her eye on a bigger prize for cash-strapped St. Louis since she writes that “this proposal could result in new revenue, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. We could use that revenue to provide better city services across the board, without raising taxes.” It’s hard to deny that St. Louis is in a hard place right now – but the problem isn’t the airport so one wonders why the airport has to provide the solution. Selling the family jewels in order to buy bread is hardly a “win-win,” just more evidence that the region is on a downward trajectory.

It’s interesting that Krewson mentions the hoped-for financial windfall only after asserting that contracting with a “private entity” to oversee the management and operation at the airport would open the door to “innovation” and improved services. She’s also emphatic that the airport itself would not be sold to private interests, only leased, and she’s at great pains to assure us that care is being taken to be sure that the city’s and the region’s interests will not be sacrificed.

To this end she notes that a study of the advantages and disadvantages has been commissioned and she lists several of the “broad range of […] experts” that have been engaged to carry it out. And it is at this point that my sleepy hackles went up: Krewson, hoping to tip the scales just a little more heavily in the direction of the careful process she wants us to believe she has engendered notes that this study will cost the city nothing. Nothing at all. It will be paid for by one of that group of “experts,” Grow Missouri, a local nonprofit that is providing funding for all of the work leading up to the signing of a potential lease.”

What Krewson conveniently omits – at least I didn’t notice it at first – is that Grow Missouri, which, given its financial commitment to underwrite the effort, is a significant stakeholder in the process, is also affiliated with funded by local rightwing billionaire Rex Sinquefield‘s. Show-Me-Institute, a “think-tank” that commits “studies” that studiously confirm Sinquefield’s druthers. It looks like old Mr. Privatizer, megabucks Rex Sinquefield, will continue in his efforts to get government out of government, Lambert representing one more can that can be knocked down. Am I wrong? Can we expect transparency in a process funded by folks who start with a firm agenda to arrive at a pre-determined answer?

Alderman Cara Spencer agrees that the study-group might not be as kosher as Krewson suggests, and also notes that the study group does not include an important stakeholder, further suggesting that it represents an effort to stack the deck:

She said in an interview that there had been a lack of transparency from the start and that the consultants had an incentive to push for a privatization deal because they’d be paid only if one was lined up. “Their incentive is to say yes,” she said.

She also criticized the selection of the Sinquefield-related firm to continue guiding a process that it started. Moreover, she complained that Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge wasn’t part of the committee. “I find the lack of inclusion of the airport director really alarming, quite frankly,” Spencer said.

I initially felt a little suspicious of the careful cooking process that Krewson accorded her oh-so tasty argument in her op-ed, but after taking the final product in, I’ve got to admit, I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach. A teaspoon of sugar might make the “medicine go down,” but too much saccharin has the opposite effect. So much for the sweet words and tippy toes.

It also might not hurt to take a look at a Congressional Research Service Report that notes that, of the two applicants to take advantage of an Airport Privatization Pilot Program authorized in 1996, only one remains in private hands. Among the reasons for the failure of the pilot to recruit more participants and to demonstrate success was the level of regulation that such a monopoly would be subjected to – many of which constitute just those fiduciary and service protections that Krewson promises.

But, hey, it’s Trump (and Sinquefield) time, the day of the almighty buck. With any luck most of those protections will be re-regulated away.

Addendum 1: I misspoke when I noted that Grow Missouri is affiliated with the Show-Me-Institute. My apologies for not checking my sources more carefully. The situation is even worse, however, than such an affiliation would have suggested. Grow Missouri is, in fact, just another one of those of the myriad entities heavily or entirely funded directly by Rex Sinquefield (to the tune of $2.5 million in 2014 alone) in order to realize his political and ideological inclinations.

Additionally, according to a February report in the STL Post-Dispatch, Sinquefield also paid “the city’s application to the Federal Aviation Administration’s privatization pilot program, and is paying the consultants.” Oddly, given Krewson’s statement that the study will cost the city nada, the same report states that he “will be reimbursed.”  An even earlier January Post-Dispatch report contains the following assertions: “the firms would be paid only out of the proceeds of any privatization deal that ends up being worked out, city officials said. […]  Grow Missouri, the Sinquefield-funded nonprofit, would be paid only to reimburse any out-of-pocket payments it makes to the McKenna and Moelis firms and to any other contractors hired by Grow Missouri.” So what’s the story?

Addendum 2: Want even more on the “fix” that may be in process? A joint letter to the editor of the Post-Dispatch (6/17) from State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal and State Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis present pertinent arguments that County residents have little say in the issue although they have paid the heaviest price for airport improvements in the past and are likely to do so again once the private industry profit motive is allowed fuller reign.

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed  also published a letter today (6/17) noting that the issue must to be discussed publicly and  not turned over to a group of “consultants” who, “far from being an objective group, […] would be paid millions of dollars if the airport is privatized.”

And they have a CAFO

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Missouri Department of Natural Resources staff at the CAFO permit hearing in Warrensburg for the Valley Oaks Steak Company – April 3, 2018.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued the permit to allow a CAFO to operate in western Johnson County, despite widespread opposition from neighbors and Powell Gardens.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2018
[….]
Department issues no-discharge operating permit to Valley Oaks Steak Company

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JUNE 15, 2018 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has issued a Class IB National Pollution Discharge Elimination System operating permit to Valley Oaks Steak Company LLC.

Valley Oaks Steak Company LLC operates an animal feeding operation located at 1921 W. 50 Highway, Lone Jack. Previously housing fewer than 999 cows, the facility was classified as a Class II animal feeding operation.
The Class IB NPDES permit will allow the company to house up to 6,999 beef cattle at the Lone Jack facility, which is now subject to concentrated animal feeding operations regulations and permit requirements.

Department staff reviewed the application for completeness and compliance with the Missouri Clean Water Law and the Missouri Clean Water Commission regulations.

Any parties adversely affected or aggrieved by the department’s decision to approve the permit request and issue the final NPDES permit may appeal to the Administrative Hearing Commission by filing a written petition within 30 days from issuance (July 16, 2018).

The final NPDES permit and additional information is available on the department’s website…
[….]

A neighbor’s sign.

Previously:

Now that’s a CAFO (March 18, 2018)

Now that’s a CAFO – comments addressed to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (March 21, 2018)

Suppose you threw a DNR CAFO hearing in Warrensburg and everyone came? (April 3, 2018)

Suppose you threw a DNR CAFO hearing in Warrensburg and everyone came? – photos (April 5, 2018)

Suppose you threw a DNR CAFO hearing in Warrensburg and everyone came? – Tabitha Schmidt, CEO President, Powell Gardens (April 5, 2018)

Suppose you threw a DNR CAFO hearing in Warrensburg and everyone came? – Karen Lux (April 5, 2018)

Suppose you threw a DNR CAFO hearing in Warrensburg and everyone came? – Al Weir (April 6, 2017)

Suppose you threw a DNR CAFO hearing in Warrensburg and everyone came? – Aimee Davenport on behalf of Powell Gardens (April 6, 2018)

Suppose you threw a DNR CAFO hearing in Warrensburg and everyone came? – Eric Tschanz (April 7, 2018)

Suppose you threw a DNR CAFO hearing in Warrensburg and everyone came? – Chuck Petentler (April 7, 2018)

Campaign Finance: advocating for your right to get paid less

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Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for advocates of “right to get paid less”:

C180291 06/15/2018 Missourians For Freedom To Work The National Right to Work Committee 8001 Braddock Rd Ste 500 Springfield VA 22151 6/15/2018 $200,000.00

[emphasis added]

Now “Missourians for Freedom” has at least $400,000.00.

They have money. There are more of us than there are of them.

….The National Right to Work Committee (NRTWC), the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF), and the National Institute for Labor Relations Research are a related group of nonprofits that have been the national leaders in the effort to destroy public and private sector unions by pushing anti-union legislation at the state and federal level and by bringing lawsuits, such as the 2014 Harris vs. Quinn pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2012, the three groups combined reported over $25 million in revenue.[1] NRTWC reported $11,071,587 in revenue in 2013.

While the NRTWC claims to be a “nonpartisan, single-purpose citizens’ organization,” a Center for Responsive Politics analysis on the National Right to Work Committee PAC shows that 100% of its political contributions have gone to Republicans….

At the Federal Election Commission:

Committee name: THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO WORK COMMITTEE PAC
Mailing address: 8001 BRADDOCK ROAD
NORTH SPRINGFIELD, VA 221512110
Treasurer: MOURAD, GREGORY W. MR.
Committee type: PAC – Qualified
Committee designation: Unauthorized

Well, that’s the same address.

Where else have they contributed money?:

THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO WORK COMMITTEE PAC JUDGE ROY MOORE FOR US SENATE AL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION 11/01/2017 $5,000.00

[emphasis added]

THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO WORK COMMITTEE PAC VICKY HARTZLER FOR CONGRESS MO CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION 09/26/2017 $500.00

Interesting company. Alrighty then.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: they left off the last part (May 19, 2018)

Campaign Finance: Why are we not surprised? (May 31, 2018)

Well, he probably still thinks he’s going to be president some day…

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Former Governor Eric Greitens (r) [2016 file photo].

Nice hair cut.

This, today, via Twitter:

1310kzrg @1310kzrg
Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens could be back in the political spotlight a lot quicker than most thought.
The Republican is entertaining the idea of running for one of Missouri’s two U.S Senate seats, but not on the Republican ticket, but as…
[….]
12:49 PM – 15 Jun 2018

…an independent. He’s that arrogant. Please, [insert name of deity of your choice], make it so.

If he asks nicely I bet Claire McCaskill (D) will pay his filing fee.

Previously:

Oh, my. (January 11, 2018)

Oh, my – part 2 (January 11, 2018)

Oh, my – part 3 (January 11, 2018)

אַ שאַנדע פֿאַר די גוים and *IOKIYAR (January 11, 2018)

Oh, my – part 4 (January 11, 2018)

Oh, my – part 5 (January 11, 2018)

Oh, my – part 6 (January 12, 2018)

Sen. Denny Hoskins (r): not exactly a ringing endorsement (January 12, 2018)

Gov. Eric Greitens (r): piping (January 16, 2018)

Oh, my – part 7 (January 16, 2018)

Waiting… (January 19, 2018)

Oh, my – part 8 (January 29, 2018)

The unanswered question (February 8, 2018)

RSMo § 565.252 (February 22, 2018)

Well, you were the one who used a blindfold and tape. (February 22, 2018)

Well, he was the one who used a blindfold and tape. (February 23, 2018)

A few words of advice (February 26, 2018)

Eric Greitens (r) and the House – pass the popcorn (March 6, 2018)

Oh, my – part 9 (March 6, 2018)

“That’s not how you spell bare.” (March 7, 2018)

It’s their world, the rest of us only get to live in it (April 8, 2018)

The popcorn is ready (April 10, 2018)

The Report (April 11, 2018)

Call it what it is (April 11, 2018)

Go away, asshole. (April 12, 2018)

Sen. Denny Hoskins (r-21): impeach Greitens (April 13, 2018)

Getting ironical about Greitens (April 13, 2018)

Standing ovation (April 14, 2018)

Quid pro quo (April 16, 2018)

It’s a fine mess he’s gotten himself into… (April 17, 2018)

Really, just go away… (April 17, 2018)

HR 6783: Impeachment (April 18, 2018)

Unhinged (April 19, 2018)

Really unhinged (April 19, 2019)

Seriously, just go away already… (April 20, 2018)

He doth protest too much, methinks… (April 20, 2018)

No, Chuck Raasch, nobody’s giving Eric Greitens’ scandals short shrift (April 22, 2018)

Does somebody want to tell them? (April 25, 2018)

Our life on the “D List” (April 30, 2018)

The Report – supplement (May 1, 2018)

HR 7432: Impeachment (May 1, 2018)

The second report (May 2, 2018)

Rep. Gina Mitten (D): shining a light in the dark money campaign finance neighborhood (May 2, 2018)

The process begins (May 4, 2018)

The Petition for a Special Session of the General Assembly to consider “disciplinary actions against Governor Eric R. Greitens” (May 4, 2018)

Campaign Finance: in the news (May 6, 2018)

Oxford coma (May 7, 2018)

A definition (May 13, 2018)

Felony invasion of privacy case against Eric Greitens (r) dropped (May 14, 2018)

“So far, so good…” (May 14, 2018)

Jean Peters Baker appointed as special prosecutor in Greitens (r) case (May 21, 2018)

Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight – transcript of witness deposition – cross examination (May 23, 2018)

Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight – transcript of witness deposition – on Koster and Greitens (May 22, 2018)

HR 2: Special Investigative Committee on Oversight – the process for impeachment (May 22, 2018)

Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight – Scott Faughn (May 23, 2018)

Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight – not going to allow “cherry picking” (May 25, 2018)

Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight – Michael Hafner (May 29, 2018)

Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight – Michael Hafner – afternoon (May 29, 2018)

Eric Greitens (r) resigns as Governor of Missouri (May 29, 2018)

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) on the resignation of Eric Greitens (r) as Governor of Missouri (May 29, 2018)

Senator Jill Schupp (D) on the resignation of Eric Greitens (r) as Governor of Missouri (May 29, 2018)

Statement by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker on the resignation of Eric Greitens (r) as Governor of Missouri (May 29, 2018)

Representative Stacey Newman (D) on the resignation of Eric Greitens (r) as Governor of Missouri (May 29, 2018)

Following the money (May 31, 2018)

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D): about that dark money (May 31, 2018)

It’s Resignation Day (June 1, 2018)

He knew. We knew. They knew. Everyone knew. (June 1, 2018)

And…scene (June 1, 2018)

Stipulate this (June 6, 2018)

Really? No, they couldn’t have. Yes, they did. (June 11, 2018)

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D): about those legal bills for Eric Greitens (r) submitted to the state… (June 9, 2018)

It’s your bill to pay, Eric. (June 14, 2018)

Moms Demand Action – Warrensburg – June 14, 2018

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In Missouri there are now sixteen local chapters for Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence in America. The Warrensburg group held their monthly meeting this evening, discussing past activities and actions and plans for future ones.

A representative of the state organization described the rapid growth in chapters and the importance and impact of small town chapters across the state.