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Opinion: Eric Greitens Was a Victim of Himself

June 6, 2018 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Eric Greitens Was a Victim of Himself
Mugshot of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens, Missouri’s now-former governor,  played the roll of victim when he announced a week ago he’d be resigning at the end of that week.Like many of you I watched it live on television.

Here is the full text:

Good afternoon. Today I am announcing that I will resign as governor of Missouri effective Friday, June 1, at 5 p.m. 

I came to office to fight for the people of Missouri, to fight for the forgotten. I love Missouri, and I love our people. That love remains. I am thankful to all those who have worked beside me, sweated beside me, those who gave their time, their energy, their precious resources so that we could pursue our mission of taking Missouri in a new and better direction. We have accomplished a lot together. I am proud of you, and I am proud of all of our work.

The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends and for many, many people that I love. This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family. Millions of dollars in mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks, designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends. Legal harassment of colleagues, friends and campaign workers. And It’s clear that for the forces that oppose us, there is no end in sight. I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love. 

I know, and people of good faith know, that I am not perfect, but I have not broken any laws nor committed any offense worthy of this treatment. I will let the fairness of this process be judged by history. It has been a great honor and a privilege to serve as your governor. Traveling the state, I have talked to many of you who harbor extraordinary anger at this ordeal and for those who have pushed and promoted it. 

For those who would be moved to vengeance, let us allow history and God to bring justice. We must, as we have always done, work to improve the lives of those around us. This is not the end of our fight. I will always be a fighter for the people of Missouri. A great deal of work is left undone. The time has come, though, to tend to those that have been wounded, and to care for those who need us most. So for the moment, let us walk off the battlefield with our heads held high. We have a good and proud story to tell our children. Let’s love them and each other every day.  (Springfield News-Leader)

May God continue to bless you and to bless the great state of Missouri.

You can watch the video here. It was that second paragraph where Greitens portrayed himself as the victim:

The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends and for many, many people that I love. This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family. Millions of dollars in mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks, designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends. Legal harassment of colleagues, friends and campaign workers. And It’s clear that for the forces that oppose us, there is no end in sight. I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love. 

No doubt this time was difficult for him and his family, but the designer is Eric Greitens himself! He couldn’t take responsibility for his actions. To quote our president. SAD!

Here’s his original campaign video that got him noticed and the nomination.

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll most readers also felt he wasn’t the victim:

Q: Agree or disagree: Eric Greitens is the victim of a plot designed to force him to resign as Missouri’s governor.

  • Strongly agree 5 [16.67%]
  • Agree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [10%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 1 [3.33%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 6 [20%]
  • Strongly disagree 15 [50%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

I doubt there’s much policy positions of now-governor Mike Parsons that I’d agree with, but I’m pretty sure we won’t see a mugshot of him or that’ll he’ll be on the national news or late night shows.

A future poll question might be about the office of Lt. Governor — should it remain vacant or bill filled? By appointment or special election?

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Will Missouri Voters Approve Constitutional Amendment A Returning the City of St. Louis to St. Louis County?

April 1, 2018 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Will Missouri Voters Approve Constitutional Amendment A Returning the City of St. Louis to St. Louis County?

Please vote below

Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft has verified a citizen petition for an amendment to the constitution for the statewide August 7th primary ballot. If approved it would make the City of St. Louis a municipality within St. Louis County — reversing the Great Divorce of 1876. A simple majority os needed to pass.

Official Ballot Title
Constitutional Amendment A

[Proposed by Initiative Petition]

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

Strip the City of St. Louis of status as an “independent city”; 
Redraw the boundaries of St. Louis County so the City of St. Louis is fully within said boundaries;
Eliminate county-level offices in the City of St. Louis;  

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to make the City of St. Louis a municipality within St. Louis County. 

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

If passed, this measure is expected to lower taxes.

Today’s poll is about this effort.

Today’s poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: Video Gaming Would Be a Mistake For Missouri

March 14, 2018 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Video Gaming Would Be a Mistake For Missouri

Remember back to 1994 when gambling in Missouri was limited to actual boats?

Two riverboat casinos recently opened in Missouri despite the state’s ban on slot machines and many other games of chance.

The President Casino on the Admiral is permanently moored on the Mississippi River, just north of the Gateway Arch. The recently renovated riverboat, which dates from 1907, has 70,000 square feet of casino space with nearly 100 tables assigned to blackjack, poker and craps, and 150 video poker games.

Admission is $2 during the week and $5 on weekends. Boarding is allowed every two hours from 10 a.m. to midnight. Entrance is restricted to adults at least 21 years old. For information: 800-772-3647.

About 30 miles away in St. Charles, Mo., the Casino St. Charles has a 24,500-foot casino with 52 tables for blackjack and craps, and 813 video poker machines. The riverboat cruises the Missouri River for two hours, weather and water levels permitting. Otherwise, gambling is dockside at the St. Charles Riverfront Station. (Chicago Tribune)

Boats either literally cruised the river or, like the Admiral, admission wasn’t allowed while it was “cruising” in place. Next came buildings with a little river water moat next to them. Eventually that was scrapped too. Now lawmakers might approve video gaming in the convenience store down the street.

Lo0k at Illinois. The following is one of many examples in Springfield IL.

24 hour video gaming!
A new wall was built to create a small gaming room. Not even close to being ADA-comliant.
Three signs mentioning the 21 age requirement.
Inside the small room

Above photos by my husband, David. This makes losing your money more convenient than in a casino.

As to the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll question — new revenue isn’t necessarily a positive — it could also result in a greater reduction of casino revenue. For communities that don’t receive any casino revenue, video gaming will add to their budgets. But is this new money or just money not spent/taxed elsewhere in the community?

Here are the poll results:

Q: Agree or disagree: Video gaming could help ease Missouri’s tight budget

  • Strongly agree 2 [11.11%]
  • Agree 2 [11.11%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [16.67%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 2 [11.11%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 4 [22.22%]
  • Strongly disagree 4 [22.22%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [5.56%]

The number of responses was half that of a typical week.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Should Resign

February 28, 2018 Crime, Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Should Resign
Mugshot of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

The reasons why Eric Greitens should NOT resign as Missouri’s governor are few, the reasons he should are numerous. Let’s review the issue quickly:

Missouri GOP Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted on Thursday amid looming allegations of sexual misconduct and blackmail following an admission of an affair last month.

He was charged in St. Louis with a first-degree felony invasion of privacy, according to the Missouri court system. 
In a statement Thursday, Greitens denied committing any crime and instead called the situation “a personal mistake” from his time prior to taking office. (CNN)

Here’s a little more detail:

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who was swept into office in 2016 with a vow to clean up a corrupt state government, was indicted and booked Thursday on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking and transmitting a non-consensual photo of his partly nude lover shortly before that campaign started.

It stems from a scandal that broke last month, in which Greitens was accused of threatening his lover with the photo — an allegation that isn’t mentioned in the indictment. Greitens has admitted having an extramarital affair, but has denied the rest. (Post-Dispatch)

So here’s why he shouldn’t resign:

  • An indictment isn’t proof of guilt. The prosecution & defense are both going to debate the applicability of the Missouri privacy law Greitens is accused of violating in 2015. Innocent until proven guilty by a jury of peers is an important part of our justice system.
  • This is a personal matter from before the election.

The above sound very logical until you look at it from other perspectives — here’s why he should resign:

  • Defending himself against this charge will require his full attention. Sorry Missouri…the governor is preoccupied. The day after the indictment he resigned from a leadership post with the Republican Governors Association — to focus on Missouri. More like to save his own skin.
  • The felony charge is serious. Ok. not Illinois-level serious but still possible jail time if found guilty.
  • Even some members of his own party are saying he should:

    Greitens should resign, even before his criminal case reaches a conclusion, said Reps. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, and Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville.

    “The recent news of Gov. Greitens’ indictment on a felony charge is very disturbing,” Dogan said. “While the governor is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the governor appears to have lied to the people of Missouri when he said in January that he had not taken a photograph of a woman who was undressed, blindfolded and bound.” (Springfield News-Leader)

  • His defense team wants an early trial, like May, but the St, Louis Circuit Attorney says more time is needed to conclude the investigation and prepare the case. With state primaries in August and the midterm elections in November this could hurt GOP candidates. Hmm, perhaps he shouldn’t resign — that way neoliberal Sen. Claire McCaskill has a chance at being reelected.
  • Until a jury finds him guilty or not guilty this will prevent him from doing his job. Who will slash budgets of programs helping the poor, lower taxes for the wealthy, etc?

Here are the results from the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: Missouri Gov Eric Greitens, indicted last week, is innocent until proven guilty in court. He should only resign if found guilty.

  • Strongly agree 9 [18.37%]
  • Agree 4 [8.16%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [6.12%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 3 [6.12%]
  • Somewhat disagree 2 [4.08%]
  • Disagree 16 [32.65%]
  • Strongly disagree 10 [20.41%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 2 [4.08%]

A little more than half think Greitens should resign.

Even if he somehow continues he’ll only be in office for one term. I think we’ll see Lt Gov Mike Parson sworn in as Governor before the midterm election in November.

— Steve Patterson

 

Happy Labor Day

September 4, 2017 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Happy Labor Day
Labor Day Parade in downtown St. Louis, 2009

Missouri is book-ended on eat side by blue-ish cities: Kansas City on the West and St. Louis on the East. In between is a lot of red. Wages & labor, among many others, are areas where the differences clash.  Though the GOP controls Jefferson City the people are fighting back.

From last month:

With the submission of more than 300,000 signatures Friday, Missouri’s right-to-work law won’t go into effect Aug. 28 and its fate likely will be put to voters in 2018.

 The law is suspended, Secretary of State spokeswoman Maura Browning told St. Louis Public Radio. The office still needs to verify that at least 100,000 of the signatures are from registered voters — the minimum to force a statewide vote in November 2018. (St. Louis Public Radio)

If the signatures are conformed, this gives lots of time to mount a campaign to override the legislature on unions. St. Louis’ higher minimum wage has been rolled back by the state GOP, but again efforts are underway to change that as well:

In Missouri, advocates of a higher minimum wage are already mobilizing a new statewide campaign to get a minimum wage measure on the November 2018 ballot. If organizers with the “Raise Up Missouri” campaign gather enough signatures and voters approve it next year, Missouri’s minimum wage would go up to $8.60 in 2019 and increase 85 cents each year until 2023, when it would hit $12 an hour.

Jake Rosenfeld, a sociology professor at Washington University who studies labor and inequality, points to the successful 2014 statewide measure raising Arkansas’ minimum wage as an example of the issue’s resonance beyond a liberal base. (Post-Dispatch)

Arkansas is just as backwards as Missouri, perhaps more. So if they can increase their statewide minimum wage we should too.

Have a great Labor Day today.

— Steve Patterson

 

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