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Reader Consensus: No Leniency For Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger

August 7, 2019 Crime, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Reader Consensus: No Leniency For Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger
From Steve Stenger’s campaign website

Friday Steve Stenger will learn his fate.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry will sentence Stenger on Aug. 9 — federal guidelines call for three to nearly four years in federal prison, although Perry is free to ignore the guidelines and the memos.

Stenger pleaded guilty in May to funneling county business to a campaign donor, John Rallo, in exchange for thousands of dollars in contributions. Rallo has also pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and will be sentenced in October. (St. Louis Public Radio)

The feds are seeking the maximum sentence possible. Meanwhile…

Steve Stenger’s attorneys paint the former St. Louis County executive as remorseful for the fraudulent actions that led to his federal indictment on three charges, arguing that Stenger deserves no more than the minimum time of 37 months in prison in a memo filed Sunday. (Post-Dispatch)

So the 37 months requested falls at the low end of the guidelines. Will Judge Perry make it closer to 4 years, more, less? We’ll find out Friday.

In the years I’ve been doing these non-scientific Sunday Polls I can’t recall another instance where all participants agreed. Usually about 15% have the opposite view of the majority, occasionally there’s a close split.

This time it was unanimous — no leniency!

Q: Agree or disagree: Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger should be shown leniency when sentenced later this week.

  • Strongly agree: 0 [0%]
  • Agree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 1 [3.03%]
  • Disagree: 5 [15.15%]
  • Strongly disagree: 27 [81.82%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

I was in Judge Perry’s courtroom in 2007 when she sentenced a friend — he did get leniency.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should Steve Stenger Get Leniency When Sentenced Friday?

August 4, 2019 Crime, Featured, Politics/Policy, St. Louis County, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Steve Stenger Get Leniency When Sentenced Friday?
Please vote below

Former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger will be sentenced on Friday in a pay-to-play scheme. From April 30, 2019:

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, a target of a yearlong undercover federal investigation into political favors traded for campaign contributions, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on charges of theft of honest services.

The indictment was unsealed Monday as Stenger resigned in a letter to County Counselor Peter Krane, writing that “it is in the best interest of our County and my family.” (Post-Dispatch)

By the end of that week Stenger entered a guilty plea, he’d just be re-elected to a second term in November.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry will sentence Stenger on Aug. 9 — federal guidelines call for three to nearly four years in federal prison, although Perry is free to ignore the guidelines and the memos. (St. Louis Public Radio)

In addition to resigning the office, Stenger has given up his law & accountant licenses. Today’s poll is to see how readers feel about sentencing.

Today’s poll will close at 8pm.

—Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 13 of 2019-2020 Session

July 12, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 13 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 13th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 12.

Today’s agenda includes six (6) new bills:

  • B.B.#89 – J. Boyd – An Ordinance adopting the 2018 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, with amendments; and containing a penalty clause, severability clause, savings clause, and emergency clause.
  • B.B. #90 – Coatar – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on July 2, 2019, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map, from the dual zoning of “D” Multiple-Family Dwelling District and “G” Local Commercial and Office District to the “D” Multiple-Family Dwelling District on the newly platted Lot B (the parcel that abuts the existing alley) and the “H” Area Commercial District on the newly platted Lot A (the parcel that will abut both Geyer and Menard Avenues), in City Block 396 (1027 Geyer Avenue), so as to include the described parcel of land in City Block 396; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B. #91 – Vaccaro – An Ordinance establishing a four-way stop site at the intersection of January and Tholozan regulating all traffic traveling northbound and southbound on January at Tholozan and regulating all traffic traveling eastbound and westbound on Tholozan at January, and containing an emergency clause
  • B.B. #92 – Vacarro – An Ordinance establishing a three-way stop site at the intersection of Tholozan and Sulphur regulating all traffic traveling northbound Sulphur at Tholozan and regulating all traffic traveling eastbound and westbound on Tholozan at Sulphur, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B. #93 – Spencer – An ordinance directing the City of St. Louis to apply for grant monies available to airport sponsors under Title 49 U.S. Code §47134 for predevelopment planning costs relating to the preparation of an application or proposed application for the privatization of a public airport pursuant to the FFA Airport Investment Partnership Program, and to direct any monies resulting to the City from said application to obtaining and paying for the services of professional consultants and access to knowledge resources to inform and advise the Board of Aldermen regarding the Airport Investment Partnership Program and the City’s efforts related thereto.
  • B.B. #94 – Muhammad/Vaccaro – An ordinance setting forth regulations for the use of surveillance technology by the City; requiring surveillance technology usage rules, regulations and guidelines be established and approved by the Board of Aldermen before any such surveillance technology may be used and plans may be put into practice; and containing a severability clause and emergency clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

Today is their last full meeting before summer break, the next will be Friday September 13, 2019.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers: No Citizenship Question Should Appear On 2020 Census

July 10, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers: No Citizenship Question Should Appear On 2020 Census

Despite being a hot national issue the question of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census got a low response on the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: The 2020 Census should include a citizenship question

  • Strongly agree: 5 [23.81%]
  • Agree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [4.76%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 4 [19.05%]
  • Strongly disagree: 11 [52.38%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

An article that came out yesterday asks the right question:  What’s the big deal about adding a citizenship question to U.S. Census? (recommended reading)

What is the census used for?

The once-per-decade survey is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Its results have major consequences for states. Census data is used to determine the number of congressional representatives for each state, and dictates how the federal government allocates more than $800 billion in funding for services such as schools and law enforcement.

Why did the Trump administration want to add the question?

A question about citizenship has not been asked of all households since the 1950 census. It has featured since then on questionnaires sent to a smaller subset of the population.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department runs the census, announced in March 2018 that a citizenship question would be reinstated to produce better data on enforcement of the federal Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities’ electoral power. The government also said citizenship is a reasonable question to ask, noting that it is common in many other countries. The Census Bureau’s own experts estimated that households corresponding to 6.5 million people would not respond if the question were asked, leading to less accurate citizenship data.

In short, pushing to have the question added to the full decennial census is a power grab by the GOP — to gain seats in Congress.  The late GOP operative Thomas Hofeller left behind the evidence of the plot on his computer.

Files on those drives showed that he wrote a study in 2015 concluding that adding a citizenship question to the census would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to stymie Democrats. And months after urging President Trump’s transition team to tack the question onto the census, he wrote the key portion of a draft Justice Department letter claiming the question was needed to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act — the rationale the administration later used to justify its decision. (New York Times)

This is clearly an attempt to intimidate people into not completing the Census, thereby undercounting millions in left-leaning states. Remember too — there are millions of non-citizens living legally in the US. A couple I know from India are here working with green cards — a family of five.

The constitution requires counting the persons living in the US — not citizens.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 12 of 2019-2020 Session

July 3, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 12 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  12th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. While they usually meet on Friday, they’re meeting today because of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 11.

Today’s agenda includes four (4) new bills:

  • B.B.#85 – Dan Guenther – An ordinance approving the dissolution of the Cherokee Station Special Business District and the discharge of the members of its board of commissioners, by repealing Ordinance No. 58600, approved May 6, 1982.
  • B.B.#86 – Roddy – An ordinance pertaining to parking within the “4400 Gibson Avenue Residential Parking District;” establishing the location and restrictions for curb parking in the restricted parking zone within the 4400 Gibson Avenue Residential Parking District (the “District”); authorizing the placement of Permit Parking Only signs within the District; and prohibiting the parking, within the District, of any vehicle which does not display the authorized permit; containing definitions, a penalty clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#87 – Narayan – An ordinance approving a blighting study and Redevelopment Plan for the 7202-7220 Arsenal St. Redevelopment Area
  • B.B.#88 – Martin – An ordinance repealing Ordinance 69427 approved February 21, 2013, and pertaining to City public works contracts, Tax Increment Finance projects and St. Louis Bonded Projects, and workforce diversity, and establishing apprenticeship training, construction workforce development, and a Community Jobs Board, and in lieu thereof establishing a new ordinance pertaining to the same; and containing a severability clause and effective date.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

Next week they’ll meet on Friday July 12th — their last meeting before Summer break.

— Steve Patterson

 

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