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Opinion: Eric Greitens’ Political Future Is Dead

April 25, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Eric Greitens’ Political Future Is Dead
Mugshot of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

Some of you were unhappy with the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll. The poll, like most weeks, took an extreme view and readers could agree or disagree. Without question the idea that just because his hair stylist went to the Greitens house and didn’t leave as soon as she got uncomfortable meant she consented to whatever took place is absurd.

He blindfolded and bound a woman to exercise equipment, spanked her, and tried to kiss her without her consent.

Those are among the scandalous allegations against Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri that were released in a legislative report on Wednesday that has put the first-term Republican governor’s political future in deep trouble. (New York Times)

I don’t know what did and did not take place in the Greitens home — a jury will need to figure that out. I do know that men can misinterpret someone being infatuated with them as consent to anything they might want to do. When this happens the men think what’s taking place is consensual — even though it isn’t if verbal consent has not been given.

A survey of 185 people published in The Journal of Sex Research found that people who practice BDSM (that’s bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism) are less likely to believe myths about sexual assault, blame sexual assault victims, and exhibit benevolent sexism—the patronizing attitude that puts women on pedestals.

The Northern Illinois University researchers believe they found these results because people within the BDSM community are more likely to embrace affirmative consent—the standard by which only a clear, enthusiastic, verbal “yes” constitutes consent. Since enacting a scenario that involves restraint and potentially physical pain requires discussion, those who practice BDSM typically aren’t going to just assume consent because someone hasn’t said “no.” (Glamour)

In any dominant/submissive roll playing situation consent to each activity must be clearly asked and answered prior to the start — this is to prevent the submissive person from feeling coerced into an activity they’d rather not. All participants must agree to a safe word prior to the start.  This question of consent will likely be a big part of the criminal case against the governor next month.

I was disappointed so many agreed with the Sunday Poll statement:

Q: Agree or disagree: By voluntarily going to Eric Greitens’ house — not leaving sooner — his mistress gave her consent.

  • Strongly agree 6 [14.63%]
  • Agree 1 [2.44%]
  • Somewhat agree 1 [2.44%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 3 [7.32%]
  • Disagree 6 [14.63%]
  • Strongly disagree 23 [56.1%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [2.44%]

Governor Greitens should’ve resigned in January, but he’s decided to fight. In my mind he now has zero political future — the only question is will he finish the term? Even if impeached by the Missouri house, the senate may not have the votes to convict and remove him from office.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Pruitt-Igoe’s William Igoe Died 65 Years Ago; St. Louis Board of Aldermen Started New Session This Week

April 20, 2018 Board of Aldermen, Featured, History/Preservation Comments Off on Pruitt-Igoe’s William Igoe Died 65 Years Ago; St. Louis Board of Aldermen Started New Session This Week
St. Louis City Hall

Sixty five years ago today the person for whom the intended white section of failed Pruitt-Igoe public housing project was named died at age 73:

William Leo Igoe (October 19, 1879 – April 20, 1953) was a United States Representative from Missouri.

Igoe was born in St. Louis to Irish immigrants. He attended the public and parochial schools of St. Louis and graduated from the law school of Washington University in St. Louis in 1902. He was admitted to the bar in the same year and commenced the practice of law in St. Louis. He was a member of the municipal assembly of St. Louis from 1909 until March 3, 1913, when he resigned to enter the United States Congress.

Igoe was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-third and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1921). On April 6, 1917, he joined 49 other representatives in voting against declaring war on Germany. He declined to become a candidate for renomination in 1920. He resumed the practice of law and was an unsuccessful Democratic nominee for mayor of St. Louis in 1925. He was chairman of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners 1933–1937. He died in St. Louis on April 20, 1953 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery. (Wikipedia)

You can see his photo on FindAGrave.

At the beginning of this week the St. Louis Board of Aldermen formerly ended their previous session and began a new session the following day. The 2017-2018 session ended on Monday, the 2018-2019 session began on Tuesday. No legislation was introduced — expect quite a bit a week from today when regular 10am Friday meetings resume. As I’ve done in the past, new Board Bills will be listed the day they’re introduced.

Since a new session is starting, this is a good opportunity to review the how a board bill becomes an ordinance:

Workflow
When it comes to passingBoard Bills, the Board of Aldermen agenda is broken down into four basic parts.

  1. First Reading of Board Bills/Referenceto Committee
  2. Second Reading of Board Bills
  3. Perfection of Board Bills
  4. Third Reading/Final Passage of Board Bills

Introduction of Board Bills
Each Friday, Bills are introduced (first read) during the Board of Aldermen meeting. The meetings are held at 10 A.M. in Room 230. The President then assigns each bill to one of 15 committees.

Committee Hearings
It is up to the chairman of each committee to schedule hearings to review any Bills that have been introduced and assigned.

During the committee hearing, an alderman will present a Bill to the committee members, discuss its merits and ask that it be sent to the full Board of Aldermen with a “do pass” recommendation. Sometimes, the committee will make changes to the Bill before sending it back to the floor. These changes are called Committee Substitutes or Amendments.

If a sponsor senses that a Bill lacks sufficient support, the sponsor may ask that it remain in committee while changes are drafted. Although rare, sometimes a Bill will remain in committee until the end of the session, at which time the Bill “dies.”

Second Reading
Once a bill has been passed out of committee, it is then ready for Second Reading at the next Board of Aldermen meeting.
There is no discussion of the bill during Second Reading – it’s simply read out loud.

Perfection
The following week, the bill appears on the Perfection Calendar. This is when the sponsor may stand up and explain to the full Board what the Bill is and ask for support. On controversial Bills, there is often a long and lively debate. This is also the time to make any final changes to the Bill (Floor Substitute).

It takes a majority of the aldermen present to vote in favor of perfecting a bill and move to Final Passage. (All votes at the Board require a majority of the aldermen present except on Final Passage, which requires a total of 15 “yes” votes regardless of how many aldermen are present at the meeting. Bills regarding the sale of City-owned land require 20 “yes” votes.)

Third Reading/Final Passage
One week after Perfection, the Bill will appear on Third Reading/Final Passage. No more changes can be made to a Bill at this point. Each alderman can either vote “yes” or “no.” It takes 15 “yes” votes to finally pass a Bill and send it to the Mayor’s desk.

There is a procedure by which a Bill can move more quickly through the process. After Second Reading or after Perfection an alderman may ask to suspend the rules and have the bill moved to the next section on the agenda during the same meeting. 

Timeline
First Reading = 1st week.
Passed out of committee and Second Reading = 2nd week
Perfection (suspend the rules and obtain Third Reading/Final Passage) = 3rd week
The quickest a Bill can go from First Reading to Final Passage is three weeks at a minimum.  It is not unusual, however, for the process to take longer.  It could be several weeks before the Bill gets a committee hearing, which would slow down the process.

The sponsor may ask that a Bill be held in committee while changes are drafted, which will also slow down the process. 

The best thing to do is to follow the weekly agenda. If the Bill you’re looking for does not appear on Second Reading, Perfection or Third Reading, then you know the sponsor must be holding it in committee for some reason or the Bill is still waiting for a hearing.

The above is from the About Board Bills page. In the meantime you can review votes on bills from last session here.  For example you can see who defeated a bill to create a buffer zone at abortion providers.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

A Decade Since Developer Pyramid Construction Collapsed; Guidelines Needed for Development Incentives

April 18, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on A Decade Since Developer Pyramid Construction Collapsed; Guidelines Needed for Development Incentives
The Hotel Jefferson at Jefferson & Locust is about the only unfinished Pyramid project

A decade ago I was about four hours from St. Louis, still in a rehab hospital after my February 1st stroke. I got a call from a friend, a former Pyramid Construction employee, telling me he heard the heavily-leveraged company was shutting down that day. I immediately called someone still employed at Pyramid, but my call wasn’t returned.  I ran the story Rumor: Pyramid Ceasing Operations based on my source.

Many people lost their jobs that day, some found out about their employer closing here.  While unfortunate, I was just the messenger. Current & formers employees close to the matter felt is was important to get the word out as it was happening — hence the call to me.

From 2010:

For much of this decade, Steffen’s Pyramid Construction Inc. led the way in loft construction and other residential and commercial projects in downtown St. Louis. But overwhelming debts crushed the company, which went out of business in 2008. (Steffen indicted on bank fraud charge)

On a related note, Sunday’s non-scientific poll was about development incentives.

Q: Agree or disagree: The City of St. Louis should end all development incentives (tax increment financing, tax abatement, etc)

  1. Strongly agree 1 [2.63%]
  2. Agree 1 [2.63%]
  3. Somewhat agree 4 [10.53%]
  4. Neither agree or disagree 1 [2.63%]
  5. Somewhat disagree 4 [10.53%]
  6. Disagree 6 [15.79%]
  7. Strongly disagree 21 [55.26%]
  8. Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

Wisely a large majority disagreed. Incentives are necessary to produce desired results where the market hasn’t or can’t made the numbers work. What needs to stop is incentives being used in hot areas for high-end projects — the type market conditions would support. That said, incentives where the project is very urban with ground-level retail, underground parking, etc  can make sense.

It appears last year’s efforts to create guidelines failed.

— Steve Patterson

 

Race For St. Louis County Executive Will Be Decided On August 7th

April 11, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy, St. Louis County Comments Off on Race For St. Louis County Executive Will Be Decided On August 7th
Northwest Plaza is part of the debate in this race, September 2013 photo

Despite seven candidates from four political parties, the race for St. Louis County Executive will be decided in the August 7th primary — between the well-funded incumbent and the well-funded newcomer — both Democrats. Only some sort of scandal after the primary would mean one of the other three might win.

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

Q: Seven candidates are running to become the next St. Louis County Executive, which one would you LIKE to see win in November 2018?

  • Mark Mantovani (D) 9 [45%]
  • Steve Stenger (D) 6 [30%]
  • Daniel Sampson (R) 2 [10%]
  • 3-WAY TIE:  1 [5%]
    • Paul Berry, III (R)
    • Nicholas (Nick) Kasoff (L)
    • Bill Ray (D)
  • Andrew Ostrowski (C) 0 [0%]

After the poll began I realized I forgot to include “unsure” option, resulting in lower than usual responses.

Hopefully voters will research all the candidates, attend debates, and really know each before voting. Hat tip to Andrew Ostrowski — the only one of the seven to contact me after the poll concluded.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Which of the Seven Candidates for St. Louis County Executive Would You LIKE to Win in November 2018?

April 8, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy, St. Louis County Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Which of the Seven Candidates for St. Louis County Executive Would You LIKE to Win in November 2018?
Please vote below

You’ve likely been seeing political commercials in the race for St. Louis County Executive. The primary for Republican & Democratic candidates will be held August 7th — just over 3 months from now. We already know the unchallenged Libertarian & Constitution candidates will win their primaries.

The seven candidates from four political parties, listed in alphabetical order:

Today’s poll asks which of these seven candidates you’d like to see win in November. Not who you think will win — who you’d like to see win.

This poll will close automatically at 8pm, but will be closed earlier if voting irregularities are detected — such as campaigns to make a candidate the winer by emailing supporters to vote in the poll.

— Steve Patterson

 

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