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Moral Crusader George Peach Charged In Prostitution Sting A Quarter Century Ago

March 13, 2017 Crime, Featured, History/Preservation, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Moral Crusader George Peach Charged In Prostitution Sting A Quarter Century Ago

The following is a slightly updated version of a post I did 5 years ago…

A year and a half after I moved to St. Louis a huge scandal broke — 25 years ago today:

The chief state prosecutor for the city of St. Louis, who has spent most of his 15 years in office crusading against obscenity, pornography and prostitution, was charged today with a misdemeanor offense of patronizing a prostitute.


Since being elected as circuit attorney in 1976, Mr. Peach has led a fight to rid St. Louis of pornography and prostitution. In the 1980’s he was responsible for closing the city’s major pornographic book and video stores. Last June, he endorsed changes in city ordinances that would make jail mandatory for prostitutes, pimps and customers who are second-time offenders. (New York Times)

Peach was busted three days earlier, on Tuesday March 10, 1992,  in a hotel in St. Louis County. In the days immediately following his arrest on the misdemeanor charge local officials were debating if he should resign or run for a 5th term as prosecutor.

ABOVE: AP story from 3/15/92, click to view article

A January 2004 story in the Post-Dispatch recounts many the sorted details including more criminal activity:

In an eight-month Post-Dispatch investigation in 1992, reporters disclosed that Peach financed his extracurricular activities with cash from a confidential city checking account he controlled. He also took money from a fund set up to aid crime victims. (Link no longer available)

A number of years ago an independent hollywood company began raising money to produce a film about Peach’s downfall, myself and many others donated money to help get the film made:

Heart of the Beholder is a 2005 drama film that was written and directed by Ken Tipton. It is based on Tipton’s own experience as the owner of a chain of videocassette rental stores in the 1980s. Tipton and his family had opened the first videocassette rental stores in St. Louis in 1980. Their business was largely destroyed by a campaign of the National Federation for Decency, who objected to the chain’s carrying the film The Last Temptation of Christ for rental.

The film won “Best Feature Film” awards at several film festivals. Critic Ryan Cracknell summarized the film, “There’s no shortage of material for writer-director Ken Tipton to work with here. That alone makes Heart of the Beholder a film of interest. It is in many ways a politically charged film as it touches on issues of freedom of speech, religious beliefs and all out fanaticism. Still, I didn’t think it was charged with enough balance and I think a large part had to do with the film’s inconsistent pacing.” (Wikipedia)

As one of thousands of uncredited producers I got the film on DVD, but here’s the trailer:

You can watch the entire film online, view chapter 1, do not watch at work! The film is also available on Netflix.

I recall a video store on the south side of Olive between Compton & Grand, now part of Saint Louis University’s campus, that closed in the early 90s. I only visited the store once, not sure if it was one of Ken Tipton’s Video Library stores or not.

– Steve Patterson


Status Quo Affirmed In Recent Primary

March 10, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Status Quo Affirmed In Recent Primary

St. Louis resists change, and with a few notable exceptions, the status quo was affirmed in Tuesday’s primary election. It’ll get rubber stamped in the formality known as the April 4th general election.

Despite St. Louis being overwhelmingly Democratic, we hold partisan primaries followed a month later by a general election that’s a complete farce. Why? Because voters wouldn’t know how to vote otherwise…or so I’ve been told. None of the people I voted for won, however, if I were a gambler I could have easily predicted the winners in most races.


I like Lyda Krewson personally. She was the only mayoral candidate to ask me for my vote. A few days before the election I saw her at an event and she asked it I had endorsed anyone. “No”, I said. Krewson asked if she’d get my vote Tuesday, but I told her I already voted absentee. Her next question is obvious, did I vote for her?  “No”, I said again.

In the 7-way race Krewson was the winner with only 32.04% of the vote. That means a majority of voters wanted someone else to occupy room 200. This is why I said before the primary that St, Louis needs Ranked-Choice Voting. The final outcome may have been the same — or it may have been different — just depends on how voters ranked their 2nd & 3rd choices. Given how close Tishaura Jones was the result may have been different.

The general election on April 4th will be a 4-way race. Republican Andrew Jones, Libertarian Robb Cunningham, and Green Jonathan McFarland will lose to Democrat Lyda Krewson.


I like Darlene Green well enough, but there’s no Rolex watch for longevity in office. Darlene Green will decimate the Green party candidate in the general.


This year was the odd-numbered wards — plus the 16th to fill a vacancy after Donna Baringer was elected to the state house in November.

Ward 1: Sharon Tyus was reelected in a 3-way race with 44.25% of the vote — most voters wanted someone else.

Ward 3: Brandon Bosley won the race usually occupied by his father. But 29.33% of the vote in the 6-way race shows a majority voted for someone else.

Ward 5: Disappointingly, Tamika Hubbard was reelected. Like other races, a majority of voters picked one of the other 5 candidates in the race. Hubbard got 43.23% of the vote.

Ward 7: The Democratic & Green primary candidates were unopposed, Democrat incumbent Jack Coatar will win April 4th.

Ward 9: This was the one big upset of the primary. Longtime incumbent Ken Ortmann was handily defeated by Dan Guenther. Ortmann for years refused to use email to communicate…relying on phone calls or face to face. Good riddance. Guenther got 64.2% to Ortmann’s 35.8%. Guenther will face Green candidate Katie Gore in the general. Gore was unopposed in the primary — she got ONE vote! This is why partisan primaries for local office are a waste of time & money — money that could be spent actually making our city better.

Ward 11: For the first time in years the 11th ward alderman will not be named Villa — because no Villa ran.   Sarah Martin, endorsed by Tom Villa, easily defeated her two challengers with 65.52%. The Green candidate got 3 votes in her unopposed primary race.

Ward 13: Incumbent Beth Murphy was unopposed in her primary, as was the Green candidate. The latter received 4 votes.

Ward 15: Voters overwhelmingly rejected Jennifer Florida’s bid to once again represent them in city hall. Megan Green got 66.1% of the votes in the 2-way race. Florida resigned a few years ago when appointed to finish the term as Recorder of Deeds, but she lost the election for a new term.

Ward 16 (Special election): Ald Donna Baringer was elected to the state house to replace termed-out Michele Kratky. Kratky then ran for the aldermanic seat vacated by Baringer — but Thomas Oldenburg defeated her. Republican Abigail Niebling faces an uphill battle in April even in the conservative 16th ward.

Ward 17: Joe Roddy won yet another 4-year term by defeating one primary challenger, he is unopposed in the general.

Ward 19: Sadly, Marlene Davis defeated her primary challenger. with 70.09% of the vote, she is unopposed in the general. Status quo maintained.

Ward 21: With Ald Antonio French in the mayor’s race, this became an open seat. John Muhammad won the 3-way race with 44.66%, 2nd place was close with 42.83%.  Muhammad is unopposed in the general.

Ward 23: Vacarro wasn’t challenged, is unopposed in the general.

Ward 25: Cohn wasn’t challenged, is unopposed in the general.

Ward 27: Ald Chris Carter didn’t seek another term. Another Carter ran in the 3-way race, but Pam Boyd won with 48.01%.


The $5,000 annual fee for short-term (aka Payday) loans was passed citywide but the vote was split along race/geography.

  • Wards that voted no: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 18, 19, 21, 22, 27
  • Wards that voted yes: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28

The 26th ward was the only ward mostly North of Delmar to vote yes — by just 32 votes. This says to me many are unaware of cheaper alternatives such as this and this.


Vote Yes on Prop S, Betts in 5th, Pattan in 19th

February 24, 2017 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Vote Yes on Prop S, Betts in 5th, Pattan in 19th
The St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners is on the first floor at 300 N. Tucker (@ Olive)

I’ve got my absentee ballot for the March 7th primary next to me, thankfully it’s fairly short. The sample ballot, however, is long — it includes every party and all 28 wards.

As is my tradition, I’ll review in reverse ballot order:

Proposition S

Shall the City of St. Louis, Missouri, be authorized to impose an annual fee of $5,000 for each permit (new or renewal) for a Short-Term Loan Establishment or $2,500 for a permit issued with less than 6 months remaining in the calendar year?



The phrase “Short-Term Loan Establishment” means payday loan business. Read about a great local non-profit alternative here. When voting, please vote yes on Prop S!

Board of Aldermen

I’ve not kept close tabs on all the aldermanic races — 14 odd-numbered wards plus a special election to fill the vacant 16th ward slot. It’s encouraging to see 11 are contested races, only 4 are not. I do have an opinion on two races — the 5th ward, where I live, and the 19th ward, that I can see from our windows & balcony.

5th Ward

The 5th sward is fed up with the Hubbard’s, last year we saw Rodney Hubbard replaced as Democratic committeeman and his wife, Penny Hubbard, replaced as state rep — both in special elections after courts found irregularities in voting in the August 2016 primary. Five people are challenging their daughter Tammika Hubbard, the incumbent. I’m backing the woman who unsuccessfully tried to unseat Penny Hubbard as committeewoman — Megan Betts. I was proud to endorse her in 2016 and I remain convinced she is concerned about the entire ward and city. See Betts’ Facebook page and.or Twitter feed.

19th Ward

In the 19th ward I endorse Lindsay Pattan over incumbent Marlene Davis.  I was impressed with Pattan before I even met her, the professionalism of her meeting invite was promising. In person I could see why she’s a successful business person. Davis, on the other hand, is…not Lindsay Pattan.

If you’re a 19th ward voter please vote foe Lindsay Pattan. To learn more see her website, Facebook page, Instagram, and/or Twitter feed.


Long time incumbent Darlene Green is being challenged by Alexandra Johnson. see her websiteFacebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.


I don’t have an endorsement in this race, but here are the Democratic candidates in reverse ballot order:

Voters please research the candidates in the races on your ballot. If there’s a ward election on your ballot don’t vote for the incumbent just because they’re the incumbent. Conversely, don’t vote for their challenger just because they aren’t the incumbent.

— Steve Patterson


Opinion: St. Louis Needs Ranked Choice Voting

February 22, 2017 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: St. Louis Needs Ranked Choice Voting


In St. Louis, with the occasional exception, elects the Democratic nominee in the April general election — the real race happens a month earlier in the March Democratic primary. Incumbents pride themselves on getting reelected every 4 years by having no challenger in the primary or general election.

When an incumbent decides not to run again everyone jumps into the race. The mayoral race in two weeks is a perfect example: 7 candidates are seeking to be the Democratic nominee…who will win the general held a month later.


The winner in the primary will be whomever receives the most votes — but it’s highly unlikely to be more than 50%. Some of you may not vote for your first choice because you might think s/he isn’t likely to win.  Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank their top choice first without fear of spoiling the results or throwing away their vote.

The following two videos explain:

More than half of those vote voted un the non-scientific Sunday Poll agree:

Q: Agree or disagree: St. Louis needs ranked-choice voting for races with 3 or more candidates

  • Strongly agree 9 [31.03%]
  • Agree 5 [17.24%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [10.34%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 2 [6.9%]
  • Somewhat disagree 2 [6.9%]
  • Disagree 0 [0%]
  • Strongly disagree 7 [24.14%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [3.45%]

I don’t expect St. Louis to change how we vote…or much else for that matter.

— Steve Patterson



Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis Consider Ranked-Choice Voting?

February 19, 2017 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis Consider Ranked-Choice Voting?
Please vote below

When you have two candidates running for office it is easy to understand the winner — the person who receives more than 50% of the vote — even if by just one vote.

I’m looking at the March 7th Democratic primary ballot with 7 choices for mayor and 6 choices for alderman in my ward — it’s highly unlikely the winner of either race will get more than 35% of the vote. In other cities, this would require a runoff vote among the top candidates until one receives a majority of the votes.

In lieu of holding runoff  elections some cities use instant runoff voting — candidates are ranked by voters to pick a winner with a majority of votes. This voting method has pros & cons:


  1. No need for expensive runoff elections.
  2. Politicians tend to adopt a more civil tone in campaigns.
  3. Enough with the strategy games.
  4. Majority wins.


  1. Many cities do not have the proper equipment to count the ballots.
  2. It’s confusing.
  3. Elections for multiple positions become complex.
  4. Voters need to know their stuff.

What do you think, should we try it? Vote in the poll below.

The poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson