Why a new Blog.There should be at least on point of agreement or consensus between all Missourians:
We need a better press corps!
This blog will do the job our press corps should be going in covering Missouri state and local economics and politics.
We start with the No. 1 story from Jefferson City this year: the breakdown of the Missouri Democratic Party such that it is no longer functioning as a political party.
This story has never covered by any writer or other journalist for the main stream media and yet it drives every political story in Missouri.
Here is the political story of the year (or any political year for a state), reported June 1st in a citizen op-ed for the Columbia Tribune:
Oh, for the want of a Democratic governor in Missouri there would have been no veto override of a harmful tax cut pushed by Republicans designed to benefit the wealthy after 2017.
In 2012, purported Democrat Nixon campaigned as an "independent," able to work well with Republican and Democratic legislators. That might have been a sound tactic for Nixon's re-election, but it was an idiotic strategy for an officeholder who had any hope of effective governing. The radical lunatics of the Republican legislative majorities seeking to nullify federal laws, imprison federal law enforcement officers, dismantle the United Nations, etc., have given no indication of being willing to engage in pragmatic compromise for the benefit of the people.
Nixon's repudiation of Democratic lawmakers denied them the advantage of "coat tails" from Nixon's 12-point margin of victory. Democratic victories in those close races would have given Nixon increased relevance in the legislative process. His abandonment of Democratic campaigns resulted in veto-proof Republican margins in both legislative chambers. Special elections and executive appointments of Republicans to other offices dropped their number down in the House, so it required one Democratic lawmaker to side with Republicans to override Gov. Nixon's veto of the tax cut.
Nixon's prior treachery might have come back to haunt him and the people of Missouri. In 2008, then Attorney General Jay Nixon was a good leader of the Democratic Party and made genuine efforts to help elect Democratic lawmakers to the legislature. Before 2008, it made sense for Nixon to have a strong relationship with the Democratic Party. Campaign limits at the time permitted party committees to make sizable contributions to Nixon's campaign, and individual limits made coordination between the party and an office seeker necessary. Democratic Party committees contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Nixon's 2008 campaign for governor. In 2008, those individual donation limits were eliminated and party committees were no longer necessary to Nixon.
Traditionally, the governor is a major player in party politics. Governors have often been referred to as 600-pound gorillas for the political clout they wield. Nixon's political focus is so self-centered that he is regarded by many as a nonentity in Democratic politics. After the 2008, election Gov.-elect Nixon's man became chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, as was tradition.
Political winds made it apparent the 2010 election would be favorable to Republicans. Initially during the 2010 campaign, Nixon agreed to headline a Democratic House campaign fundraiser and to make an additional six-figure contribution to House Democratic campaigns. According to a story often repeated in House Democratic circles, Nixon's team told donors to write the checks to the Democratic coordinated campaign committee for 2012. The six figures in funds raised at that event — money that many Democratic House members thought would be there to assist them in their tough 2010 campaigns — suddenly was unavailable. In addition, Nixon reneged on his additional six-figure contribution pledge. Nixon, in military parlance, then went AWOL for the rest of the 2010 election.
After significant losses in the House and Senate in 2010 and the loss of the Democratic state auditor, a revolt from within the Democratic Party resulted in Nixon's party chairman being removed from office and recently defeated state Auditor Susan Montee being elected as Democratic Party chair.
In 2012, the GOP spent more than $2.4 million in state legislative races. The reports I have seen indicate the Democratic Party spent about $100,000 in support of legislative campaigns that year. In 2012, Nixon raised more than $15 million for his re-election campaign as an "independent" governor.
In 2014, it appears Nixon, who could be the 600-pound political gorilla, has chosen to remain the 90-pound political weakling afraid of having sand kicked in his face should he offend Republicans. The Democratic Party in 2014 was unable to field a candidate for state auditor and reportedly did not have staffing present and available at the Secretary of State's Office during several days of candidate filing to complete necessary paperwork for candidates for the legislature. I have no reports that contributed to the large number of unchallenged legislative victories for Republicans at the close of filing.
I admonished Nixon privately a year ago that he should be a Democratic leader or renounce his affiliation with the Democratic Party. I would much rather he became the 600-pound political gorilla and fight for Missouri. But it is every person's choice when he hears the roar of the guns to either run to the battle or not.
Stephen Wyse is an attorney and former member of the Missouri Democratic State Party Committee.
No coverage of the story by the Media.Has anyone covered this story? No.
Who is Raymond DeGiorgio?
Mr. DeGiorgio is the General Motors engineer responsible for at least 9 deaths due to changes he made and supervised for a GM ignition switch.
Mr. DeGiorgio holds a unique position in that he is actually being made to accept personal responsibility by GM who has fired him and 14 others. He was fired for being "“neither diligent nor incisive.” The Washington Post has the entire story here and the confidential GM report of DeGiorgios's professional misconduct is here
Who are our Journalistic DeGiorgios?No need to name names. Readers know his or her reporter or journalist or editorial writer is a Raymond DeGiorgio.
If you don't you are the mark. Contemplate this piece by Bill McClellon, a great writer, capturing the soullessness of former beer baron August Busch III.
He settled into the witness stand with the attitude that this might be something he would enjoy. When one of Katz's lawyers, Donna Harper, asked him to give his name for the record, he turned toward the jury. "My name is August Busch. I was born in St. Louis in 1937 and I have lived here ever since."
He's channeling his father, I thought to myself. Gussie Busch was beloved by the peasants because he acted like a peasant himself. A very wealthy peasant, but a peasant. He did the sort of stuff we think we'd do if we were rich. Like buy a baseball team. And ride around the field on a wagon pulled by Clydesdales. That was not his son's style. Several years after dethroning his father, August sold the team.
He got more serious as the questioning went on, but there were times he seemed bemused by the whole procedure. A question came up about a wholesaler in Florida -- Susie Busch-Transou -- and he waved his hand to stop the question. "Does the jury even know who Susie Busch-Transou is?" he asked. The judge directed him to answer the question and explained that his lawyer would be able to ask questions later that could clarify things.
The dictator good-naturedly accepted the judge's explanation.
The stories are here in Missouri, in our Capital, city halls, and streets. We just lack writers with the capacity to see and tell those stories.