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September 20, 2007 

Pritt Pulls 8 Votes 

Drew Pritt received 8 votes in Tuesday's Little  Rock School District Zone 2 Election. He got on the ballot by  securing at least 20 voter signatures on a  petition.

Posted by: at 4:16 pm | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (2)

September 10, 2007 

Bryson Reiterates Order 

Again via the mayor's website, Bryson reiterates the direct order to Chief George to make promotions:

You probably want to know what my appointment means. Here’s what I think:

My appointment gives us a chance for a fresh start. Running the City’s largest department is a killing job. Sam decided to leave for another job opportunity. I know what it is, and I congratulate him. That, however, is his announcement to make.

Sam and I have different styles, different skills, and different friends. I know that things are going to feel – and be – different in Public Safety.

Some important things, though, won’t change. Chief George must still make the promotions by Friday. That order stands – and I endorse it. If he doesn’t, he – like you, me, or anybody else who refused to obey an order and do their job — will face disciplinary action.

Once promotions get made, I am going to spend a great deal of time addressing some unrest in the Fire Department. While most of that unrest has to do with things like promotions and transfers, it keeps playing itself out in the language of race. It is, therefore, absolutely accurate to say the Fire Department, which is the most racially diverse fire department is the region, also has race problem. I am going to bring together people of good will from throughout the community to help guide me on that. And I expect to find plenty of support within the Fire Department itself. I think that relatively few St. Louis firefighters talk or feel like the angry ones you see on TV. Most firefighters like their jobs, love their City, and – again, like the rest of us – want the best for their families.

I am also going to work with Rick Frank and the Chief to get a new entry level written test as quickly as possible. We need more new firefighters than, say, building inspectors because firefighters retire relatively young. We are not going to dumb down the test just to get firefighters, because that would dumb down the Fire Department. We are going try using a different format to find out if that was the problem on the last test.

I also want to get the investigation into the use of probationary officers on private property wrapped up. That investigation has gone on for far too long. If there’s something there, let’s say so. If not, let’s get back to work.

In the Corrections Division, I am going to take a fresh look at how we supervise our contract with our outside medical provider. I am also looking forward to a plan being put together by Gene Stubblefield to add even more jail space so we can keep more criminals off of the streets for longer periods of time.


Posted by: at 12:06 pm | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (0)

Simon Out; Bryson In 

Amid the continuing promotion-test-gate, Sam Simon is leaving his perch as Director of Public Safety. According to the mayor's website:  Mayor Francis Slay plans to announce today the appointment of Charles Bryson as the City’s Director of Public Safety. Bryson will replace Sam Simon, who has resigned to pursue another opportunity.

Bryson will take over the position immediately.

Bryson most recently served as Mayor Slay’s Neighborhood Development Executive and deputy chief of staff. Prior to joining City government, Bryson worked for the Missouri Housing Development Commission, a state agency.

The Department of Public Safety is the largest city department. As director, Bryson will supervise several City agencies, including the St. Louis Fire Department, two correctional institutions, the Neighborhood Stabilization Office, and the Building Division.

Bryson is married to a St. Louis public school teacher. They have two children and live in the Penrose neighborhood.


Posted by: at 9:15 am | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (0)

September 6, 2007 

Continuing Pritt-Evans saga: Pritt's Other LG Race 

Earlier installments of the Pritt-Evans saga can be found here: Aug 6, Aug 7, Aug 8, Aug 9, Aug 31.
It turns out that Drew Pritt has been having Lt. Governor campaign problems in two states at the same time.
While the controversy in Missouri has been his firing or quitting the Mike Evans campaign and pay he alleges is due him, in Arkansas, their Ethics Commission went so far as to file a Motion for Contempt against him in July relating to campaign reporting from Pritt's 2006 bid for that state's Lt. Governor post.

2006-05-17 - Arkansas Ethics Commission received a complaint against Drew Pritt. It was alleged that he had failed to disclose to Arkansas SOS outstanding debt info and failed to file reports for April and May 06.
2006-05-18 - Commission notified Pritt about investigation. Case #2006-CO-019.
2006-06-16 - Commission Staff presented preliminary results of investigation. Commission instructed Staff to complete investigation and also include issue of failure to file timely reports.
2006-06-21 - Commission informed Pritt that investigation had expanded.
2006-06 - Printer receives default judgment of $2,759 against Pritt. Randi Evans, owner, Ad Craft of Arkansas, was also the person who filed the ethics complaint against him. At the time, Pritt claimed the Ethics Commission had dismissed the complaint.
2006-07-11- Commission Staff informed Pritt that investigation results would be presented to Commission on July 20 for purposes of determining probable cause for the finding of a violation.
2006-07-20- Commission voted 5-0 that probable cause existed for finding Drew Pritt violated Arkansas law: no April 06 report; no March 06 report.; 30 days missing contrib and expense info for Jan. 16 to Feb. 15; Feb. 06 report 1 day late; Jan. 06 report 7 days late.
2006-07-25 - Commission informed Pritt of probable cause finding and made Offer of Settlement: Public Letter of Caution; $150 fine; filing info for missing 30 days; filing March and April reports. Pritt was given 10 days to accept the offer or request a public hearing before Commission.
2006-08-08 - Pritt made no response. Commission notified Pritt that final hearing was Aug. 18.
2006-08-18 - Commission voted 4-0 that Pritt had failed to file timely reports for Jan. and Feb. 06; failed to provide reporting for Jan. 16 to Feb. 15; failed to file reports for March and April 06. Commission issued Public Letter of Warning and ordered Pritt to pay a $250 fine within 30 days and file all necessary reports within 15 days.
2006-12-05 - Commission filed suit against Drew Pritt in Pulaski County 5th Dist. Circuit Court. CV2006014178.
2006-12-06 - Pritt and Robert Roddey, Ethics Commission attorney, served with summons.
2007-03-27 - Motion for Default Judgment. Brief filed in support of motion.
2007-04-11 - Default Judgment ordered.
2007-07-25 - Motion for Contempt. Brief filed in support of motion.
2007-08-06 - Show Cause hearing set for Aug. 28.
2007-08-20 - Eight days before the Contempt hearing, Pritt filed amended reports with Arkansas SOS for Jan. 06 (including 2006-01-17 $650 expense to Arkansas Press Assn for newspaper ads and 2006-01-28 $350 for direct mail by Fletcher Rowley Chao); Feb. 06 (including 2006-02-12 $2000 in consulting fees to Ben Chao, Nashville), and March 06.
2007-08-24 - Four days before the Contempt hearing, Pritt filed a Final Report covering Feb. 15 to May 23 2006, with SOS (including 2006-03-10 $8000 loan from himself; total $11,000 in debt to himself; $813 remaining campaign funds to be disposed of to contributors).
The $2,759 default judgment to Ad Craft is not mentioned in Pritt's amended or new reports as a debt or paid expense.  
While Pritt raised and spent money campaigning for Lt. Governor, he ended up not filing for the post. His consultant Ben Chao is now National Deputy Political Director, Richardson for President.

Posted by: at 7:31 am | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (16)

August 29, 2007 

One Last Junket 

Spotted:  Although he is no longer a state representative, that didn't stop Nathan Cooper from attending the Council of State Government's "Healthy States Forum for State Legislators" in New Orleans last weekend.  Cooper was spotted going to sessions and otherwise enjoying himself at the LA-Hilton Riverside Hotel from August 23-25.  Cooper, a Republican from Cape Girardeau, resigned his Missouri House seat Aug. 14 after pleading guilty to two federal felony counts of immigration fraud.   No word on who paid for the trip.

Posted by: at 11:54 am | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (4)

August 28, 2007 

Blunt Will Work on Re-Election, Not RGA 

Political Wire:  In a development not yet made public, knowledgeable Republicans say that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is likely to take over the Republican Governors Association in 2008. The move is significant because RGA Vice Chairman Matt Blunt (R) has been in line to become chairman next year. Governor Blunt is the son of U.S. House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R).

The reason for the change is clear: the Missouri Republican's own '08 reelection is in doubt, and he will need to spend all of his time and energy trying to win a second term. He faces state Attorney General Jay Nixon (D), a formidable foe. Perry isn't up for reelection again until 2010, which gives him more time to help the RGA with fundraising and candidate recruitment.

The Perry-for-Blunt switch is still pending official approval until the GOP governors' vote at their annual conference in November, but savvy observers expect the change to be accepted without controversy.


Posted by: at 7:30 am | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (0)

August 9, 2007 

The Continuing Pritt-Evans Saga 

Jo jumped on the train today with a pair of emails provided to her by Drew Pritt. 

As he indicates in her posting, he did amend his filing.  The new filing shows the Pritt expenditure as incurred rather than paid.  It also makes a similar change for his fundraising consultant, now WZW Consulting.

Mike Evans called me yesterday to explain how it all came to this.  His side of story is that Pritt aggressively pushed himself into the campaign as a volunteer, and then gave himself the title of campaign manager.  Nevertheless Evans was planning to pay Pritt $4,500 until he discovered Pritt's past.  He then decided that he couldn't spend his donors' money that way and split with Pritt.

Evans reiterated that his campaign is strong.


Posted by: at 4:02 pm | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (2)

Nathan Cooper pleads guilty to Immigration Fraud 

KSDK has the story.  KSDK - State Representative Nathan Cooper entered a courtroom Thursday and pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to illegally get visas for workers. 

Posted by: at 11:08 am | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (3)

August 6, 2007 

Mike Evan's Campaign Manager 

was Drew Pritt.

UPDATE: Received a note from Evans stating that, "Drew Pritt is no longer with my campaign and hasn't been for over a week."


Posted by: at 2:46 pm | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (6)

July 27, 2007 

Another Problem with Term Limits 

Even if Steve Brown wins the 73rd, spends eight years in the House and then eight in the Senate, he'll be out of public office before, Sarah Brown, his new daughter (5lbs, 15 oz.; 19 inches) can cast a vote for him.

Congratulations Steve!


Posted by: at 2:56 pm | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (0)

July 16, 2007 

Happy Birthday 

Happy Birthday Jeanette Mott Oxford! 

Posted by: at 10:23 am | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (2)

July 12, 2007 

Moderate McCaskill 

Sen. McCaskill says that a new Congressional Quarterly survey places her among the most moderate members of the senate.

Answering questions during her first press conference as a Senator, the morning following her election, McCaskill said she intended to be a paragon of moderation, promising to represent all Missouri voters.

If you count moderate as bucking the party line when it comes to vote, McCaskill has done just that. Well known to voters for her independence, Missouri's newest Senator has continued that streak on Capitol Hill. CQ gave McCaskill the lowest rating for party unity among frosh Dems, 76.2%, which is third lowest in the party.

CQ pointed to two pieces of legislation as an example; the immigration reform bill and an effort to raise corporate fuel economy. Both were pushed hard by the Dem leadership and which Missouri's junior Senator voted against.

“In the end, party loyalty isn’t my concern,” McCaskill said in a press release. “My votes are about keeping my promises, doing what is right for Missouri, and voting my conscience. I'm proud of my record that shows that I am independent and decide each issue on its merit, not on partisanship."

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) ranked below McCaskill in party unity with 75.7% and 65% respectively. Neighboring Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), known for being the go-to guy when it comes to explaining policy and politics, came in second behind Joe Biden (D-De).

Posted by: at 7:32 pm | Category: People  |  Link & Discuss (2)

May 22, 2007 

Our condolences 

Our condolences to Curtis Royston III on the passing of his father.

A Memorial Service will be held Thursday at St. Louis Cremation, 2135 Chouteau,