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Archive for the ‘Government, Politics, Law and Order’ Category

MISSOURI’S TOMMY SOWERS CONFIRMED TO HIGH-RANKING VETERANS POSITION

Missouri native Tommy Sowers was confirmed Thursday by the United States Senate as an Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sowers, 36, returns to serving America in a military and public service role after an unsuccessful 2010 bid for Congress in southeast Missouri. A native of Rolla, Sowers’ new full title is Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. After graduating from Duke with a bachelors degree in public policy, Sowers served 11 years in the U.S. Army, leaving active duty service in 2009 at the rank of major. His Army service included twice leading Green Beret teams in Iraq and leading a combat engineers batallion in Kosovo. During his military career, Sowers earned his masters and doctoral degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He taught American government and politics courses at West Point before joining the faculty of Missouri University of Science & Technology back in his hometown of Rolla. After his congressional campaign, Sowers served as a senior advisor to the Iraw and Afghanistan Veterans of America, service Sowers said he will be able to continue in his new role at the VA. The job duties include overseeing the VA’s information outreach efforts to veterans, families and survivors, as well as relations with the Pentagon and state and local governments. Introducing Sowers recently to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill called Sowers “an extraordinary Missourian” who “understands today’s veteran.

CAMPAIGN ANALYST: LAGER DIDN’T GET NEEDED TRACTION IN KMOX DEBATE

A veteran campaign insider analyzes Thursday’s KMOX radio debate pitting Lt. Gov.Peter Kinder against challenger Brad Lager, with seasoned referee Mark Reardonbetween them: “This was not the knockout, or even the solid punch, that Lager desperately needs in the bSt. Louis region, where Kinder leads him 3-to-1. Lager never even mentioned his fresh endorsement by Mike Huckabee, his campaign’s only bright spot in a week of relentless bad media coverage and interview outings. In contrast, Kinder twice mentioned his endorsements by “two icons” among conservative Republicans: Rush Limbaugh and Phyllis Schlafly. Kinder also made news in the St. Louis market, announcing that less than a day after he called on the State Emergency Management Agency to release more than $500,000 it has been sitting on since last fall for Bridgeton’s tornado recovery, the state treasury is turning loose of the money. Kinder learned of the inexplicably delayed payments while chairing the new Disaster Recovery Committee that met Wednesday in St. Louis County. “We produce results within 24 hours,” Kinder quipped to tens of thousands of KMOX listeners. In contrast, he rapped Lager for still not updating his campaign or official bios to include his employment by Cerner Corp. of Kansas City, which has gotten rich from ObamaCare. Lager was first challenged on omitting the Cerner references during an appearance on Reardon’s show back on July 10, and Lager said at the time he probably should have included the Cerner information and that he had no problem with it. Lager did catch a break when Reardon didn’t press for his answer to the host’s direct question about Cerner: “Will they benefit from ObamaCare?” Kinder noted repeatedly that Forbes magazine, not him, first identified Cerner’s CEO as an “ObamaCare Billionaire” because of revenues reaped from federal mandates and stimulus funding.” The KMOX debate was the last big media event of the race, happening just five days before the primary election.

RANDY TURNER BUSTS BRAD LAGER FOR SHADOWY THIRD-PARTY SPENDING

Ever-vigilant watchdog blogger Randy Turner digs into Missouri campaign finance reports like a hungry hound after a T-bone. The flood of 8-days-before-election reports ahead of the party primaries a week from today provided startling new findings for Turner. In an exclusive today, Turner reports on a shadowy sham third-party group spending six figures from anonymous sources to promote Republican Brad Lager’s bid for lieutenant governor by paying for TV ads and direct mailers attacking the incumbent: “A shadowy organization that exists only on paper, Better Government for Missouri, is paying for a $200,000 direct mail hit job on Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, according to documents filed Monday with the Missouri Ethics Commission. As noted earlier in the Turner Report and other sources, Better Government for Missouri was created July 13 as a limited liability company and one day later funneled $100,000 to the St. Joseph-based Missourians for Conservative Values PAC.” That shadowy PAC, Turner continues, funneled $100,000 through a D.C.-based firm to buy attack ads against Kinder. Now, Turner has found that “five days after Better Government for Missouri was formed, it gave another $200,000 to Missourians for Conservative Values for a direct mailing against Kinder, according to the eight-days-before-election report filed with the Ethics Commission.” Keep up with Turner’s watchdog digging at http://rturner229.blogspot.com/

NBC GARNERS MASSIVE AD SPENDING

With hours to go before the opening of the Olympics in London, NBC has rung up $1 billion in advertising spending during the broadcast.  That’s beside the $6.5 million coming from President Obama’s re-election campaign.  The expenditures for the Olympics will reach NBC, NBC Sports, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, Bravo and streaming website NBCOlympics.com.  Meanwhile, analysts figure the network will lose around $200 million.  A major part is being used to re-launch the new “Today Show” team as well as its new primetime lineup. Industry types say the Olympics should be a ratings boon to the struggling NBC.

ST. LOUIS AMERICAN HAS ANTI-CLAY AD ONLINE

The St. Louis American is editorially boosting Lacy Clay in his 1st Congressional District Democratic primary showdown with fellow incumbent Russ Carnahan. And the most-read paper in the African-American community has its “Political Eye” column taking its usual potshots at Carnahan. But the paper’s ad department is ringing up some sales to the Carnahan campaign. Online at the top of The American’s website is a Carnahan link to a video ad lambasting “Pay-Day Clay,” for Lacy’s big donations from the payday loan industry that particularly prey on lower-income residents and the African-American community. The American website ad is bannered: “Watch the shocking video Lacy Clay Jr. doesn’t want you to see.”

INDICTED ON FEDERAL FRAUD CHARGES

Gary Salant and Douglas Dalton of our town have been indicted on federal fraud charges for engaging in a real estate project, Mary Margaret Day Care a.k.a. Little Treasures’ Day Care and Learning Center on north Florissant.  They were to construct two buildings.  Salant obtained a $1.3 million loan in 2008 for the construction and used that property as collateral. The indictment alleges that from 2008-2010, Salant made a series of draw requsts totaling $1.3 million of the loan. Dalton created a fictitious company, Kemp Sales Group, LLC in 2009 to create invoices to present to Midland States Bank for draws on a loan.  Salant and Dalton never completed construction of the two buildings and have failed to open Little Treasures’.  Salant was indicted by a federal grand jury on five felony counts of bank fraud; Dalton of Kirkwood was indicted on five felony and one felony count of wire fraud. The case was investigated by the FBI and First Asst. U.S. Attorney Michael Reap and Asst. U.S. Attorney Anthony Franks are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s office.

GERALD NOCE & CHILD SEX ABUSE

For the second time in a few months, barrister Gerald Noce has failed to stop a child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the Marianists and Brother William Mueller.   This week the Mo. Supreme Court ruled against Noce and in favor of Clayton attorney Ken Chackes and Florida attorney Adam Horowitz. who represent the alleged victim. (Two other men who also say Mueller molested them at St. Mary’s lost the statute of limitations.  They were represented by a K.C.lawyer.)  Mueller now lives in San Antonio.

REX SINQUEFIELD, THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Moneybags Rex Sinquefield just dropped $385k – you read right, $385k in one single donation – to the campaign of northwest Missouri state senator Brad Lager’s bid for lieutenant governor.  Lager, who made a failed race for state treasurer four years ago, is challenging incumbent Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder in the August Republican primary.  Kinder, it seems, wouldn’t do Rex’s bidding.  It looks like there are Republicans and there are REXpublicans. . .The Mo. Police Chiefs Association gave its first -ever “Leadership Award” to Attorney Gen. Chris Koster at the Mo. Law Enforcement Conference at Lake of the Ozarks. . .Former Bar Association prez  Tom Glick is hanging out his own shingle. . .As if we don’t have enough extremists seeking public office,Jack Wu, a backer of the controversial Rev. Fred Phelps, Sr.’s Westboro Baptist Church (the outfit that pickets funerals of soldiers to protest gays and lesbians) is running for the Kansas State Board of Ed. . .Scott Miller’s New Line Theatre has snagged the rightsd for three premieres: “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”; “Next to Normal” and “Bukowsical”. . .St. Louis Symph and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 2-197 have pacted a four-year labor contract that runs Sept. 2, 2013- Aug. 27, 2017. . .Writing in USA Today, ex-Post-Dispatch scribe Deirdre Shesgreen notes that while Missouri isn’t on the list of top swing states in the presidential race, that may be temporary because Missouri hasn’t undergone any major demographic changes, but rather “a few subtle political shifts.” “Missouri is probably more competitive than a lot of the pundits think,” saidPeverill Squire, a political science professor at the University of Missouri. And Richard Martin, who ran campaigns for Claire McCaskill and Bill Clinton, predicts there’s even a slim chance that Missouri might emerge as a battleground state late in this election season.. .Elizabeth Winer of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group points out that some in northern Missouri are seeing “spillover” spots aimed at Iowa voters. In April and May, spending on presidential ads largely went to Ohio ($8.4 million); Virginia ($4.3 million) and Pennsylvania ($4.1 million) followed by Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa, and Florida.

GALLOP, JOHNSON NEUMAN’S WOES

The defunct law firm is being sued by its landlord for four months back rent, while GJN is selling furnishings in an online auction, according to Missouri Lawyers Weekly. . . The doors of KSDK are revolving in front of the cameras as sports producer Keith Robinson ankled the starion for a plush gig as director of TNT Sports in Atlanta.  Kudos and libatitons flowed Saturday on the roof of J. Buck’s where sports director Rene Knott toasted Robinson and his several hundred family and pals. . .Louise Baushcard, founder of the Women’s Self Help Center, continues her good works in Oregon, wherfe she moved in 1994.  She’s set up another non-profit, Voices Set Free, to help children of incarcerated parents and is co-sponsoring a Walk Across Oregon to End Abuse and Heal the Wounds next month.

GABFEST

Three pointers filled the lunchtime air at Molly Darcy’s in Clayton, where Molly’s helmsman Carl Wnter  and LHM bossman Bob O’Laughlin hosted three of our towns basketball legends: Jim Kennedy; Jim “Bubba” Goessling and Rich Grawer.  While the lynchpins of DeSmet Jesuit’s first State Chamionship exchanged long range barbs, onlooker’s Michael B. Smallwood and Clayton High A.D. Bob Bonebeamed from ear to ear.  Nearby, CBC alum Tom Neusel, with his son Connor,  recounted running into Goessling’s fellow Christ the King of U.City alum Tara McCormack Hogan at Neusel’s 40 year CBC High School reunion.  Other CKS alums include Ronnoco’s Frank Guyol,  the late John Ferrara and former Congresswoman Joan Kelly Horn.  Sayeth Neusel:  “We Catholic’s don’t care  which high school you attended – we want to know which parish you grew up in!”  Future barrister Connor Neusel,  fresh off completing his second year at Mizzou Law, is interning with real estate/golf legend Tom O’Toole’s firm.


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