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Posts Tagged ‘Jay Nixon’

GUV NIXON’S CABINET MONSTER

Jeff City insiders are abuzz about how Guv. Jay Nixon gently dealt with a member of his cabinet who ran an entire state department like a tyrant.  The male official was described by multiple colleagues and underlings as “behaving like a monster and mismanaging through fear, threats, yelling, cursing and intimidation.”  It got so bad, department employees were threatening a march on the governor’s office.  And several employees who were fired or chased out of their posts by the department dictator have lawyered up.  But rather than firing the disastrously churlish department chief, Nixon appointed him to another publicly-funded job with a nice title, away from the capital city.  Nixon said the out-of-control cabinet member had “done a tremendous job” and now will “continue serving the people of Missouri in an important position.”

TIMOTHY WOLFE’S PRESIDENCY OF U OF M SLAMMED

A disclosure by the University of Missouri Curator Craig Van Matre has folks up in arms at UMSL, Mizzou, Kansas City and Rolla.  Van Matre, a Columbia lawyer appointed by Guv. Jay Nixon, disclosed to the Columbia Daily Tribune that the field of four finalists for the university president included “a candidate currently in academic management, a woman and a minority candidate.” None of this was publicly known, of course, because the Board of Curators picked the new president, Timothy Wolfe, in a process shrouded in secrecy worthy of the College of Cardinals winnowing the field for St. Peter’s Throne.  Wolfe is a white businessman with a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou, and he had been unemployed since last summer. He’s succeeded another white businessman, Gary Forsee, who was also unemployed before his hiring as president, because he was sacked as the CEO of Sprint. In an op-ed for the Columbia Missourian, Mizzou emeritus prof William “Gene” Robertson admonished, “Scrutiny of decision making is an inherent element that is prized at universities.  That process is assumed to be instrumental to educating future leaders.  Secret behaviors lead to notions of deviousness, which should not be considered at the beginning of new president’s tenure.”

MICHELLE BACHMAN WILL KNOW

Politicos from Sen. Claire McCaskill to Missouri state Auditor Tom “Owl Eyes” Schweich to Gov. Jay Nixon battle – with words and lawsuits – over disaster relief funds, perhaps Misourians victimized by the next tornado or flood will get a tad more federal aid if GOP hopeful Michelle Bachman replaces President Obama.  Bachman has a brother, Gary Amble, who lives in KC.  He happens to be a meteorologist for KCTV-5. . . .David Schwartz, the former Webster U. grad student who was terminated from his pusuit of a master’s degree in counseling for “lack of empathy,” will conduct an empathy workshop at the Zoo at noon tomorrow on the site of the polar bear exhibit, sez his mouthpiece and press agent Al Watkins. . .  Cannon Design is taking its signature charitable event, benefiting urban arts and education outreach on the road.  Proceeds will come frtom a three-day auction to support COCA and its urban arts programs.  Contributions have come in from renown architects Norman Foster, Michael Graves, Steven Holl, Helmut Jahn and others. . . A history professor claims that about this date in 1861. a Union general in our town “acting completely on his own and without precedent,” issued the first Emancipation Proclamation “a full year before Abraham Lincoln issued his own.” The fascinating 1,600 word saga involves two Missouri governors (Hamilton Gamble and Frank Blair), a military commander (Gen. David Hunter), a future GOP presidential candidate (John C. Fremont), a prominent abolitionist (Sen. Charles Sumner)and a Missouri First Lady who was the daughter of Thomas Hart Benton.  The academic, Michael Fellman, has authored eight books on the Civil War. . .Greg Marecek’s St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame has partnered with the Missouri Athletic Club to host the “St. Louis Rookies of the Year” Thursday, Sept. 22.  Many of the rookies will be on hand including Roy Sievers of the Browns, Cardinals Albert Pujols, Wally Moon, Vince Coleman and Todd Worrell.  Gridders to be honored are Johnny Roland, Ottis Anderson and Rams qb Sam Bradford. Others: Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman, the Hawks’ Bob Pettit, the St. Louis Stars’ Jim Leeeker and the Steamers’ Don Ebert and Steve Pecher.

CYBER CRIME UNITS GET FUNDING

Mo. Guv. Jay Nixon touches down Tuesday at Danforth Plant Science Center to laud the creation of 80 new jobs in its Center’s Bio-Research and Development Growth Park. . .Marien Brown, who owned and operated 1st Financial Resource, LLC and 1st Federal Resource, LLC, has been indicted for operating a “mortgage rescue” or “foreclosure rescue” service. The indictment alleges she researched and identified groups of homeowners in the state of Hawaii that were one or more mortgages behind payments and were in immediate risk of home foreclosure. She then targeted that group and sent out a large number of unsolicited mailings and then converted the funds to her own use, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office here. . .Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tracy Storie has sentenced Lorraine Kuslor, a Mountain Grove licensed professional counselor, to serve five years of supervised probation and ordered her to pay $29k for two felony counts of Medicaid Fraud stemming from false statements she made in order tor receive payments. Kusror pled guilty of obstruction of a Medicaid Fraud investigation and a felony count of stealing by deceit. . . The Missouri Department of Public Safety has awarded $390k in grants to assist local authorities in their efforts to fight online criminals who entice children and deal in child pornography. The Regional Computer Crime Education & Enforcement Group in Clayton and St. Louis County Special Investigation Multi-Jurisdictional Cyber Crime Unit are among the recipients.

CONSUMER BEWARE

The Missouri Supreme Court upheld an order barring an apartment leasing website from accepting money for tenant referrals without a real estate license. . . Gov. Jay Nixon outlined his key priorities today to be included in a comprehensive job-creation package that will be introduced during a special legislative session in September. Six priorities he outlined for the inclusion in the comprehensive, bi-partisan package are: the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act to spark economic growth in essential, next-generation scientific and technology industries; Complete Missouri to cut red tape for businesses and make the state’s economic tools more effective and user friendly; Foreign Trade Incentives to make substantial investments in infrastructure around Lambert Field to make Missouri a hub for international exports and the sale of American-made goods; incentives for the development of high-tech, next generation data centers to create IT jobs; Tax Credit Reform to sharpen the state’s existing economic tools and provide funds to pay for additional incentives and resources to pay for critical disaster-recovery priorities. . .Meanwhile, Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit against Alivio Foundation, Inc., based in Puerto Rico and Steve Blood of Georgia, for allegedly fraudulently soliciting donations through the internet to help victims of the May 22 Joplin tornado. Following the tornado, Koster said that Alivio began soliciting donations through a PayPal link on its website and through the online donation conduit, Crowdise, to aid victims, St. Peters Apostle Catholic Church and Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri. Neither the church nor Catholic Charities had ever heard of Alivio.

ROGER WILSON & MEM

Speculation abounds in political circles that the Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM) board of directors majority, appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon, wanted to put the quietus on constant urgings among Nixon’s fellow Dems for MEM’s president, CEO and former governor Roger Wilson to re-enter an elected political office. That may explain the mysterious sacking this week of Wilson from the well-paid position and Nixon’s installation of his long-time supporter, Chesterfield insurance attorney and super-donor Jim Owen as interim CEO succeeding Wilson. “Jay just doesn’t want a competing political star, especially a former Democratic governor who is more popular than he,” said a party leader. It may also explain why Owen refuses to publicly discuss Wilson’s departure, when the state’s largest workers comp insurance company recorded its best financial year in 2010 following Wilson’s slashed costs and has reportedly gotten crossways with a board that has seen two members indicted for unrelated financial crimes. At the age of 62, Wilson is in his prime.

GOV. NIXON REQUESTS FED TO COVER PUBLIC ASSISTANCE ON NATURAL DISASTERS

Today, Gov. Jay Nixon has requested the federal government to cover 100 percent of the costs associated with public assistance as a result of storms and floods that have hit the state since April 19.  At a minimum, he has requested the fed to adjust its typical cost-share arrangement for public assistance to allow for a 90 percent fed match with a 10 percent match from state and local governments. Meanwhle, the Guv has made some board and commission appointments:Anthony Witherspoon of Florissant on the 21st Judicial Commission; Constance Gully of Normandy on the Bi-State Development Agency and Mark Gorman of St. Louis on the Residential Mortgage Board.

MO. DEPT. OF REVENUE THREATENS LICENSE OFFICES

Department of Revenue director Alana Barragan-Scott sent this threatening email last week to operators of the 183 license offices in the state: “As you are aware, there are ongoing efforts in the General Assembly to get a legislative change to allow your offices to retain up to an additional $6 million in fees from motor vehicle sales tax collected.  I want to make clear that the Department of Revenue and the administration are opposed to this proposal.  If the legislative proposal were to become law, the Department will immediately review all existing contracts and programs to determine all available options to address this matter.”  The email was sent just 48 hours before the end of the most recent legislative session which ended last week. Gov. Jay Nixon abolished the system in which license offices were controlled by his office and distributed as patronage awards in favor of an open, competitive bidding process which should be free of political influence.  The process has been questioned by many as being full of flaws. Insiders point to the unsavory alliance between the state and “not-for-profit” Alternative Opportunities,” which has been awarded many license offices despite being non transparent, competitive bidders.  Eyes will be on the Deer Creek (Maplewood) office operator Michael Becker as he faces the Department of Revenue in Cole County.

LT. GOV. PETER KINDER ON FAST TRACK

Likely rival to Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder will get the ball rolling June 21 at Hunter Farms in Ladue.  The dinner, hosted by the farms’ Kimmy and Steve Brauer, will be highlighted with an appearance by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. . Meanwhile, Gov. Nixon is deploying senior officials and their staff to southeast Missouri for a series of five community response meetings at which they’ll learn about the resources, tools and services the state government can provide to assist families and businesses affected by the floods. . .The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs has released more than $1 billion to veterans, surviving spouses and dependents in Missouri during 2010. Larry D. Kay, exec director of the Missouri Veterans Commish said the “money will help support the local economy as well.”  Among recipients are counties in: Jefferson ($28 million); St. Charles ($38 million); St.
Louis ($117 million). . . AT&T senior veep Cynthia “Cindi” Brinkley will serve as keynote speaker for the Harris-Stowe State U. commencement on May 10 at Powell Hall.

DEER CREEK FEE OFFICE CAUSES ANGER WITH DEMS & GOP’S IN THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS

State Democrats and Republicans will be watching closely the May 18 trial in Cole County Judge Jon Beetum’s courtroom between the Dept. of Revenue and Maplewood’s Deer Creek fee office operator Michael Becker. Insiders of both political parties are expressing anger at the procurement process on awarding fee offices, which they say are both flawed and lacking in definitive guidelines.  Becker has been the standard bearer among the field in numerous categories in reviews during the process. Yet, it is only because Judge Patricia Joyce and Judge Beetum have sided with Becker with barring the state from replacing him with Springfield, Mo.-based not-for-profit Alternative Opportunities (AO) that Becker retains control of the lucrative Maplewood fee office. AO board members include AO CEO Marilyn Nolan, a member of Gov. Jay Nixon‘s transition team, and former co-owner of AO sub-contractor WD Management), and AO CFO Tom Goss. Goss’s wife, Bontiea Goss, is also an AO board member and COO of the not-for-profit.  WD Management, a company owned by AO board members that AO then chose to run the day-to-day operations for AO fee offices awarded by the state.  Tom Goss acted as agent of record for AO on many state contracts and legal documents.  Goss’ signature as agent of record concerning the state contracts for the fee offices indicate that Goss read the documents in their entirety and understood all provisions.  Becker contends that Goss and in turn AO failed to meet the state’s requirement for being a responsible bidder by being in violation of the RFP – request for proposal), which states, “The contractor shall not utilize subcontractors for provision of the services directly required in the contract.” WD Management’s sole client was AO.


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