Monthly Archives: February 2014

St. Louis declines bid for 2016 Democratic National Convention

via StlToday

ST. LOUIS • St. Louis hasn’t hosted a Democratic National Convention since Woodrow Wilson was president. And in 2016, it won’t host another.

St. Louis was one of about 30 cities to receive letters within the last week inquiring about interest in hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Jeff Rainford, chief of staff to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, said late Wednesday night that the city would decline the invitation, citing the private fundraising focus for the ongoing $380 million effort to reshape the Gateway Arch grounds.

“I don’t think people realize how large that project is,” Rainford said. “And that is the focus.”

The city was a runner-up to host the 2012 convention, losing out to Charlotte, N.C.

Political parties require a certain level of private fundraising from the selected host city. In 2012, Charlotte signed a contract to raise $36.7 million in private funds. St. Louis would have been required to do something similar.

Rainford said the city expects to have widespread support to host a political convention in 2020, when the Arch project is fully completed. He said he would expect the city would put in a competitive bid at that time.

Brian Wahby, the former chairman of the city’s Democratic Party who led the 2012 effort, was in Washington on Wednesday to attend the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting. His aim was to woo party officials as part of an effort to bring the convention to St. Louis.

Rainford said the decision was part of a week-long conversation, and had to be made before Saturday.

Other cities invited include Austin, Texas; Chicago; Dallas; Kansas City; Minneapolis; Memphis, Tenn.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Seattle; and Tampa, Fla.

Kansas City is aggressively seeking the 2016 Republican National Convention.

St. Louis has a long history of hosting Democratic conventions. It has done it four times — but not since 1916. The Democratic Party’s decision isn’t expected to be made until the early part of 2016.

Many believed the 2012 decision came down to electoral politics. North Carolina was in play for President Barack Obama. Missouri wasn’t.

“It’s very situational from one cycle to the next,” said William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Your chances tend to be better if you’re in a swing state.”

Missouri has veered from that label in recent election cycles, reliably voting for Republican presidential candidates.

“Missouri would be a stretch for any Democratic candidate at this point,” Galston said.

Since 2000, however, convention sites haven’t been much of an advantage in tipping the electoral scales. Former President George W. Bush was nominated at Republican conventions in Philadelphia and New York. He lost both states. In 2008, Republicans nominated John McCain in Minnesota, and he lost there. Last cycle, Republicans chose Tampa. Nominee Mitt Romney narrowly lost the state. And Obama lost North Carolina in 2012.

The City Journal – Feb. 25, 2014

The City Journal contains the minutes from the past week’s Board of Aldermen meeting as well as notices of hearings, public notices of hearings and permits, RFPs, City job openings, and other official records.  I use it to keep track of what is happening downtown and am glad to have it available online for free.

Notes from EWIDA Feb. 20, 2014

There was a meeting of the EWIDA on Thursday, Feb. 20 at St. Margaret of Scotland church basement.  Rep. Michael Colona and Rep. Michael Butler spoke about recent legislative battles and about the upcoming Citywide Caucus meeting that will gather city and state elected officials together to coordinate upcoming legislation.  Sean Spencer of the Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation gave an overview of the new organization and what we can expect for programs and involvement.  Alderman Conway spoke about the Kingshighway bridge replacement and gave an update from the Board of Aldermen.  Committeeman Jack Stelzer was absent due to his wife having knee surgery but asked Norah Ryan to let us know about an upcoming fundraiser for Recorder of Deeds, Sharon Quigley Carpenter.  I relayed Metro’s intentions of holding community meetings ahead of their fare increases, warned people against signing Rex Sinquefield’s Great teacher petitions, and announced a starting date of April 2 for my Preschool Storytime partnership with Isaiah 58 Ministries and Compton Heights Christian Church (we are always looking for volunteer readers or donations of books if you are interested!)  Kevin McKinney circulated an early voting petition and the EWIDA voted to officially endorse the initiative.

As these aren’t the “official” minutes, I apologize in advance for any omissions or errors.  The next meeting will be on Thursday, March 20, 7:30pm at SMOS church basement.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Think before you ink!

A fantastic reminder from the Missouri National Education Association about the deceptive ballot initiative petition that is going around – another one of Rex Sinquefield’s babies!  I’ve had to confront petitioners in front of City Hall who completely denied what it was about.  Do not sign the Teach Great Petition or for that matter, question vigorously any petition that is peddled in front of you.  Click through to the document to get the facts:

Candidate Filing Opens

Filing for the August primary begins Tuesday, Feb. 25 and goes until Mar. 25.  Positions on the ballot include:

  • Auditor
  • U.S. Representative
  • State Senators in even numbered districts
  • State Representatives
  • Associate Circuit Judges
  • Clerk of the Circuit Court
  • Recorder of Deeds
  • Collector of Revenue


Our State Rep., Mike Colona, speaks out on Nixon impeachment


Openly gay lawmaker discusses impeachment effort over same-sex tax filing (AUDIO)

February 7, 2014 By

Representative Mike Colona (D-St. Louis) says he doesn’t think there is any legal question about the executive order filed by the governor regarding same-sex joint state tax filings.

Representative Mike Colona (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Mike Colona (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

A fellow lawmaker, Representative Nick Marshall (R-Parkville), has filed two articles of impeachment against Governor Jay Nixon (D) for issuing that order, alleging Nixon mislead Missourians in saying the action was necessary, and that Nixon violated the state Constitution.

Colona thinks the legislature is not the place to bring up the issues Marshall seeks to raise.

“I’m from St. Louis,” Colona asserts, “and we might have a few things going on here like, oh I don’t know, a school transfer issue, a school district that’s about to go bankrupt, we’ve had two public health clinics closed because we haven’t expanded Medicaid, yet we’re supposed to take the time to do something like this in the General Assembly?

“If Representative Marshall thinks that this is truly an issue where the Governor has overstepped his bounds, then the true forum for this should be the courts, not in an impeachment hearing in the General Assembly.”

Colona, who is openly gay, says he doesn’t feel personally slighted by the actions of his fellow lawmaker, Marshall.

“I don’t feel as if I’m being personally attacked. Representative Marshall is an attorney, he’s a prosecutor and to use the vernacular language, he doesn’t pull any cheap shots. I don’t think he holds any animosity toward the LGBT community.”

Colona calls the situation an opportunity for education, particularly if the issue reaches the House Floor, but he questions whether it will go that far.

The City Journal – Feb. 11, 2014

The City Journal contains the minutes from the past week’s Board of Aldermen meeting as well as notices of hearings, public notices of hearings and permits, RFPs, City job openings, and other official records.  I use it to keep track of what is happening downtown and am glad to have it available online for free.