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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Judge says Hawley can continue investigating Greitens

JEFFERSON CITY • A Cole County judge has doused an attempt by Gov. Eric Greitens' legal team to prevent Attorney General Josh Hawley from investigating him.

Circuit Judge Jon E. Beetem, in a ruling released Friday, denied a request for a restraining order by Greitens' legal team, saying he had no authority to put the brakes on an ongoing investigation by Hawley. Beetem also said he could not appoint a special prosecutor.

James Bennett, one of Greitens' attorneys, on Thursday argued that Hawley could not credibly investigate Greitens because of Hawley's U.S. Senate campaign and public statements that were critical of the scandal-plagued governor.

Greitens' team pointed to Missouri court rules which bar prosecutors from "making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused" in criminal cases.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/judge-says-hawley-can-continue-investigating-greitens/article_064760e2-a096-52d1-b789-caeb2aeba8c9.html

Battle over medication abortion rages on in challenge to new Missouri law

Last summer, Gov. Eric Greitens summoned Missouri legislators to Jefferson City for a special session with the sole purpose of considering new regulations on abortion clinics.

Out of that session came tighter controls on a procedure that in Missouri had become the most common method of terminating a pregnancy in the early stages: medication-induced abortion.

The law has effectively banned medication abortion in Columbia, Joplin and Springfield, leaving Kansas City and St. Louis as the only options for the procedure. It’s also prompted multiple lawsuits as clinics that perform abortions work to get it overturned.

And now — six months after the regulations went into effect — the battle continues to be waged in courtrooms in Jefferson City and Kansas City.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article209690989.html

Kansas agency criticizes Legislature in fight over pizza magnate's $42 million tax bill

TOPEKA -- A state agency says Kansas lawmakers approved an unconstitutional bill that may result in the state having to pay back $42 million to a former pizza magnate.

The Kansas Department of Revenue says the Legislature used a tactic attacked by transparency advocates and made other questionable moves to stuff the bill with more than one topic. That would violate the state constitution.

The 2016 bill — which is now law — gives businessman Gene Bicknell a new day in court to fight a years-long dispute with the revenue department over a $42 million tax bill.

The decision by the agency to argue the law is unconstitutional comes as Gov. Jeff Colyer and lawmakers have preached the value of transparency. Both Colyer and the Legislature have taken steps to increase open government this year.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article209889919.html

Apple, Google, other tech firms oppose 'discriminatory' Kansas adoption bill

TOPEKA -- A network of companies including Apple, Google and Amazon are fighting a proposal before Kansas lawmakers that would allow adoption and foster care organizations to refuse placements to gay and lesbian couples based on religious beliefs.

TechNet — a coalition of more than 80 technology companies — has sent a letter to legislative leaders outlining the corporations’ opposition to the bill.

“Discriminatory legislation would hamper the state’s ability to attract, recruit and retain business and top talent, drive declines in the state’s travel & tourism industry, weaken the states to attract next-generation entrepreneurs and innovators, and make Kansas less competitive for the relocation or expansion of both large and small businesses,” the letter says.

Debate over the bill has hinged on whether it discriminates against gay and lesbian individuals and couples seeking to adopt or act as foster parents.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article209983344.html

Democrats' efforts to take on sexual harassment advance in GOP-led House

TOPEKA -- Democrat-led efforts to face sexual harassment have moved forward in the Kansas House.

The pair of legislative changes dealing with sexual harassment advanced during the chamber’s budget debate Friday afternoon on a marathon day in the Kansas Legislature.

The budget will likely still have to be picked apart by a conference committee between officials in both the House and Senate before heading to the governor's desk.

Rep. Brandon Whipple, D-Wichita, pushed for the first change. Under his amendment, Whipple said state employees who signed a non-disclosure agreement could not be silenced if they were victims of sexual harassment or abuse.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article210022274.html

AG gave Cole County prosecutor evidence alleging new crime by Greitens

JEFFERSON CITY -- The Missouri attorney general’s office has turned over evidence to the Cole County prosecutor accusing Gov. Eric Greitens of knowingly filing false campaign finance disclosure reports to the Missouri Ethics Commission, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Filing a false campaign disclosure report would be a Class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

The allegations of criminal wrongdoing center on a consent decree Greitens signed last April to settle a complaint filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. In that consent decree, Greitens admitted that his campaign had failed to disclose it had obtained a donor list belonging to The Mission Continues, a veterans charity Greitens founded in 2007.

Greitens’ campaign paid a $100 fine and agreed to amend its campaign filings to show it received the donor list as an in-kind contribution from former campaign manager Danny Laub in March 2015.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article209970199.html

Missouri Man Who Beat 26-Year Conviction Seeks Millions From St. Francois County

In June 2011, deputies in rural St. Francois County, Missouri, raided Timmie Alan Pierce's chicken coop. What they found was enough to score a 26-year conviction for various drug offenses.

But they did not have a warrant. And so while they caught Pierce in the coop with materials commonly used to cook methamphetamine, the court of appeals for Missouri's Eastern District threw out the evidence garnered in the raid and vacated his sentence. Prosecutors decided not to try him again.

Yesterday, Pierce filed a lawsuit against St. Francois County Sheriff Daniel Bullock, two deputy sheriffs and the county itself. He's asking for more than $2.5 million.

The calculations on that number involve many factors. Pierce, a laborer, says he spent 23 months in prison before finally being released from prison in January 2017. He spent $12,000 on a criminal defense lawyer, lost an estimated $80,000 in wages and also suffered from his "loss of freedom of movement."

Read more: https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/04/27/missouri-man-who-beat-26-year-conviction-seeks-millions-from-st-francois-county

Could-Be Felon Gives Keynote Speech at Law Enforcement Prayer Breakfast

Despite misgivings from some of the region's law enforcement officials, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens delivered the keynote address this morning at the St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association prayer breakfast, a somber annual event dedicated to memorializing officers slain in the line of duty.

Greitens has been charged with two felonies related to two different matters in recent months. But his speech did not hint at his current troubles, the most recent being a criminal complaint connected to his allegedly improper use of a donor list acquired from the non-profit he'd founded before becoming governor. Unlike other recent statements, the governor even managed to refrain from blasting the "liberal media" or referencing George Soros.

Greitens spoke personally about his experiences comforting the families of killed officers, and he vowed that Missouri would continue support law enforcement during the "hardest moments."

"Those who gave their lives did their duty," Greitens said, "and now we have a duty to continue to support them."

Read more: https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/04/25/could-be-felon-gives-keynote-speech-at-law-enforcement-prayer-breakfast

St. Louis Democrats Press Ahead with Plan to Censure Rogue Members

The demise of St. Louis Democrats' plan to punish committee members who oppose party-endorsed candidates, it turns out, has been greatly exaggerated.

In fact, Bob Hilgemann, the chairman of the St. Louis Democratic Central Committee, says he believes supporters have the votes to enact the controversial bylaw change, which threatens members who support non-Democratic candidates with being silenced for up to six months.

"Ultimately, it's going to come to a vote, and I think it's got enough votes to pass," he says. "People feel strongly that we need to require our members to support Democrats. A lot of people in this group feel that they need to support the party or resign their position."

Members of the committee are the party's formal apparatus in a city that votes Democrat without reservation. They're chosen on primary ballots — two for each city ward — and hold their unpaid seats out of passion.

Read more: https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/04/27/st-louis-democrats-press-ahead-with-plan-to-censure-rogue-members

Missouri women: coming soon to a ballot near you

Hillary Shields is early, 25 minutes early to be exact.

She has parked her car across from the Uptown Arts Bar and is making her way on this Thursday, early March evening that happens to be International Women’s Day.

It has been less than four months since Shields narrowly lost a state senate seat to Republican Mike Cierpiot in her Lee’s Summit district. Her campaign ran on grit and the steady knuckle beat of volunteers who canvassed neighborhoods, many of the volunteers driving from all over the metro area to help.

Then a big, dark Republican money tsunami crashed local media markets while outspending Shields’ campaign 10 to 1. The ad campaign included a commercial that lied about Shields’ stance regarding a state lawmaker who made questionable comments about the president. “Since they didn’t have anything real they had to make stuff up.”

Shields was not deterred. She signed up to run again the day filing opened on Feb. 27. She will likely face Cierpiot again.

Read more: https://www.pitch.com/news/politics/article/20998533/missouri-women-coming-soon-to-a-ballot-near-you
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