Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why has Missouri House Leadership aligned with the New Black Panthers?

Over the past month, St. Louis Tea Party bloggers have made their case against local control of the city's police department. Bill Hennessy set forth that the US Constitution grants no standing to political divisions smaller than a state. Numerous arguments have been made at ranging from the principled, (Who Polices the Police?) to the pragmatic (St. Louis Police Pension: A Pot of Gold) and everything in between (State Control of the City of St. Louis?).

A vote on the local control bill (HB 71) could come as early as today, 2/17/2011.

The Speaker of the Missouri House, Steve Tilley, has been a leading advocate for local control of the St. Louis Police Department. In his zeal to pass local control, he's gone so far as to appoint an ally of the New Black Panther Party to a House leadership position. As committees were formed, Tilley assigned Jamilah Nasheed (pictured below) to chair Urban Issues. That's the same committee to which he later assigned the Local Control bill. This raises serious questions about Tilley's judgement.

Make no mistake, this is not about Rep. Nasheed who's personal story ranges from tragic to redemptive. If the people of Missouri's 60th house district want her to represent them, so be it. However, that does not mean that a Missouri House dominated by Republicans should place her in a leadership position. Speaker Tilley has demonstrated a lack of judgement and opportunistic leadership in his rush to get the Local Control bill passed.

From left: Jamalah Rogers, Talibdin El Amin, Jamilah Nasheed, and an unidentified member of the New Black Panthers


Anonymous said...

Hence, the huge importance of local issues trumping Federal as making impact from the "bottom" up.

Zotta's Perspective said...

Good Post. Carl Bearden, who is a lobbyist for Rex Sinquefield, a billionaire who wants local control, was concerned about corruption and noted the Bommarito resignation from Police Board for helping his nephew with a DWI arrest. Bearden claims he is concerned about corruption and I pointed out to him by using his logic there is the possibility of more corruption because there are 28 Alderman plus other influential people, whereas the Police Board consists of 5. Rex Sinquefield contributed heavily to Speaker of the MO House Steve Tilley as well as Lt. Governor Peter Kinder who now support local control. Is Rex Sinquefield buying influence? Does anyone find this type of behavior troubling? I do. The bottom line is the issue of local control of the SLPD is the Police Pension Fund. The City needs the money and they want the ability to raid the Police Pension Fund. The first step to accomplish that is to get local control of the SLPD.