Tuesday, July 15, 2014


(EDIT: I changed the title of this post.  The title was "The Police are theives, and the arch renovators are robbers"... I was thinking of the song "Police and Thieves."  Then I realized robbery is done with a gun, and the new title was more accurate.  The blog post address still reflects the old title.  Sorry.)

The Arch Grounds Renovation and the new Police Headquarters can tell transit riders a lot.

Metro is a private-public partnership.  Public-private partnerships are really just another way for business developers to get more government funding for their own purposes.

And the City Arch River foundation is a great example of the "boondogglery" and misinformation that accompany these partnerships.


What is really shocking is how little real investigation is done by the media.  I get that global entities like Serco are difficult to track, but just skimming these articles the misinformation and statistical manipulation leaps out at the reader.  And these are all locally recognizable names and companies.

Take a wee peek at the people that are on the Board, and the companies that benefit.  Do the Ralston Purina heirs really need their names plastered anywhere else?  Look at the blatant pleas for more "donor recognition."

The biggest lie about the Arch Grounds Renovation is this:

"The lion's share of the funding is coming from private sources."

Take a close look at the actual private monies being donated --not a lion's share, by any means, and not actual money or even the "investors" own money, in the case of tax credits. Out of a $380 million dollar budget, private sources were supposed to donate $209 million.  $91 million comes from federal funding, and the rest-- and a whole lot more, about $500 million, for many, many years after the renovation is completed-- comes from that Prop P sales tax increase.  (They are gonna milk that cash cow to death.)

Now, kick in 14 months behind schedule, lagging private donations and additional $15 million dollar tax credit incentive (the government gives the donor a big tax credit, say for a million dollars, and the donor sells that credit for seventy cents on the dollar and kicks in a matching contribution... and the government wonders why they are insolvent??? Take the money to the racetrack and they'd get better odds and payoffs).

And, the truth is, the Arch is really not that vital to our city.  Sorry.  For real, read this link even if you don't read any of the others: http://nextstl.com/2013/03/the-missing-conversation-about-arch-grounds-attendance/

This is outright theft.  

The money from the tax and the federal funds could be used for something the city really needs: a north to south Metrolink.  The budget for that is $800 million.  (I believe that estimate is deliberately inflated, but regardless, that $718 million would pay for most of it, and Prop A's county proceeds in 14 months would cover the rest.)








That Roy Blunt supports public-private partnerships is just another confirmation they are a very bad idea:

Now, about that new police headquarters.  Here is another term for theft that a lot of people aren't aware of: asset forfeiture money.

The department bought a nine-story building once used by financial services firm A.G. Edwards for $2.7 million using asset forfeiture money.



With asset forfeiture, your money is guilty until proven innocent.  It is outright theft.  And as with all theft, it is the poorest who are most vulnerable.

The police don't have to report the money.  If they think your money is "dirty" they can keep it. And good luck getting it back. 







Hey, St. Louis, do you like being robbed?

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