Argus Mid October

October 20, 2014  |  By  | 


The St. Louis Mid October / 2O14 www.argusstl.com • Visit us on Facebook and Twitter where the two County Execu- tive candidates, Councilman Steve Stenger and Represen- tative Rick Stream sparred in their second debate just a few miles away at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Baruti, anked by support - ers including Akbar Muham- mad, adds a rarely exercised and unconventional ballot stratagem to an already shift- ing political dynamic that has seen many African-Ameri- cans and elected ofcials re - align political loyalties away from the Democratic party. Baruti and his organiza- tion had previously espoused a “NO STENGER” option in the wake of the Ferguson unrest, and the councilman’s association with County Pros- ecutor Robert McCullough, and the perceived toxic and racially tinged campaign run against the County’s rst African-American executive, Charlie Dooley. Baruti, no stranger to the ballot box, gained a mar- ginal, yet respectable vote total when he rain in 1988 in the Democratic primary for Governor garnering nineteen percent of the vote, or 87,000 plus votes in a state with a population less than twelve percent then. Those margins could se- verely impact and shift the outcome of the County Ex- ecutive race, where a key Democratic voting bloc has already shown signs of ballot independence and a willing- ness to stray from conven- tional voting patterns. Baruti, a former educator and editor of AfricanWorld newspaper, has been a xture in St. Louis over thirty years, champion- ing causes of social and eco- nomic justice. His bold entry upon a bal- lot box previously dominated by two party system, could further set a troubling pattern for statewide Democrats and redene the Presidential and Gubernatorial races in 2016. 2 • NEWS WATCH / LOCAL N EWS W ATCH Activist Throws His Hat Into County Executive Race N EWS W ATCH PHOTO FROM WIRE SOURCES POLITICAL INSIDER NEWS Social justice and civil rights activist Zaki Baruti. light on Stream’s conserva- tive voting record in Jefferson City. The rst question cen - tered around the death of Mi- chael Brown and how each would resolve the division in the county. Representative Stream laid blame for the cur- rent crisis and division on the result of the lack of leadership, joblessness and state of school systems. Citing his consistent presence in Ferguson and his support for call of an inde- pendent special prosecutor, Stream asserted his position as one best suited in helping bring healing to the divided community. Stenger spoke of creating an Ofce of Commu - nity Empowerment with a fo- cus on areas of transportation, health, economic development and the Children Service’s fund. Stream continued touting the bi-partisan support he’s received, namely that amongst African-American Democrat- ic elected ofcials and organi - zations like the newly formed Fannie Lou Hamer Democrat- ic Organization. The organization recently broke ranks with Democrats and endorsed Stream’s cam- paign. Councilman Stenger went on the offensive citing Stream’s legislative record on not fully funding the education formally, amidst other conser- vative agenda items such as his opponents stances on guns, and abortion. Representa- tive Stream response point- edly and categorically refuted Stenger’s attacks by citing the $336 million increase into the education foundation funding formula, $1 million dollars to Riverview/Normandy, math and science, mentoring, ex- offender and other community programs that help serve the interest in particular of North County and the minority com- munity. When questioned on his stance on abortion rights by Stenger, “I’m clear and un- apologetic supporter of life and protecting the unborn fetus. I’ve stayed consistent unlike my opponent who is Pro-life when campaigning in South County and Pro-Choice county-wide. Who are you and what do you really believe?” Stream responded in one of the most pointed exchanges of the afternoon. The issue of City-County merger came to the oor, where Stream stated his opposition against a merg- er, citing a current climate of a lack of trust of people of county and city governments that needed to be-restored, but entertaining areas where ef - ciency and cost-effectiveness where in play. Stenger espoused engaging an analytical approach the en- tailed quantitative and quali- tative measurables, with no seemingly clear cut support or opposition. Both when ques- tioned of how best to restore lost condence in the pros - ecutor’s and police depart- ment, cited more outreach in creating more minority repre- sentation amongst the ranks through recruitment, commu- nity policing efforts, with the only divergence being with the calling of a special prosecu- tor in cases where police are involved in shootings, which Stenger has remained stead- fast in support of County Pros- ecutor McCullough. Both cited the ability of the County Executive seat to be used as a bully pulpit in ad- dressing municipal issues not under the direct purview of the pen of the County Executive. The election is held Tuesday, November 4, 2013. CANDIDATES, From Page 1 BARUTI, From Page 1