SLATE – If You’ve Been Enjoying All the Donald Trump Subtweets at John McCain’s Funeral, You’ll Love This Anti-Trump Film the U.S. Government Produced in 1943

SLATE – Brow Beat


It’s been a big day for former government officials speaking out against Donald Trump: Ex-presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush both used their eulogies for John McCain as an opportunity to draw an implicit contrast between the late senator and our current president, while McCain’s daughter Meghan, although not a former government official herself, explicitly invoked Trump’s loathsome campaign slogan. By doing so, they joined a grand tradition of former government officials speaking out against the depravity of Donald Trump, from Jimmy Carter, who called him “a disaster” to Abraham Lincoln, who aptly described him as a “highwayman” in his legendary Never-Trump Cooper Union Speech. But perhaps no current or former employees of the United States government have been as vociferously opposed to Donald Trump’s presidency as the staff of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1943, when they released their blistering anti-Trump film, “Don’t Be a Sucker.” A clip from the film went around Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the “Unite the Right” disaster, but here’s the full video, which spares Trump nothing:

It’s a sad day when people who have given their lives to public service, like the filmmakers behind “Don’t Be a Sucker,” feel the need to speak out against a sitting president. It’s even sadder when Felix Bressart, the Lubitsch stock player who plays the professor in “Don’t Be a Sucker” feels the need to look into the camera with gentle disapproval. There’s no shortage of sick burns aimed at Trump here, from the reference to his “oldest and most persistent enemy, the truth,” to the prediction that his “pure-blooded supermen [will be] defeated by the mongrel armies he despise[s].” But for all the swipes, the film ends on a positive note, speaking to the ideals we continually fall short of, but should continually aim at:

You have a right to be what you are and say what you think, because here we have personal freedom. We have liberty. And these are not just fancy words: this is a practical and priceless way of living. But we must work at it. We must guard everyone’s liberty, or we can lose our own. If we allow any minority to lose its freedom by persecution or by prejudice, we are threatening our own freedom. And this is not simply an idea, this is good, hard, common sense. You see, here in America, it is not a question of whether we tolerate minorities. America is minorities.

It’s the most powerful indictment of the president and his stooges since the actual Stooges spoke out against him. At press time, inquiries to the White House about how they would respond to this unprecedented attack from the staff of the U.S. Army Signal Corps circa 1943 went unanswered, as did requests about other anti-Trump films The Great DictatorInglourious BasterdsRaiders of the Lost Ark, and, of course, They Saved Hitler’s Brain


Local Social Justice Events


Women Against Registry National Conference

Women Against Registry seeks to educate Americans about the dangers and damage to American society caused by excessive sexual offense registries and work for change.

August 17-19
Location in Maryland Heights TBD



Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Monthly Meeting

Hear the latest updates on how to take action in large and small ways to end gun violence in our country.

Saturday, August 18  |  10-11:30am
Pilgrim Congregational Church (Central West End)
Tuesday, August 21  |  7-8:30pm
inStep Church (St. Charles)



Kirkwood Black Lives Matter Vigil

Join the West County Community Action Network for their monthly vigil

Saturday, August 18  |  11:30am
Kirkwood City Hall



Youth Undoing Institutional Racism Open House

Come learn about this new organization and expectations for members. As they work to address racism in the Criminal Justice and Education systems, they look for possible partners.

Sunday, August 19  |  3-4pm
5249 Delmar (University City)



End Racism Discussion Group

Watch and then discuss the TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Monday, August 20  |  7-8:30pm
Ethical Society of St. Louis (Brentwood)



Summer Social Justice Cinema

A showing of a movie about immigrants and refugees

Tuesday, August 21  |  7pm
Gethsemane Lutheran Church (South City)



Major! Film Screening and Q&A

A documentary film that explores the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.

Thursday, August 23  |  6-9pm
The Stage at KDHX (Midtown)



Project Clean Sweep

Hundreds of volunteers will come together for a large-scale clean up to jump-start local area neighborhoods.

Saturday, August 25  | 9am-3pm
Walnut Park neighborhood



Community Canvass

Building trust in the Walnut Park neighborhood with the St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission

Saturdays, August 25  |  10am-1pm
Walnut Park Neighborhood (North City)



Justice Fleet: Radical Forgiveness

Created and curated by guest artist Dr. Amber Johnson, the pop-up exhibit engages community members in a dialogue that reimagines the “social” in social justice.

Saturday, August 25  |  11am-2pm
St. Louis Public Library Baden Branch (North City)



Northside Trap Run

One-mile walk, 5K walk/run, and festival aimed at empowering north city neighborhoods and unifying grassroots, civic, educational, commercial, and residential efforts to bridge the city’s north-south divide.

Sunday, August 26  |  8am
Northside Community Housing (North City)



Workers Rights Workshop

Organizer Amanda Tello will walk us through worker rights info, as well as ways in which businesses can be prepared for ICE raids.

Wednesday, August 29  |  6pm
MIRA (St. Louis City)



Pick the City UP Tour Finale

Saint Louis Story Stitchers bring their unique brand of urban storytelling about public health issues St. Louis cares about including gun violence prevention. Pay tribute, join the fun, and make a difference.

Friday, August 31  |  7pm
.ZACK (Midtown)



People of Faith Pilgrimage

The North City Deanery Interracial Relations Committee and the Peace & Justice Commission of the Archdiocese invite all to gather as one for their 3rd annual pilgrimage in The Ville neighborhood.

Saturday, September 8  |  9:30am-12:30pm
St. Matthew the Apostle (North City)



Break the Pipeline Mass Meeting

MCU’s monthly meeting for working to break the school-to-prison pipeline

Tuesday, September 11  |  6:30-8pm
Central Reform Congregation (Central West End)



Religious Diversity Seminar: Making Room for All Paths

Diversity Awareness Partnership’s professional development seminars present current trends and strategies to help professionals respond to their employees’ needs.

Thursday, September 13  |  8-11am
Nestle Purina (Downtown)



DeRay McKesson – On The Other Side of Freedom

Join the internationally recognized civil rights leader and host of the podcast Pod Save the People for a timely conversation on culture, social justice, and politics. Tickets required.

Thursday, September 13  |  7pm
Union Avenue Christian Church (Central West End)



Immaculee Ilibagiza Mini-Retreat

New York Times bestselling author of “Left to Tell” brings her message of forgiveness, healing, and hope after surviving the Rwandan Genocide.

Friday-Saturday, September 14-15
Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church (South City)



2018 Missouri Poverty Summit

Join Missourians to End Poverty and difference-makers from across the state for a day of community-centered dialogue

Thursday, September 20  |  9am-4pm
Jefferson City



Amnesty International Midwest Regional Conference

Amnesty members and other human rights activists will continue their tradition of engaging in networking opportunities, inspiring plenaries, and hands-on skill-building workshops, as well as shaping the policies of the organization.

Saturday, October 20  |  9am-6pm
Red Lion Hotel (Downtown)



Housing Empowers 2018 Annual Conference

The theme of this 117th annual conference is the impact of affordable housing

Saturday, November 17  |  Time TBD
Columbia, Missouri


CTD Endorses CLEAN MISSOURI Amendment

IMG_1064Chesterfield Township Democrats congratulated and endorsed ten club members last night at its August 14 membership meeting. Those ten members all won their primaries on August 7th. They are: LaDonna Applebaum, 71st, Paula Brown, 70th, Kevin Fitzgerald, 89th, Mike LaBozetta, 99th, Bill Otto, 65th, Helena Webb, 100th, and Genevieve Steidtmann, 101st.  All are seeking seats in the Missouri House of Representatives.

John Kiehne, SD 26, seeking the senate seat representing large swaths of western St. Louis County including Chesterfield and Wildwood and Cort VanOstran, seeking the US House seat from district 2.

Candidates presented their individual campaign strategies for the next three months to the fifty plus members attending the CTD meeting.  Please check their campaign websites and Facebook pages for specific needs and direction for supporting your candidate.

Last night’s main topic was the Clean Missouri Amendment.  Maggie Lallor, Regional Director for the Clean Missouri Campaign highlighted the themes to the constitutional amendment which seeks to limit the influence of lobbyists in Jefferson City, make more transparent the financial donations to candidates, and force redistricting by an independent, non-partisan agency among other items.  You can find out more about Clean Missouri at   In a voice vote, CTD membership gave a full-throated endorsement to Clean Missouri.   Vote YES on Amendment 1!

On a related theme, Mary K. Brown, former Chesterfield City Councilperson for eight years and Wendy Geckler, former Planning Commission member for the City of Chesterfield for twelve years and both members of CTD, spoke to membership about the emergence of “dark money” and unethical campaign tactics by city councilpersons currently on the Chesterfield City Council.  During last April’s election, one candidate received the financial support from outside the city and region beyond the scope of the candidate’s own campaign treasury.  When several CTD members approached the city council to ask councilpersons and the mayor to declare against “dark money” by way of personal and committee resolution, the motion was tabled, and the matter killed.  Chesterfield city council refuses to disclaim the influence of Dark Money their campaigns. Click here for more detail.

Please be sure to put the next meeting of the Chesterfield Township Democrats on your calendar.  It will feature updates on these issues and more, including a workshop for supporting candidates which will be led by Stacy Newman, former Missouri House Representative from district 87.

Steidtmann School Supply Drive a “Thunderous” Success

Park Event

Promptly at 5 p.m., the scheduled start of Genevieve Steidtmann’s School Supply Drive  celebration a clap of thunder introduced a 45 minute rain shower. But the rain did not dampen the spirits of the women, men and children attending in support of Genevieve Steidtmann for MO House 101. The 101st includes much of Chesterfield and Wildwood.  The school supply drive netted nearly $1,200 dollars worth of school supplies.

Attending in support of Genevieve’s campaign were sitting representatives Deb Lavender of the 90th, and, all the way from Springfield, MO Crystal Quade. Quade represents the 132 district in that Southwest Missouri City, most notably around the city core and Missouri State and Drury Universities. Yes, there are Democrats in Greene County. Boris Abadzhyan, a candidate in the 71st  facing a primary challenge joined the women giving all those in attendance a glimpse of what the Missouri House might look like come January, 2019.

Steidtmann was non-plussed about the rain. “Right now, I am running a campaign here;  I have to let someone else handle the weather.” Steidtmann said that the drive isn’t over and she encouraged constituents to purchase schools supples for their respective school districts.

In light of the growing wave of endorsements and support she’s received, her positions on healthcare, education, jobs and civil rights the




for the Missouri House of Representatives serving District 101.


Click on the image above to visit the Steidtmann for Missouri website

Genevieve will be at the Chesterfield Township Democrats August 14 and September 11th meetings seeking your support. Be sure to attend, meet Genevieve and other candidates and prepare yourself to get out the vote in November.

Advocate Against Dark Money in Chesterfield Municipal Elections

Wendy Geckler, a long time member and leader of the Chesterfield Planning Commission identified the infiltration of dark money in the campaign for a Ward 4 council person last spring. She has brought this up before the City Council and procedure stipulated that the issue be presented and debated at a meeting on Monday, July 23 at City Hall before going to the Council.

The meeting is the Finance and Administration meeting and will commence at 5:30 p.m.. Though we will not be aloud to speak, the matter of moving the topic to the agenda for a City Council meeting will be addressed. A show of interested citizens will help that cause.

Several Chesterfield Township Democrats have committed to attend the meeting. It is a matter of number not representation this time. Please, if you can, attend the meeting.

Thanks for considering,

Mark Kumming

Co-Chair, Chesterfield Township Democrats

“Hello Democrats!” Candidate Forum a Resounding Success


Tuesday evening’s membership meeting of the Chesterfield Township Democrats opened with a rousing greeting from lead facilitator Mark Kumming, Co-Chair, as he greeted more than 100 people in attendance at the Candidate Forum for aspirants to the Democratic Nomination for Congressional District 2 to oppose the incumbent Republican and Trump puppet Ann Wagner.

The meeting was co-sponsored by West County Democrats with Glenn Koenen, Co-Chair, in attendance.  Glenn is a noted authority on both national, state and local legislative activities and has the honor of contending with Rep. Wagner in 2012. 

The heart of this meeting was the Candidate Forum featuring, in alphabetical order, Bill Haas, Robert Hazel, John Messmer, Mark Osmack and Cort VanOstran all facing each other in the August 7th primary.  The format was a panel fielding questions composed by audience members and read by meeting facilitator Kumming and CTD Co Chair Mike Kean.

The questions and answers covered the candidate’s positions on everything from medical marijuana, education, and earned benefits to tax reform, campaign finance, healthcare and gun violence.  Each candidate opened and closed with a two minute campaign appeal.  In all, the Forum lasted an hour and half. 

Candidates received vigorous applause and cheers for specific issues or when a notable Republican foible received mention, which were many.  At both the outset of the meeting and afterwards candidates networked by supporters.  One attendee commented:  It was fun to be able to applaud and cheer our candidates.”

Also in the audience were members of the United Auto Workers (UAW.)  Attending too were candidates vying for state positions and who were featured at the Candidate Forum held by CTD in May.  Included in this group were Genevieve Stiedtmann in the 101st, Chuck Triplett contending in the 98th, Boris Abadzhyan (71st) and Don Klein (70th) who are facing primary challenges. John Kiehne for State Senate 26 was also present. 

Kumming closed the meeting with an appeal for membership to join one of several committees forming — The Programs Committee and Community Outreach Committee.  Both, Co-Chair Kumming said, were essential to CTD club sustainability.  He also invited all to attend CTD’s next membership meeting slated for July 10 at the Daniel Boone Branch of the SLCL and that will feature strategies for voter registration and for getting out the Democratic vote.

2nd Congressional Candidate Forum – June 5th


Meet the Candidates for the Democratic Nomination

for Second Congressional District of Missouri


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.


Daniel Boone Public Library

300 Clarkson Road

Room 1


Currently scheduled to appear:   

Bill Haas

Robert Hazel

John Messmer

Mark Osmack

Cort VanOstran


Large Turn Out for Candidate Forum

On Tuesday evening, 57 people crowded into room 1 of the Daniel Boone Branch of the St. Louis County Library to meet and vet 10 MO House District Candidates.  We’re six months ahead of the the general election on November 6th and three ahead of the primary on August 7th, but by the strategies detailed by the candidates  and the passion evident in the presentations you’d think the elections were next Tuesday.

Each candidate presented her or his credentials and a thumbnail sketch of why they were running.  Highlights of the evening including Genevieve Steidtmann, who is running in the 101st (mostly Chesterfield and Wildwood), and who highlighted clear and concise talking points.  Helena Webb, running in the 100th, who couldn’t be in the room but who sent a video message via tablet highlighting her campaign strategy.  Also in attendance in non-primary races were Chuck Triplett in the 98th, Mike LaBozzetta in the 99th.  Al Gerber, Committeeman for the Missouri River Township stood in for Kevin Fitzgerald, 89th, who could not be at the meeting.

Five candidates who are vying in primaries joined this group.  Paula Brown, Don Kline, and Greg Upchurch seek nomination from the 70th and Boris Abadzhyan and LaDonna Appelbaum from the 71st.

After these brief speeches, the candidates held mini-caucuses for their voting constituents.  Seated around tables spread throughout the room, those attending could ask direct questions of the candidate.  These caucuses lasted through the remainder of the evening and in some cases bumped up to the library’s closing time, they were that engaging.

If you were there, you will attest to the vibrancy of the meeting and the energy in the room.

If your weren’t there and live in one of these districts, you missed an opportunity to feel some real hope for the future of our region and our state.

Just Show Up and . . .

Do you have to be a Township Committeeman to have an impact in your community?
Emphatically, no, you do not. And in fact, we encourage you to be involved in your community and in township activities before committing to such a position of responsibility. You can do this step by step by joining your local Township Club. We of course recommend Chesterfield Township Democrats Club. We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month beginning in July, 2018 (May 1 and June 5th prior). It has been famously attributed to anyone from Ben Franklin to Woody Allen that “90% of success is just showing up.” Few would disagree.

The next 10% — and we need you at this level — is as simple as joining one of the numerous Action Committees that are the lifeblood of Chesterfield Township Democrats. Committees currently forming include:

Community Outreach
Local Government Liaison
Business Associations
Labor Alignments
Media and PR
Internet Presences
Collateral Development & Distribution
Outlet Announcements
Topic Generation
Speaker Selection
Venue Preparation
Budget Formation

All of these represent current needs of any organization seeking sustainability, seeking a continued legacy of community integration and involvement. We strongly believe that in Chesterfield, MO, Chesterfield Democrats and their representative Township Club is a seamless part of the community and our adherence to social justice, fair mindedness, civility and dialogue are part of our shared community fabric.

Joining and participating on one of these committees, perhaps even leading it, is a way to give back, to pitch in, and to achieve. The work is not onerous and really is just what you wish it to be. None of us judge, measure or evaluate. We only are grateful for one another’s participation and affiliation.

So, join CTD, attend meetings, participate on a committee. That is how you and we can “just show up” and make a difference!

Your Township Politics

By Jo Ann Hughes

Community members do not have to take part in something huge to have a voice. A little known secret to getting involved on a local level begins with township politics. The smallest elected office has limited power, but it is vital to each political party.

Township committees are involved in planning and organizing political events and caucuses and require the time and effort of many individuals. They also organize voters in neighborhoods and promote political involvement at the grassroots level.

Their job is to identify where all the people who vote for their candidate or your party are and make sure that every one of those voters get to their polls on election day.

Township committees were established as part of Missouri Revised Statute 115.605, which states that each party committee shall be selected as provided for the purpose of representing and acting for the party in the interim between party conventions. Each township includes a man and a woman from each party who are elected by the voters to lead that township. Committee members are elected every four years when the governor is elected, and candidates must have lived in the township for at least one year and be a registered voter. Township positions are totally unpaid, volunteer positions.

St. Louis County townships include Airport, Bonhomme, Chesterfield, Clayton, Concord, Creve Coeur, Ferguson, Florissant, Gravois, Hadley, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lemay, Lewis & Clark, Maryland Heights, Meramec, Midland, Missouri River, Normandy, Northwest, Norwood, Oakville, Queeny, Spanish Lake, St. Ferdinand, Tesson Ferry, University and Wild Horse.

Committee members, who are elected by the voters, have the job of organizing residents of a particular township for the purpose of information and getting out the vote.

All the township committeemen and women elected are automatically members of the County Central Committee, which helps to elect local party members and assist the state of national party committees. These committees elect delegates to go to the state convention to choose presidential electors, become delegates to the national convention and vote on the party platform.

Your township is listed on your voting card, and meetings are open to the public.