Author Archives: Mark

Greitens Twist: Did St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner Illegally Employ Michigan P.I. Firm?


Unless you’ve just crawled out from under a rock, you are likely familiar with the latest chapter in the filthy soap opera starring Missouri’s disgusting political class in the State Capitol. In a nutshell, family values Governor Eric Greitens had a freaky extramarital affair with his married hairdresser during which he reportedly tied her to an exercise machine (I picture a dusty Bowflex) and snapped nude pictures intended to be used to keep her quiet.

KMOV recently reported that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner paid over $10,000 (public tax dollars I assume) to a Michigan private investigator to dig up the proverbial dirt on Greitens.

Gardner on Tuesday confirmed that her office hired a private company, Enterra LLC of Michigan, to perform the investigation that led to the indictment, rather than relying on St. Louis police. Dowd said an open records request revealed the company has already been paid at least $10,000. Ryan said she did not immediately have updated information on the amount paid to Enterra.

Read the contract with Enterra here: 5a95ec576829b.pdf

Here’s the problem:

Private investigators in Missouri are required by state statute to be licensed in the State of Missouri. Professional licensure is overseen by the Board of Private Investigator and Private Fire Investigator Examiners. This is a group of Missouri P.I.s whose main goal is to limit access to the marketplace, limit competition, and keep prices high for the consumer.


  Chapter 324

  324.1104.  Prohibited acts. — Unless expressly exempted from the provisions of sections 324.1100 to 324.1148:

  (1)  It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the private investigator business or carry out a private fire investigation in this state unless such person is licensed as a private investigator or private fire investigator under sections 324.1100 to 324.1148;

  (2)  It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in business in this state as a private investigator agency or private fire investigator agency unless such person is licensed under sections 324.1100 to 324.1148.

(L. 2007 H.B. 780 merged with S.B. 308, A.L. 2011 H.B. 464)

The Board of Private Investigators website has a handy search function. We’ve searched the site six ways to Sunday and can’t find Enterra anywhere. Click the link above and try for yourself.


Who Will John Clark Attack Next?

John Clark

John G. Clark

A few weeks ago after the “Trash Talk” First Ward Check-In, candidate for the First Ward Council seat vacated by Ginny Chadwick John G. Clark aggressively cornered City Sustainability Manager Barbara Buffaloe, berating her so ferociously that the encounter left her frightened, shaken, and in tears. Witnesses and coworkers described Clark’s actions as “a verbal assault” and “threatening.”

Having spent some time around Mr. Clark and having been cornered by the man on more than one occasion, the story does not surprise me. Clark is a large and loud man who stands well over six feet tall. Next to Barbara Buffaloe, he looks like a giant.

John Clark -- left

John Clark — left

Those who know Buffaloe say she is a hard-working city employee who cares about her job. On the night of her run-in with Clark she was simply trying to do that job. Coworkers describe her as “sweet” and “kind.” One of her peers said this:


“Barb has kind of an impeccable personality – she is sweet and innocent, and I think it’s real and to the core.”

Barbara Buffaloe

Barbara Buffaloe

Although Buffaloe declined to comment on the situation, coworkers and witnesses say that Clark’s admonishment was frighteningly relentless. He told her that she was doing a terrible job as Sustainability Manager, but his scolding crossed the line of decency. She was in tears not only because she was offended, she was frightened by the ferocity with which Clark cornered her.

This type of behavior seems to be a pattern for Clark. In 2006 Columbia Police issued Clark a trespass warning after he showed up at Councilwoman Almeta Crayton’s home late at night and threatened her into changing her vote on a controversial First Ward development project. The encounter was traumatic enough that it left the tough councilwoman in tears, tears that re-emerged as she recounted the story at a Council meeting the following day.

Almeta Crayton

Almeta Crayton

“As a council person, you try to do the best you can,” Crayton said through tears, “but when there are people that threaten us, it’s a little hard.”

John G. Clark - right

John G. Clark – right

Clark also has a rather murky past with the North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association. In 2011, only seven months after being elected as President of the board, Clark was recalled by the group who cited a laundry list of grievances, chief among them that Clark had…

publicly chastised association members and presented unapproved positions to the media.

Strangely enough, Clark cites his work in the NCCNA as a reason to vote for him. It seems clear now that his relationship with NCCNA is a reason to NOT vote for him.

While the bureaucrats at the top of the City food chain, i.e. Matthes, St.Romaine, Glascock, and company deserve to be held accountable for their mismanagement, our hard-working city employees do not deserve to be treated like John Clark treated Barbara Buffaloe. Ginny Chadwick reportedly treated city staff as if they were her servants and Ian Thomas treats staff as if they are serfs serving on his royal estate.

Placing John Clark in a seat of power tasked with representing the First Ward and our City is a clear mistake.

Listen to John Clark’s interview on the Gary Nolan Show —- HERE

If you don’t know Barbara Buffaloe, this video will give you a hint at her demeanor…


Nate Brown and Ginny Chadwick

When disgraced former councilwoman Ginny Chadwick launched her borderline slanderous whisper campaign aimed at First Ward hopeful Jake Loft, most readers were left wondering “why?” Many chalked it up to an unhealthy need for attention. Others suggested that she had aligned herself with one or more of the First Ward Council candidates who feared Loft’s rising popularity in the ward race. Council candidate Nate Brown was mentioned more than once, but no hard evidence of any clear motive surfaced.

No hard evidence… well… until last night…

Saturday night, March 21st, 2015, Ms. Chadwick was spotted in a dimly-lit corner of a local eatery, enjoying dinner with none other than Nate Brown.

Nate and Ginny

Ginny Chadwick and Nate Brown

According to onlookers, Ms. Chadwick, who while on Council proposed outlawing alcoholic beverages in Douglass Park and led the charge to ban the sale of tobacco and e-liquid to adults between the ages of 18 and 21, enjoyed at least three alcoholic beverages before driving herself from the restaurant.

So it seems that the rumors of a Chadwick/Brown alliance were true.

Ironically, the headline above Nate Brown’s candidate profile read, Brown hopes to restore public trust in elected officials,” — ironic considering that he has allied himself with the former Councilwoman whose string of lies, deceit, and downright terrible decisions seems much too long to have been possible during her remarkably short time in the office. Ms. Chadwick resigned her post after only nine months rather than face a recall election.

Not so ironically, Brown was recently endorsed by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.



Chadwick Launches Whisper Campaign in First Ward Race

Ginny Chadwick

Ginny Chadwick

First Ward City Council candidate Jake Loft is receiving some unwarranted attention from former First Ward City Council representative Ginny Chadwick, who stepped down abruptly to avoid facing a recall election. Earlier this week Ms. Chadwick launched a whisper campaign against Loft alleging that his campaign was offering incentives for voter registration, a violation of Federal election law.

In response to our Missouri Sunshine Law request, Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren revealed that Ms. Chadwick stopped by the Boone County Clerk’s office to tell staff that “she heard Jake Loft was offering/giving money to people for registering to vote.

Jake Loft

Jake Loft

As a precaution, Ms. Noren spoke with Mr. Loft

“Based on my conversation with Mr. Loft I am satisfied, unless further evidence comes to me, that he was not offering or giving money to people to register to vote.”                                                                                                              –Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren

When looking at Loft’s campaign finances, the Chadwick charge seems even more absurd. So far his campaign has raised a mere $700 and has only $293 on hand.

So why is Chadwick so interested in launching a slanderous whisper campaign against Loft?

Nate Brown

Nate Brown

Rumors have been floating around town for a while suggesting that she has befriended and is supporting First Ward candidate Nate Brown. Chadwick has also shown support for the First Ward candidacy of Rev. Clyde Ruffin, a local minister who has yet to respond to recently uncovered information tying him to the “pray away the gay” ministry Desert Stream. Chadwick is pictured below after reportedly “crashing” Ruffin’s campaign launch party.

The fact that Mr. Loft was active in the coalition to recall Chadwick might also be her motive.

At a recent forum focusing on development and infrastructure hosted by CoMo Council Watch, Loft presented himself as a definite contender for the open seat, answering pointed questions from the audience that seemed to confuse most (sometimes all) of the other candidates.

Ginny Chadwick and Rev. Clyde Ruffin

Ginny Chadwick and Rev. Clyde Ruffin

“I want to first state that it is extremely important for members of the public to notify my office if they believe or have heard that a law relating to elections might be violated. I appreciate the efforts of citizens to contact us so we can prevent any violations or stop the spreading of unfounded rumors.”  –Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren


Clyde Ruffin: Praying the Gay Away in the First Ward

On March 1st, Mike Martin’s online publication, The Columbia Heart Beat, published a story about a mysterious document dump from an anonymous tipster calling himself/herself “Barney Miller.” The email claimed that a City Council candidate was tied to anti-gay “pray away the gay” groups. The Columbia Heartbeat declined to name names, instead sending many Columbians digging for the truth. As it turns out, the man who spends his days (and nights) praying away the gay is none other than Pastor Clyde L. Ruffin, leader of Columbia’s Second Missionary Baptist Church and candidate for the vacant First Ward City Council seat.

Candidate/Pastor Clyde Ruffin

Candidate/Pastor Clyde Ruffin

The Second Missionary Baptist Church website lists Ruffin’s wife and First Lady of the church, Sheila Ruffin, as “a certified coordinator for the national ministry, Desert Stream, which provides Christ-centered help for those struggling with sexual and relational problems.  She was instrumental in bringing this ministry to the city of Columbia.”

Desert Stream Ministries is a group centered around the Dark Age notion that people need to be cleansed of sinful and unhealthy practices like homosexuality, fantasy, gender identity issues, and masturbation.  Desert Stream was founded and is still led by ex-gay,  Christian Fundamentalist Andrew Comiskey.

In the Spring of 2008, First Lady Ruffin wrote about her introduction to Desert Stream:

More than fifteen years ago, I went on an extended time of prayer and fasting for a Christian friend of mine who had been struggling with homosexuality. I had picked up a copy of Andrew Comiskey’s book, “Pursuing Sexual Wholeness-How Jesus Heals the Homosexual,” at a conference. I began to read about the nature of sexual brokenness, and I realized that my reason for reading this book had nothing to do with my friend. I was the one who was in need of healing.

For those of you pooh-poohing our choice to write about Mrs. Ruffin, please note that she is a public figure with a bio included on the website of the church her husband shepherds. That same website celebrates her leadership role within Desert Stream Ministries.

Screen-shot from the 2NDBC website -- Sheila Ruffin

Screen-shot from the 2NDBC website — Sheila Ruffin

















One of the Desert Streams offshoots in Columbia, MO meets at Eternal Refuge on Vandiver. The contact numbers for the ministry and its “CrossCurrent” classes are the 2nd Missionary Baptist Church the same phone as Mrs. Ruffin’s home business, Pound Cake by Sheila. 

It remains to be seen how Ruffin’s affiliation with Desert Stream will affect his candidacy in the First Ward. It is rumored that there are several documents further cementing the Ruffins’ anti-gay sentiments and ties with Desert Stream in the packet sent to the Columbia Heart Beat. If a copy of the documents makes its way to Keep Columbia Free, it will be published.


Mike Martin for Mayor?

“If you run for Mayor, don’t be surprised if you have me to contend with, right up there on the candidate dais with you.” — Mike Martin

Mike Martin

Mike Martin

In one of many heated exchanges with Councilman Karl Skala on the Keep Columbia Free Facebook group page, Columbia’s most read and most infamous independent journalist, Mike Martin, indicated that he is contemplating a possible run for Mayor.

Martin’s most recent Columbia Heart Beat installment in an ongoing expose of City financial malfeasance, which centers around piles of unrestricted funds that lie dormant or are used for frivolous projects while important central city infrastructure crumbles, drew a comment from the trollishly ubiquitous Skala when posted on the Keep Columbia Free page.

Karl Skala

Karl Skala

Martin accused the City Council of failing to read, study, and understand the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and Skala took issue.

Eventually Martin wrote:

 I’m not “presuming” anything, Councilman. I’m speaking from the failed experiences of what has amounted to your big talk on digging into issues of finance and accountability. 

Where’s that staff report you were going to demand on how the City Charter regulates the Water and Light Surplus?

Or that information from Mike Matthes you were planning to get about why there’s no record — for years and years — of any money going from the Water and Light Surplus into the General Fund, as mandated?

You’ve done NOTHING in this regard. NOTHING. Meanwhile, you vote for every tax hike, fee hike, fine hike, and revenue hike you can, while touting your “progressive, I’m for the little guy” credentials. 

Your big talk goes all the way back to 2008, when you promised to confront County Assessor Tom Schauwecker over his assessment practices. Nothing ever happened with that because Schauwecker told you and the Council to — let me put this delicately — nah, I’ll use the polite term — back off. 

Which, of course, you did.…/developer-tax…

If you run for Mayor, don’t be surprised if you have me to contend with, right up there on the candidate dais with you. I will hold your feet to the fire on absolutely every vote you’ve rendered, every promise you’ve made, every fee, fine, rate, and tax hike you’ve voted for.

I may not win — but you will sweat. And you will account for your record, in a way you never have.

In the May issue of his publication Inside Columbia (page 138), magazine mogul and notorious neocon Fred Parry wrote,

Skala deserves to be Mayor because he has paid his ‘civic rent’ by serving multiple terms on Columbia’s City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition, but more importantly, the citizens of Columbia deserve a mayor like Karl Skala.”

Fred Parry

Fred Parry

Of course, Parry’s comments are a bit tongue-in-cheek, but they may well prove to be prophetic. Skala likely has his eye on the political center stage, figuratively and literally. If Skala runs, let’s hope that Martin runs against him. That race would be nothing short of epic.


The Chadwick Majority

In response to the move to recall her as Columbia’s First Ward City Council Representative, Councilperson Ginny Chadwick posted the following on her official Facebook page

chadwickConsidering her focus on the notion that Council representatives are elected by a “majority of the people” and that statements regarding her recall are “clearly from the minority,” it seems appropriate to break down the numbers. Councilperson Chadwick has made it clear that her resounding First Ward election victory should be interpreted as a mandate from “the people” that we should all unquestioningly accept her policy proposals. After all, her campaign garnered 64% of the votes cast.

But how many votes were cast?

The First Ward has a population of 18,212. According to Director Art Auer at the Boone County Clerk’s Office, the First Ward had 9,803 registered voters on the books during the April election. Ginny Chadwick won the election with 525 votes. Votes for Chadwick represent 5.36% of registered voters in her ward. 525 votes is 2.88% of the population of the First Ward. 525 is 0.45% of Columbia’s 115,276 total population.

The reality is that 525 votes is not a meaningful number of votes. 525 votes does not a mandate make.

When confronted with these numbers, the first thing out of most people’s mouths is “voter apathy,” or “it’s their own fault.” While it might be the fault of the First Ward, the problem was not voter apathy. There was really no reason for anyone to turn out at the polls because there was simply no one to vote for.

The only First Ward failure was the failure to find a worthy candidate to run. Even the liberal political strategist Jeff Chinn of Progressive Political Partners, mastermind of many recent liberal council victories, reportedly opposed Chadwick’s candidacy, but failed to muster a suitable candidate for the position.

Bill Easley

Bill Easley

Chadwick’s only opposition was Tyree Byndom, a local community leader who was forbidden from campaigning by the tenants of his Baha’i faith, and Bill Easley, a cantankerous elderly gentleman with a penchant for unintelligible, boisterous rants.

Although Byndom would likely have served the ward well, his absence from the campaign trail and refusal to take a public position on any issue was a turn-off for voters. Also running was last-minute, write-in candidate John Clark, a local political gadfly. Considering the options, it is easy to see why most voters asked, “why bother?”

Another measure of the Chadwick “majority” and the recall “minority” can be found on Facebook. Chadwick’s Councilwoman Chadwick Facebook Page boasts 356 “likes” after more than six months in office. By comparison, the Recall First Ward Councilperson Ginny Chadwick Facebook page garnered more “likes” than Chadwick’s page in only a few days and today stands at 389.

There is little doubt that this recall will be successful. There are viable candidates in the pipeline, but recall supporters are playing their cards close to the chest.