Thursday, October 01, 2015
Fifty-two things the unelected Joplin elite are trying to hide from you
We cannot stop to find out if former City Councilman Mike Woolston was guilty of conflict of interest and perhaps much worse.
We cannot examine the problems that former Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff created during his seven-year tenure.
We cannot examine the roles played by some of our leading citizens, including Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce President Rob O'Brian and CART Chairman Jane Cage in paving the path for Wallace Bajjali to become the city's master developer.
Those things are all in the past. We must move forward.
And in doing so, we overlook the fact that many of the same people who opened the doors for problems the City of Joplin and the R-8 School District face and will continue to face for years to come are still in positions of importance and are still trying to push us in the same direction that brought us to this point.
Naturally, these people are not thrilled with my book, Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud: Greed, Corruption, and the Joplin Tornado, which reveals much of what happened behind the scenes from the May 22, 2011, tornado onward.
The book will be available, as well as my other books, when I join with seven other local authors for a signing this Saturday, October 3, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Joplin Public Library.
If you have not read the book, here are 52 things you won't find anywhere else:
1. The myths surrounding C. J. Huff's declaration that school would start on time
2. How MODOT intended its building to be used by the school district
3. How the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team (CART) was formed
4. How C. J. Huff's story of his role in the Joplin tornado changed over time
5. How and Why East Middle School was demolished despite suffering only minor damage
6. The roles played by people like Rob O'Brian and Jane Cage in shifting the emphasis of the Joplin recovery
7. How Angie Besendorfer took control of the school district after C. J. Huff became superintendent
8. Documents that show how a starstruck C. J. Huff wooed President Obama, Gov. Nixon, and others to come to Joplin on various occasions
9. Documents showing how the R-8 District manipulated the media on the first day of school in August 2011
10/ How the riots in Ferguson played into the events in Joplin
11. How Bright Futures and Bright Futures USA were formed
12. How JHS graduation rates really increased
13. How Ron Richard and area legislators unwittingly pushed tornado recovery money into the R-8 School District
14. How CART created the illusion of public input
15. How David Wallace convinced city leaders to create the master developer position and hire his firm for it
16. How Wallace cheated his partners in other ventures
17. How city officials and CART ignored warnings from leading citizens, including David Humphreys, about Wallace Bajjali
18. The background of how and why the United Arab Emirates gave laptops to Joplin High School students.
19. What Ron Richard said to Joplin R-8 Board President Ashley Mickelthwaite about C. J. Huff at the dedication of the mall high school
20. How David Wallace wooed and manipulated Jane Cage and CART
21. David Wallace's unsuccessful run for Tom DeLay's Congressional seat in Texas
22. How the $62 million Joplin R-8 bond issue passed and why the people who provided the winning margin will never pay a cent in property taxes while the rest of us do
23. C. J. Huff's plan in case the bond issue failed (and it was a much better plan than the one in the bond issue)
24. (From a recording) C. J. Huff tells how he will twist FEMA's arm to get the agency to pay for things that were not in the original plans
25. How the fix was in when Bud Sexson was hired as East Middle School principal
26. How Mike Woolston used his position in an effort to buy up land in the area of 20th and Connecticut
27. How R-8 Board member Jim Kimbrough fought unsuccessfully against the damage he saw being done to the school district
28. How C. J. Huff and top administrators perjured themselves at my hearing
29. The communications between NEA and C. J. Huff prior to my hearing
30. C. J. Huff's problems with strong women (and this is not just talking about Debbie Fort and Jennifer Martucci)
31. The Joplin Globe sex scandal
32. What started the revolt that led to the first, unsuccessful vote to fire Mark Rohr
33. Details on the Globe's attacks on Mark Rohr's enemies
34. How the myth of a voting bloc on the Joplin City Council was created
35. How a carefully laid trap set by Ben Rosenberg for Woolston started the road to Woolston's resignation
36. How a newly-announced Joplin City Council candidate's investigative reporting uncovered how much money C. J. Huff makes in his Washington Speakers Bureau speeches
37. Details on how an incompetent principal became executive director of elementary education after running off nearly her entire staff
38. Meetings in which C. J. Huff cried, screamed, and tried to intimidate people who were supporting me
39. How Debbie Fort, Jeff Koch, and Jennifer Martucci decided to run for school board and how they won
40. How Jeff Flowers and Mike Landis threatened principals to make sure they followed the Huff line
41. How C. J. Huff targeted 20-year teaching veteran Kim Frencken because she embarrassed him
42. How Woolston hung himself during his interviews with investigator Tom Loraine
43. A detailed look at how Mark Rohr ran into the same problems with every town he was in before Joplin
44. The lowdown on the infamous six-and-a-half-mile ribbon
45. The message that the late State Auditor Thomas Schweich was never able to tell me
46. How a jobs grant for Franklin Tech ended up paying for a jumbotron for the high school gym (and almost paid for another one for the commons area)
47. How C. J. Huff tried to rally teachers against me by saying that I was going to prevent the school district from ever passing another tax levy increase
48. David Wallace's first wife accuses him of adultery and cruel treatment as he trades her in for a younger model
49. The reasons why we still do not know if contributions made to the R-8 School District after the tornado were spent properly
50. (From a meeting I had with him) What Lane Roberts would have done if he had been able to serve on the school board
51. How we still don't know if the laptops for Joplin students have made any improvement (four years and no data)
52. Since C. J. Huff has finally removed them from his Facebook page, in he pages of this book, you can still find the texts of the vicious posts he made against Jennifer Martucci
Copies of Silver Lining in a Fnnnel Cloud will be available 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday during a signing at the Joplin Public Library. The book is available locally at Always Buying Books, Changing Hands Book Shoppe, and The Book Guy in Joplin, Pat's Books in Carthage, and Cato's Connection in Lamar. The book is also available in paperback and e-book formats from Amazon.com at the links below.