Friday, February 12, 2010

The Loudons' Role in the Anti-Transit Campaign

The Post-Dispatch ran a story today about the new I Love Transit advertisement featuring a wide range of leaders from the St. Louis region speaking out in favor of public transit. The story included criticism of Proposition A from John Loudon, but said that Loudon, "isn't involved in the formal campaign to defeat it." I'd like to examine this claim in more detail, especially given that yesterday, I suggested that it was pretty clear that well-known right-wing politicians John and Gina Loudon are behind the campaign to gut funding for public transit in the St. Louis region.

First of all, as I posted yesterday, there were only three people following the anti-public transit (and anti-St. Louis) Twitter page (misleadingly named "better transit" despite the fact that they don't actually propose any "better transit"): John Loudon, Gina Loudon, and Save Our Secret Ballots, which is an account created by John Loudon:

Hmmm, kinda funny that John and Gina Loudon had heard of the campaign before everyone else, if they weren't involved in it. But there's a lot more evidence than that, much of which was kindly provided by the tea party.
First, in Gina Loudon's post on her blog, she featured a picture of the anti-transit campaign "spokesperson" John Burns at the recent tea party convention:

She listed John Burns as one of her "heros" in the post. Furthermore, she described an incident where "her group" confronted some "liberal protesters" at the convention. From one of Bill Hennessy's posts, we can see who was in the group with her:

The guys in suits: John Burns, Bill Hennessy, and Joseph Basel, one of the teabuggers charged with tampering with phonelines in New Orleans.
This is what Gina Loudon wrote about the incident:
Then there were the “protesters.” They make for great sport, too! Our group was having lunch when we got word that the “Protestors” were in the convention hall. We dropped our forks and moved straight out to give them some fun. The only problem was, they met their match in protestors.

In other words, Burns was clearly in Hennessy and Loudon's "group." Loudon also goes on to describe how every night at the convention her core group would "retire to watering holes" and discuss strategy. Gee, I wonder what the Loudons and Hennessy would be discussing with Burns every night? Perhaps the anti-transit campaign which started the Thursday of the next week which was promoted only by Bill Hennessy? John Loudon was already on record criticizing public transit in the Post-Dispatch as recently as January 12.
Not only that, but Gina also described strategizing the weekend before last in Dallas, TX, and included this picture of her St. Louis group, again with John Burns in the picture (in the back, to the right of Bill Hennessy)

Wouldn't it be a pretty remarkable coincidence if John Burns just happened to be strategizing with John Loudon at conservative conferences two weekends in a row, and then miraculously decides to start a new group on Loudon's pet issue the week after? Yes, it sure would. Which means its pretty obvious that John Loudon and tea party leader Bill Hennessy are behind this campaign. The only question is, why are they trying to hide Loudon's invovlement?


  1. The other question is WHY are they against expanding STL transit?

    And: What is Burn's interest or motivation? Does he even live in STL? Is he being *paid to oppose Prop-A, to whip up controversy and create drama?

    What's in it for him, exactly?

  2. Simple, cause he is finally figuring out that NO ONE trusts the Loudons for anything... he'd been warned for months. Doesn't say much for his intelligence or insight.