Thursday, March 19, 2015

History Museum cancels Ferguson-Palestine discussion : News

History Museum cancels Ferguson-Palestine discussion : News

Recent discussion on 'ethics' and transparency at the Zoo-Museum District Board (the board which oversees the taxpayers' money), not to be confused with the Museum Board itself, which is mostly private corporate interests.  The two boards are supposed to share power to run the Museum, but in practice there are a number of problems, chief among both, lack of transparency and accountability.

Our local NPR station receives funding from @MoHistoryMuseum.  They have been publishing negative stories about the ZMD side of the arrangement.  I read this as an attempt to discredit the more public side of the governance arrangement, but this is a hypothesis, for the moment.  (Local NPR did not cover the story about the emails that showed pressure from donors to censor the Palestine-related event, a combination of racial discrimination and censorship. But they are covering this story with relish.)

KWMU stories on ZMD code of ethics issues:

Feb 2, 2015: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/zmd-ethics-code-finally-moves-forward

March 9, 2015: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/second-zoo-museum-district-board-member-resigns-less-year

March 19, 2015: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/protest-springs-canceled-museum-event

April 6, 2015: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/zoo-museum-district-cant-agree-ethics-language

Background on corruption and private hijacking of this public institution from the Archibald days:

Dec. 20, 2012: Archibald resigns: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/archibald-resigns-history-museum-president

Jan. 13, 2014: Editorial: stumbling toward transparency  on John Roberts, former Civic Progress head, then chair of MOHM board of trustees
But when about $10 million in taxpayer money passes through your hands every year, the rules are different. Newspapers and the public at large have a right to ask questions.
Then there’s the History Museum, which is used to taking the public’s money and not providing the public any answers. Change is hard.
Jan 21, 2014:  KWMU: New director

April 22, 2014: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/conflict-interest-allegations-lead-zmd-board-resignation-and-push-stronger-regs

Dec. 11, 2014: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/zoo-museum-district-makes-no-progress-ethics-code-zoo-audit-accepted



When public-private 'partnership' means: public giving away money to support the interests of the wealthy political class.